Neighbour wins building tiff in courtComment on this story
Pretoria - Joburg authorities must reconsider the building plans of a Lonehill resident whose neighbour claims they deprive him of his place in the sun.
An unhappy Alexander Morrison of Unit 6, San Chiara Estate, turned to the Pretoria High Court in an attempt to stop the owner of Unit 5 – neighbour Gabriel Marx – from proceeding with the building of a second storey on his home.
Morrison said this would deprive his property of sunlight. He asked Judge John Murphy for an order setting aside the City of Johannesburg’s approval of Marx’s building plans. In October 2012, the court interdicted Marx from proceeding with his building operations pending Morrison’s review application.
The trouble started in 2010 when Marx decided to extend his home by 85m² by making it a double storey.
The estate where the two live has 17 units. Judge Murphy said from the site development plan it was evident that each property was positioned to give the adjacent property a corridor of open space to allow for light and some view.
Morrison argued that a double storey structure would prevent sunlight from reaching his outside entertainment areas and obscure his view. It would reduce the value of his home by about R500 000, he said.
The city’s response to Morrison’s gripes was that Marx’s property already cast a shadow over his entertainment area and this should be expected in a dense urban area.
Marx denied the added structure would have the impact claimed by Morrison, saying it would in fact give them both greater privacy.
The structure will come within 1.22m of Morrison’s building line, for which the city granted permission. Morrison has launched an appeal against the city’s decision, but as the building plans had also been approved, he turned to court. Judge Murphy ruled the city had to reconsider this, but only after the issue of relaxation of the building line had been determined.