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Garden Decking Height

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Megar22, 4 Nov 2017.

  1. Megar22

    Megar22

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    Hi All

    I hope someone here can guide me on the below.

    I have had built decking in my back garden. My garden itself is sloping. As a result of the slope the deck from the back of my house is below 30cm, in height, from the ground whilst the front of the deck is approx 50cm, in height, above the ground.

    My neighbours have now decided to make a complaint to the council. The council has come around and had a look and measured up as i have illustrated above. The council says that my decking is in breach of planning control. As a result it either needs to be taken down or i need to apply for retrospective planning permission.

    His own advice to me was that there was most likely no chance of me getting approved retrospective planning permission and that i should apply for a lawful development certificate. If the certificate is not given or it is referred back to him he will advise that i take it down.

    Does my build fall within a permitted development?
    Is there any breach at all?
    What is the law / regulations on decking height?

    I would like to keep my deck as is and would appreciate any guidance as such.

    Many thanks

    MeGar22
     
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  3. flameport

    flameport

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    No.

    Yes

    Maximum height of 30cm above ground, and not covering more than 50% of the garden - garden also includes any sheds, outbuildings, extensions and whatever else you have.

    Either apply and get permission for it, or remove it.
     
  4. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    I don't quite follow the OP's post. Is it any part of the deck less than 30cm above the natural ground level?
     
  5. Megar22

    Megar22

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    Thanks so far.

    Through my research i found the below information.

    "Where ground level is not uniform (e.g. If the ground is sloping) then the ground level is the highest part of the surface of the ground next to the building."

    If this were the case then i would not be in breach.
     
  6. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Correct but as mentioned your post/situation is not clear.
     
  7. Megar22

    Megar22

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    As i step out of my back door the deck starts and is less than 30cm above the natural ground level.

    The other end of the deck is more than 30cm above the natural ground level (approx 50cm)

    This is due to the sloping ground beneath.

    I hope this clarifies.
     
  8. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Then that is PD, tell the planners it complies and they have no case.
     
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  9. Megar22

    Megar22

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    Thanks i also believe this.

    Where can i find a legal perspective on this to provide as supplementary evidence?

    Do i need to get a certificate of lawful development as advised? If so, i would need to provide evidence as to why my decking is PD.
     
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  11. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    No. Just inform the council of their error, and leave it at that.
     
  12. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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  13. Megar22

    Megar22

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    Thanks very helpful.

    Abother thing that the council person mentioned to me, although this was not in his email, is that where the deck is 50cm above ground level there could be a privacy issue i.e. Being able to look over into the neighbours garden. Does this have any bearing in relation to it being PD?

    Does the fence requirement remain 2m from ground level? or given the new platform can my fence now be higher i.e. measuring from the deck upwards?
     
  14. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The fence does not come in to it. There is no right to privacy with regards to back garden fences and planning regulations. That planner should not be commenting on things outside of his remit and expertise.

    With any planning regulation and height, height is always measured from the highest point of the ground immediately adjacent to the development (ie the deck). 300 mm for a deck is established as permitted development, and it does not matter what height the other end is above ground.

    Invite that planner to state precisely why he does not think this so in your case, and advise him that you would not like to go to the expense of instructing professionals to prepare and submit an application purely on his advice - and then have to complain to the Ombudsman for your costs back if this was not necessary.

    foto_no_exif (6).jpg
     
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  15. Megar22

    Megar22

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    Thanks Woody

    I just got off the phone with the council person.

    He says he deals with this everyday and that in his view it needs to be stepped down. I told him about the legislation and the guidance especially in reference to the measuring of the height from the highest point.

    He said he doesn't dispute that but he is still of the opinion it needs to be taken down because it is a "technical issue" which also "effects privacy".

    His advice is to get a lawful development certificate to have it certified. If provided he will leave it at that if not he will follow up with enforcement notice.

    Does council have final say? Is the decision theirs and theirs only?

    Surely they must use the legislation and guidance provided by govt.

    Should i just fork out for a lawful development cert? Or is it not even neccessary?
     
  16. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    He's talking crap.

    It's good that he does not despute the actual planning regulations, because then he would be plain wrong not just an incompetent buffoon.

    What he's doing is trying to satisfy the complainant. There is no such thing as a privacy issue in planning in this context, and the talk of a step is laughable because it's still a single development in planning terms. This means that if (and yours does not) a part of the deck exceeds the permitted height, then it would still be a single development, and a step would make no difference if part of it was too high.

    There is no way they can enforce on something that is permitted development.
     
  17. Megar22

    Megar22

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    In his email to me he writes the below.

    "to remediate the breach and to avoid enforcement actions please you must therefore either submit planning application for the retention of the development or build to the approved planning permission granted"

    However his advice is to get a lawful development certificate as it is a "technical issue".

    Basically sounds like he's does not know the legislation and wants the legal guys to make the decision.
     
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