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Covenant prevents extension to riverside house

A homeowner has been prevented from adding an extension to his property because it is subject to a restrictive covenant forbidding anything that might cause a nuisance.

The man had obtained planning permission for an extension to the house on an estate next to the River Thames. Some of his neighbours objected because they felt that, among other things, it would spoil their views of the river.

They pointed out that the property was subject to a covenant preventing anything that would create a nuisance or annoyance to other homeowners on the estate.

The homeowner submitted that the covenant was only intended to restrict activities at the house which might be construed as being a nuisance or annoyance. It was not designed to include the building of an extension.

However, the Court of Appeal has ruled against him. It held that the covenant was broad enough to mean that the building of an extension would be considered as an "annoyance" to neighbours.

Several properties are subject to covenants of some kind. It is important that homeowners know about them and understand the restrictions they impose before agreeing to buy a property.

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