Abandon the Certificate of Lawfulness as it is 100% against the neighbours. Health and Safety are important and this law will not permit consideration of serious health and safety issues. No neighbour should be allowed to put up extension to take all the light, reduce the value of the property by one quarter and cause occupants of neighbouring property to live in darkness with no sun in garden and loss of amenities. Health and Safety is all important and must over-ride this Certificate of Lawfulness. Simply demand all extensions to go through usual planning process and increase charges to proportion of value of property for council admin work ie light survey, soil surveys, tree surveys. Ensure all parties/appropriate neighbours are informed and have proper check list and ensure personal visit is made to site (even by Councillors or nominated estate agent). State on application form that any decision is subject to confirmation of accuracy and validity of form, otherwise, any misleading information will render the form and application invalid and form filler fined for wasting time. State all health and safety considerations will be undertaken with proof of driveway widths etc. Damage to neighbouring property to be assessed also. Nominate estate agent to do the form filling checks/verification with signature that this is a true declaration. No home owner should have to lose the pleasure of being in their own home within reason ie size of property etc. Estate agent to assess proposed loss of amenities/value etc.
Restrictive Covenants should not be ignored at any time as they were put in to protect interests of homeowners.
Why is this idea important?
From my own personal experience.
Health and safety should never be jeopardised. Councils and Planning Departments are too busy and they need help of local nominated estate agent to do the spade work. Property values have increased to a great extent and people's homes must be better protected in view of Brownfield developments etc.
Current light laws are out of date re the candle test and Planning Dept too busy to visit properties in preliminary stages of assessment. Photos should be provided also for ease of reference with confirmation of precise property with number of rooms to ensure no other extensions have been done without building regs approval, nor toilets, drains and sewers altered in any way without proper verification.
No one should be able to take away all the light from a property nor be able to devalue the neighbouring property without a full Planning assessment etc. Again Health and Safety issues of adequate light and enjoyment of garden etc. Environmental issues are important now and green issues.