Neighbourly Considerations and Social Sustainability

SJA’s mission is to raise the bar on what is possible for your home renovation. A key part of delivering this mission is redefining the consideration given over to neighbourly matters and social sustainability. The nature of modern living is that your neighbours are in close proximity, either to the side, front, back, above and below. 

Here are three social sustainability aspects to consider within your project.


Noise from an occupied dwelling can travel to the properties within the same building envelope, such as a block of flats, very easily. The worst case will be when the separating walls do not have acoustic insulation. Noise can also travel beyond a building envelope where houses are constructed in close quarters such as terraces of houses. If you are about to embark on a refurbishment of your home, consider the opportunity to inspect and improve sound insulation of separating partitions (walls, floors and ceilings) to improve the impact of noise between you and your neighbours or even internally between your rooms.

If the works you are undertaking have received planning permission, the permission will state times during which the building works may be undertaken.  It may be that you are allowed to start works at 8 am, but it could be through discussion with your neighbour, that starting from 8.15 am would better suit them.  This simple consideration would be appreciated and might have limited impact on your project.     


As part of the design process for any extension, consideration should be made regarding the amount of daylight your neighbours receive. This will be reviewed and considered by the Local Authority as part of any Planning application. This area is prone to subjectivity in conclusions (no development will in many cases be the backstop to ensuring rights of neighbours are continuing – but this approach does not provide a solution in a project situation!). Responsible and sustainable design will consider light aspects through design development in order to provide objective thought to protect the rights of all involved.

Party Wall

Speak to your Neighbours. This can be rare in London! It is worth a conversation before any planning submission is made and before any building works start.  Nobody wants to live next door to a building site. Click here to read more on our party wall blog and our recommended altruistic approach. Such an approach and investment can preserve and even improve your long term neighbourly relations.

We are passionate about a practical and sustainable approach to home renovation and building works. Our vision is to make institutional-quality professional advice accessible to all homeowners, no matter the size of project you are planning, your budget or your location. 

We would be delighted to discuss with you improving your home environment.

Get in touch on  Or call us on 0207 228 8522

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