Combined PD and planning - materials confusion

3 Jun 2020
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United Kingdom

Hoping someone might be able to suggest a practical way forward for our confusing situation.

We've developed drawings for an awkward site that's on a hill with a tapering plot. We want to build a lean-to PD extension at the rear, and join this to an existing garage at the side by building a narrow triangular extension. The triangle and the garage would be given an update with coloured render.

The triangle part of the plans, together with the coloured render, have been approved under planning rights.

We then look to get our PD approved, and were advised by our architect to submit an amendment to the granted planning, which noted the coloured render on this PD rear extension.

The council have said that we can't do both, but the implication is that they would accept a multi-finish combined building - i.e., a PD in white at the rear, with side extension in coloured render.

That surely can't be the most sympathetic design!

We're in a tight spot. Our architect is washing his hands of this, effectively. We don't know how to resolve it, but it seems to me there might be a series of steps by which we can:

1 - apply for PD with white finish as per the 'host' building
2 - subsequently submit an amendment to the planning permission that 'loops in' the PD section to stipulate the coloured render

Would we need to build one part of this first??

1 - apply for PD with coloured render finish as per the granted side extension, expecting it to be declined
2 - submit an appeal to the PD decision, citing the prior approved planning application with coloured render.

Would either work? And are we at a disadvantage given that we've already spoken informally with planning officers?

(The council have suggested that we either,
- amend the triangle extension planning application to make it white
- redesign the rear extension under planning criteria (which I struggle to see would would work, given our higher level on the hill; tapering plot; additional cost :()

As the coloured render is already approved on our planning application, it just seems it would be minor to request this to be on the PD rear extension too (knowing that planning is more stringent than PD overall).

Perhaps we want to have our cake and eat it - but we were given advice to proceed in this way by our architect, and that has to count for something surely? What do you think?)

I would be extremely grateful for any and all advice you can offer. Thank you.
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After trying to read and get my head around that, I’m confused.

Are you saying the extension secured via formal Planning is shown with a coloured render finish but the extension secured via PD is shown with a white render finish, which matches the house but you’d obviously want them all to match?

Assuming the above is what you mean, the guidance under PD states...

“The materials used in any exterior work must be of a similar appearance to those on the exterior of the existing house.”

I don’t think I have seen anywhere as to what is defined as similar but to me... a render of similar ‘shades’ is what I’d define as similar. If the house was brick and you wanted a rendered extension, then that wouldn’t be classed as similar.

What is the overall/final finish you want?
Thanks so much, DOH!

Our overall desired finish is coloured render on both extensions (and existing garage), as a contrast to the main house.

We feel - and have been advised as such - that given the coloured render is already approved on the side extension, that there is a way to enable this for the rear extension too.

The guidance we had from our architect was to do this with a sort of smorgasbord of approved drawings. The size and height of the rear extension would be approved through the PD application, which shows the 'similar appearance'; then, with an amendment to our side extension planning showing a smaller/lower rear part, seek approval of the coloured render.

1, approved side extension with coloured render (it is approved)
2, seek approved PD with white appearance
3, seek amended side extension showing smaller rear extension with coloured render

Our architect told us that we should get these drawings approved, and we would be able to then build the combination we're after for the rear: the height of the PD allowance (which, as we're on a hill is higher than 3m to one side); and the coloured render as noted in the planning application.

It doesn't really fit the rules of common sense, but it did seem as though this was a suitable technique.

What do you think?
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Thank you, Tony. Here are two views; you can see the triangle part (which is, weirdly, approved as a stand-alone development!) and how that fits in to the plot. On the second image, you can see where the neighbouring plot is quite a bit lower- which would mean a rear extension under planning would be really quite tricky. The main house is white painted pebbledash.

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To be honest I've only seen colours specified in conservation areas.
Any other project states something along the lines of "finishing to be similar in appearance to existing dwelling".
To be clear: do you want the extension and triangle the same colour?
If so, I can't see a problem, unless you are in a conservation area.
Thanks, Johnny. Yes, we want the extension and triangle the same colour.

Thank you, Woody. I'm not referring to applying for a PD but for the certificate of lawful development for it (COL).

Our issues are as follows:
- We don't know if, by having a selection of approved drawings - that are none of them showing all of what we actually want - we are safe and secure to spend £££ on this work without fear of challenge later on.
- We are not clear whether this selection of drawings would be accepted by the planning authority.
- We are unsure how to find out what we need to know, because the architect has clammed up and the LA is only stating the regulations.

See what I mean?

For clarity, the 'selection of drawings' I mean is:
1, side triangle extension with coloured render
2, rear extension with white appearance - for COL for the PD
3, drawing of the amended side extension that also incorporates a smaller rear extension (shape we don't want) with coloured render.

(Applications: planning application with 1; COL with 2; an amendment to the first planning application with 3).

Make sense?
So I'm guessing the OP is going to build the rear extension first and then once it's completed build that funny little triangular thing. Otherwise the rear extension aint gonna be PD.
Personally I would reduce the size of the side extension and get rid of the long tapered useless space so it finishes in front of the existing rear wall of the house then both extensions will be PD.
As for the render, coloured render isn't all that dissimilar to painted pebbledash so unless they are going to have sky blue render with pink spots I can't see a problem.
I am still quite confused and I'm sure it's not meant to come across like that!?! :confused: You'd have to follow the stages as mentioned by @wessex101 in so much...

- Apply a coloured render to the existing house, even if it was to be a small part of the rear elevation.
- Submit a CoL application for the rear extension with a coloured render to match the existing house.
- Build out and substantially complete the PD rear extension.
- Submit a formal application for the side/infill extension with a coloured render that will match the newly built PD extension.
- Build out and complete the side/infill extension.

Is the above possible?
The PD requirements for matching the existing main house are not that materials are the same or even the same colour, but be "of a similar appearance", and further, they do not need to be of similar appearance to the elevation to which the extension is attached.
Thank you, there are some interesting comments coming through.

@DOHarchitecture thanks it's good to see a sequence. It's not totally possible, as we have already applied for and received planning permission on the side triangular extension.

I'm not sure I follow why you and @wessex101 suggest completing the PD first?

Could there not be a way to build in sequence the other way around...
- Build and render triangle and garage
- Apply for COL for the PD, and/or the amendment to the planning to account for coloured render on the PD
- Build the PD in coloured render

That might be in line with what @^woody^ is suggesting, that the PD materials could match a different elevation.

Our confusion stems from not knowing how to get to our desired outcome, with what we have at hand. Perhaps it's better for us to take the formal paperwork in turn. We've asked the council for all the puzzle pieces that fit the ultimate design, but I can see that maybe there's a phased approach that would work.

I'm not sure how we do that from here, given that we already have the side extension 'in the bag'. :confused:
Why do you say that, please? What part are you referring to?

Because if the little side extension is already there and the PD rear extension touches it then the Planners look at both extensions together. To be PD the rear extension must be completely independent, only on the rear elevation not touching anything else. (over simplified PD rules for clarity so the pedants out there can wind their necks in)
I only mentioned about rendering a small part to the rear because you can do that quite easily without having to spend too much time and money on it. Once the CoL application has been approved and subsequently built, this rendered panel (for example) would be removed as it’s served its purpose. There isn’t any point rendering a different part of the house as it’s not permanent and is only done to get the CoL application over the line.

Again, as @wessex101 has mentioned, you’ll have to build out the rear extension first before building the side/infill extension. Doing it the other way round invalidates your CoL application and means the ‘combined’ extensions are now not PD.

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