Obscure Glass

January 21, 2022 by dred in forum Planning Forum

#1195 dred, 21 January 2022, 17:43


I recently bought a flat on an upper floor (London) and there is another flat in a different building facing it, built after mine. The windows face each other and are about 7.5m/24feet apart. Looking at the planning for the other flat there was a condition that the windows facing my flat must be obscured, which they are not. That flat was built in 1991 and I gather there is a 10-year time limit on enforcement so I doubt there is any action I can take for them to obscure their windows as they do overlook my flat (including my bedroom).

However, I want to adjust the layout of my flat and move the bathroom, with the current bathroom becoming a kitchen/lounge. My current bathroom window faces the other flat but does have obscure glass which, when it becomes a kitchen/lounge, I want to replace with clear glass.

Do I need planning permission for this and/or could the other flat complain about loss of privacy even though they should, according to the planning conditions, have obscured glass in their windows. It would seem perverse if their breach of planning conditions prevented me from making changes which would not, if they had followed the conditions, affected them. Would building regulations allow this as it seems it should be assumed that the other flat has obscure glass for the sake of privacy (even though it does not).

I very much welcome your input.

#1198 Damian, 22 January 2022, 09:39

Flats do not have PD rights so external changes would require Planning and they’d be determined to comply with Planning policy.

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