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We all love a view, and we know councils won’t usually approve works that block off a neighbour’s view.

However, does this apply to side views as well?

In the recent case of Furlong v Northern Beaches Council in the Land and Environment Court, it was decided that the Council is allowed to refuse a development application if it causes “severe view loss impacts”, even when the view was from a side boundary.

In this instance, the proposed renovations to Furlong’s Dee Why home would have blocked off “panoramic” and “iconic” views of the ocean and nearby beaches, making the neighbour suffer a “devastating view loss”. That is, the value of the view was high enough to offset the fact that it was only from the side.

Furthermore, it was found that there were reasonable design alternatives available which reduced the view loss and better complied with the local development control plan.

This has important implications for homeowners looking to renovate.