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Last edited 13 Jan 2021
A neighbour is an entity that is situated next to or near something else. The term can be applied to people, animals, inanimate objects and geographical areas.
So, if Mr Smith lives next door to Mrs Brown, Mr Smith is the neighbour of Mrs Brown and Mrs Brown is the neighbour of Mr Smith. They are both regarded as neighbours. Collectively, the area they live in may be called a neighbourhood. People living outside the neighbourhood are not considered neighbours of either Mr Smith or Mrs Brown.
In a similar vein, the neighbouring properties to a building site may include the buildings next door, those opposite, those in the next street and any nearby building that may be affected by the activities of the site.
There are no hard and fast rules as to how far the boundaries of a neighbourhood can extend: it can extend from the micro level of the street to the macro level of neighbouring administrative regions eg the UK and France are neighbours.
‘Keeping up with the neighbours’ is a common English saying , meaning trying conspicuously to maintain an equal level of material wealth as the neighbours, eg in terms of house appearance, car ownership, the schools attended by children of the respective households, holidays etc.
The Party Wall Act seeks to protect the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially adverse effects that construction works might have by imposing a requirement that all adjoining owners be given prior notice of them. For more information see: Party Wall Act.
Wider neighbours may also be affected by construction works and consideration should be given to how to reduce the impact of works, by sensible working hours, quiet and low vibration construction techniques, dust dampening, wheel cleaning and so on.
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