Challenging council letter

Update: my LA publish Article 4 planning constraints via a postcode look up on their website and there appear to none listed for mine or neighbouring properties suggesting this is not the reason for the letter/suggested breach. Back to challenging the interpretation of height it is!
 
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Hmm sorry still getting to grips with all of this - the post code search online brings up my exact property and then there is a drop down relating to planning with nothing references there around any conditions. I will dig out my title deeds and have a scan though thanks.
 
On the original permission to build the house, check for conditions. If none, if any subsequent extensions etc, check those.
 
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Found this on the original planning permission for the development - no mention of Article 4, but can someone please translate into plain English for me - does this mean absolutely nothing can be done without planning? I think decking falls into Classes A and E from what my limited powers of research can determine?
 

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This IS an Article 4 direction, which you will often find on modern, high-density developments so that LPAs can control further development.
As you say, decking comes under class A, so regardless of the extent or height of the decking, it needs planning permission.

Correction: NOT an A4 direction - just a condition on the original planning permission for the estate, but has a similar effect.
 
Oh yes that's not good, sounds like you are on the wrong side of that restriction. The question is does the planner know about that? They seem to be focusing on the height rather than the restriction. Same goes for the neighbour, maybe they don't know. You can try to ignore that fact and fight it based on it being pd and hope they don't notice.
 
Apply for permission. I can't see how a 170mm high deck could be refused.

You could potentially get the firm that fitted the deck to pay for a suitable designer to draw up the plans (they need to be good and clear by someone who knows what to detail and what not to, not any old joey), based on their wrong initial advice. Remember the the application will be free.

Tell the neighbours that next time that come to sell you will be raising a dispute (about whatever comes into your head first) and notifying their estate agent. Or better still don't tell them and wait until you see that "Sold STC" sticker.
 
Oh yes that's not good, sounds like you are on the wrong side of that restriction. The question is does the planner know about that? They seem to be focusing on the height rather than the restriction. Same goes for the neighbour, maybe they don't know. You can try to ignore that fact and fight it based on it being pd and hope they don't notice.
That’s exactly what I plan to do - plead ignorance and fight the case under PD - but forewarned is forearmed so at least not it won’t be an unpleasant surprise if it does come up. Plan of action is to take our time and appeal if necessary
 
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Apply for permission. I can't see how a 170mm high deck could be refused.

You could potentially get the firm that fitted the deck to pay for a suitable designer to draw up the plans (they need to be good and clear by someone who knows what to detail and what not to, not any old joey), based on their wrong initial advice. Remember the the application will be free.

Tell the neighbours that next time that come to sell you will be raising a dispute (about whatever comes into your head first) and notifying their estate agent. Or better still don't tell them and wait until you see that "Sold STC" sticker.
Yes to all of this Woody. This neighbour managed to drive out the people we bought from within one year - no disputes recorded but apparently police involved (which we did not know at time of purchase) so you can bet your bottom dollar this disputed is getting registered. Otherwise we actually love where we live and mostly the rest of our neighbours are brilliant (AND we have a life that doesn’t revolve totally around home) - so really want to try and minimise but challenge this quietly and calmly. All the advice much appreciated thanks
 
Haven't permitted development rights been removed so PD rules are not relevant :?::!: You will need to make an application for permission but there will be no application fee.
 
possibly but not clear this is understood by council
 
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You might be correct in that the planning officer is unaware of the condition. However, if you make a planning application, the officer dealing with it will have to trawl through the records and it will come to light.
Class A of the Permitted Development rules is a very broad area, intended to include mostly extensions to dwellings, and the restriction on your property is there to ensure that the development does not become too high-density, with little amenity space. But Class A also includes decking and it's difficult to see how it would be contentious unless it's grossly overheight and infringes neighbour's privacy. Even if your neighbour objects after you making a planning application, the final say is still down to the officer dealing with it, and in practice, if an officer recommends an application for approval, it generally gets approved regardless of how many neighbours object.
 
If you own the fence and want to increase the height to provide privacy because of your decking height , what height would the fence become ?
If you apply for permission for the decking and include a higher fence to provide privacy what grounds would the neighbours have for objecting unless the fence was exceptionally high :?::!:
p.s If you apply for permission it would be a pretty useless planning department that wasn't aware of permitted development rights being removed on the original permission for the development :!:
 
UPDATE: following a very polite email to the council officer who visited asking him to clarify the exact breach and stating that our landscaping/decking contractors had designed and implemented within GPD regs and were happy to evidence this, I was delighted to receive this email today... (identifying info removed)

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Thank you for your email.

Apologies, the letter you received was sent out in error, please disregard this letter.

After visiting the site and confirming what the original site levels are to the rear of the property, I can confirm that The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order states that decking should not exceed 30cm in height from the original ground level.

Should the original ground level be sloped then this measurement is taken from the tallest point of the ground adjacent to the development. It was measured on site and later confirmed that the tallest ground level adjacent to the development is located by the rear patio doors closest to the dwelling.

The tallest part of the decking when measured from this original ground level is under 30cm in height and therefore planning permission is not required for the development as the works can be constructed under permitted development under The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order.

No further action is required and we will now be closing our case regarding this matter.

Again, please accept my apologies for the letter template that was sent out in error and any inconvenience or confusion that was caused.

Kind Regards


Development Management Officer (Compliance)
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Needless to say this is being filed and saved in case of any future issue, but for now all good. Our deck lives to see another day and our problem neighbour I’m sure will move onto the next thing (it’s been a long catalogue of hassle) - probably a fake noise complaint we reckon.

Thanks again for all the advice
 

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