Is my neighbour's intrusive flying flag in breach of planning permission?

My neighbour has chosen to fly an England flag on his property about nine feet from my bedroom window. Is this antisocial behaviour, or a breach of planning?

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© Merrily Harpur

Question: My neighbour has chosen to fly an England flag on his property about nine feet from my bedroom window. A polite request to move it further away has resulted in a much bigger flag being erected — the pole must be at least 20 feet high while the flag itself is about nine feet by six feet. Is this antisocial behaviour, or a breach of planning?

Answer: It is generally necessary to obtain planning consent from your local council for the erection of a flagpole. However, under town and country planning regulations, it is possible to fly certain flags without planning consent. These include any national flag, including the Cross of St George, plus the flags of the European Union, the United Nations, or of any saint, but there must be no added emblems on the flag or the flagpole. Further, the flag has to be mounted on a single vertical pole.

Planning consent is required if the premises where the flag is to be flown lie within a conservation area, a National Park, or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or if the flagpole is more than 15ft high, approximately. The size of the flag is not restricted but in your neighbour's case, planning consent may be required because of the height of the flagpole. Also, check title deeds to see if any covenants restrict the erection of the flagpole.

The flag may be deemed a nuisance if it affects your right to light, but it does not really amount to antisocial behaviour in respect of which legal action may be taken. However, do discuss the situation with your local planning enforcement officer.

 

 

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

 

 


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