August 16, 2022

I’ve simply purchased a flat above a store in my village and there’s a huge air-con unit on the roof of the restaurant subsequent door.

It’s noisy and retains me awake at night time, particularly now in the summertime, when I’ve my bed room window open. 

I didn’t hear it on the viewings, maybe as a result of I visited when it wasn’t switched on. Is there something I can do about it? AS

Noisy neighbourL A loud air-con unit could also be breaking the planning permissions set out (inventory picture)

MailOnline Property professional Myra Butterworth stated: It is very important do your analysis earlier than shopping for a property – that may embody viewings and scoping out an space at completely different hours of the day. 

However there’ll usually be some issues that slip by way of the online – and this looks as if one among them.

It doesn’t imply that you need to quit on making an attempt to have the noise lowered. It’s price persevering with to do analysis to seek out out the solutions to questions corresponding to how lengthy the air-con has been there.

The solutions to those questions might reveal that the unit is in breach of planning permissions – certainly if this was even granted in any respect. And if that is so, it may be reported and, in the end, stopped.

Martin Gaine, a chartered city planner, replies: From a planning perspective, the very first thing to ascertain is whether or not the air-con unit has planning permission. 

If it does, verify precisely what was proposed when the store made its utility so as to work out whether or not the restaurant proprietor carried out the event as authorized.

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Additionally verify whether or not the approval of planning permission was topic to any circumstances. 

When permission is granted for these sorts of items, it’s often given that any noise produced doesn’t exceed a sure variety of decibels, that the unit is fitted with some sort of noise muffling system and/or that it is just operated throughout specified hours.

You may search for planning purposes by navigating to your native council’s web site and looking the planning database by tackle or postcode. Contact the planning crew for assist when you’ve got any problem.

If the unit doesn’t have planning permission, it’s essential set up how lengthy it has been in place. 

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If it has been there greater than 4 years – and has not been altered or changed in that point -, it’s doubtless that it’s now too late to take planning enforcement motion in opposition to it.

Nonetheless, if it has planning permission however is working in breach of a planning situation – for instance, it’s exceeding noise limits set out within the planning approval -, that breach solely turns into lawful after 10 years, giving the council’s planning enforcement crew slightly extra time to take motion.

Though you will have simply moved in to your flat, you’ll be able to work out how lengthy the unit has been there by asking round your new neighbours.

If the unit doesn’t have planning permission or does have permission however is breaching its circumstances, and if it isn’t but lawful although the passage of time, it’s best to ask your native council’s planning enforcement crew to research. 

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Complaints to planning enforcement are nameless, so your neighbour won’t be instructed that it got here from you.

Planning apart, the council’s environmental well being crew may additionally have the ability to assist. 

Extreme noise from a neighbouring property will be thought of a statutory nuisance. 

If an environmental well being officer determines that the noise is unreasonable and interferes together with your enjoyment of your private home, a noise abatement noise could also be served on the proprietor/operator of the restaurant, requiring them to discontinue or ultimately restrict or reasonable the noise.

· Martin Gaine is a chartered city planner and creator of ‘Tips on how to Get Planning Permission – An Insider’s Secrets and techniques’