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I don't know the facts of that case but you say "the inspector to the view".

Does that mean the guidance is what the planners make it out to be? i.e. They are able to take a view on the guidance and make their mind up?

Seems like they are doing just that. She did say "they measure from the LOWEST point" despite the guidance saying HIGHEST.
Hi all

Update on the situation.

I have been served an enforcement notice by the council and have until 14 June to appeal to the secretary of state otherwise 14 July to remove the decking.

Facts of the case:
Decking is 290mm above the ground (measured from adjacent to house). It then measures 500mm above the ground at the other end as the ground is sloping.

I am fighting on the basis that page 6 of the guidance says “Where ground level is not uniform (for example if the ground is sloping), then the ground level is the highest part of the surface of the ground next to the building.

Does my case have merit / a chance? Or am i wasting my time?

From the details in this thread, the council appear to be wrong.

If you can't respond to this yourself, instruct a local planning advisor. Does your home insurance have legal cover or an advice line?
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No such cover in my home insurance.

I sought some legal advice through my work place. The person said some councils have a bi-law which allows them to apply their own methods. She advised that i confirm with them if they do and if so provide the documentation. I have made this request.

If they don’t have such then they should follow both the rule and guidance provided by the govt.

As such my appeal would have merit but i should get a solicitors help as i am arguing a very technical point.

Not sure how much that or a professional consultant would cost!
As long as your ground level at the high point (nearest the house) is following the lie of the land (ie it is a natural elevation change rather than a pile of rubble dumped by the builders) then your decking should be PD and you should be able to resist the enforcement action by appealing as directed with a couple of photographs and reference to the guidance notes.

Caveat- 10mm in the scheme of things is a very tight margin, especially with soil- a good downpour could remove that margin really fast.

How much did your decking cost?- that has to have a bearing on how much you are prepared to spend to defend it, not sure about recovery of costs on planning appeals. Up to you how you proceed but I suspect you only get one bite at the cherry so it may be wise to chuck £500 or so at a professional familiar with this type of case- they should be able to demolish the councils' 'look and feel' arguments by reference to legislation and case law where you and I would struggle to find any such information. The gentle slope of your garden should work in your favour- a drop of 200mm isn't exactly massive and shouldn't give rise to any extreme overlooking problems.

Plan B of course (not sure how this would affect your access to the deck) would be to dig out a bit of the garden at the house end and drop the deck height by 200mm.....
My home is semi-detached where there is just concrete in the alley. So very easy to gauge the measurements from the eaves of the house.

To add to this the enforcement officer has already taken measurements which verifies the height as below 0.3 metres. He also has pictures and i have also provided them architectural drawings when applying for a Lawful Development Certificate.

In my opinion i see no reason why i should ammend or remove the decking as it is within PD.

However by the looks of things it seems i need a professional to fight my case for me especially as this is last chance saloon. Just a shame that i have to take such steps and bare the cost given that it is clearly written in legislation guidance.
Did you appeal the planning refusal?

Appealing the enforcement notice is not too dissimilar to basically putting your LDC information into the enforcement notice and letting the inspector assess it - in effect he will be assessing whether or not the development requires planning permission (depending on what ground(s) you appeal on)

You may well want to get professional advice to give you the best chance (Info from the Enforcement investigation, Other appeals, a proper breakdown of the legislation, etc etc)

Best of luck
On refusal of the LDC they said i had 6 months to appeal to sec of state. However before the end of this 6 month period i received the letter saying enforcement will take effect from 14 june. Which is 2 days shy of that 6 month appeal period.

I have reached out to a planning professional, they want to see the enforcement letter and will let me know what their thoughts are. Will keep you all posted.
Have you specifically confirmed with the council that there isn't an article 4 direction removing any of your permitted development rights? If they removed pd for decking then you'd expect them to mention, but if they had they could enforce whatever they liked as long as it meets overall planning policy.
Hi Guys

It’s been a long time.

Just so you all know i appealed to the planning inspectorate and I WON. Got the decision today.

I was right all along. The council should measure from the highest point adjacent to the dwelling as the ground is sloping. As at that point the measurement does not exceed 0.30m the decking cannot be classed as a raised platform and therefore is a permitted development.

Thanks for your support!!!

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