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Help on Decking on a slope

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by GillH, 29 Dec 2016.

  1. GillH

    GillH

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    Hi, just wondering of anyone could help me and give me some advice re decking on a slope. Please see attached image. Basically I live in a new build property (2007) its always had a section of decking attached to the rear of the property (see old boards on image). The height of the decking is 28cm at the highest point (the ground directly outside the patio door). I've extended the decking see new frame the new decking is just an extension of the old decking i.e. at the same level as the old decking I just haven't replaced the old boards because I think they will clean up ok. The height at the end of the decking is 72cm (I've added a balustrade & gate and the decking coverage isn't over 50%) but the height at the end of the old decking was always 72cm (I has 3 levels to my garden). My neighbour has complained, council came out and said the height is taken from the highest point of the slope which is 28cm, he said he would need to get it signed off by his line manager but that there shouldn't be an issue. 2 days later got an email completely contradicting what he had originally said.
    This is now the councils stance;
    I am very sorry, but having discussed it with my line manager, I am afraid you will need planning permission.
    I am afraid the new extended section of the decking constitutes a new development, and therefore the height is measured from the point at which the additional section of decking begins, rather than the point against the house. While I did not measure the height from that point, I believe from its position it would be substantially over the maximum permitted 30cm. I will come out and try and measure it if you wish, but given the height at the end, I am sure it will be substantially over 30cm.

    I got this email 23rd December, the council has been closed since so haven't been able to discuss it, can't stop thinking about it over the Christmas break and I'm really worried, just wondered if anyone could give any help or advice. What I can't grasp is what I think they are saying is that if I had also replaced the old boards then they would have used the 28cm measurement and all would be ok, or am I missing something?
    Thanks in advance.
     

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  3. LukeB123

    LukeB123

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    Wouldn't get too worried decking isn't going to be on the top of the councils list to chase up on.

    As its a 2007 build you should be able to view the plans electronically on the councils website from when your house was built, it's worth double checking to establish whether or not the decking is original to the house (although it's likely the council officer has checked this) If the decking isn't original than your fine and it's just one big 'extension' and the height is measured from by the house and your fine.

    If it is original I guess they are saying that the new development is extending from the original and it's higher than 300mm at that point. It's a little bit tenuous but never mind. Furthermore if you removed the old boards and replaced them with new boards (perhaps in a slightly different place so it is clearly new development) You should be able to argue that the height of the new development would be 280mm (measured from the house) - seems it's just caught on a technicality.

    Lastly, these gardens look relatively small. You'll need to check that your permitted development rights haven't been removed. If they have then all this is a moot point and you are going to need permission regardless.
     
  4. Ian H

    Ian H

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    The neighbour to the left looks to have done exactly the same with their decking.

    Which one complained? Seems pathetic.
     
  5. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Not really, it looks like the guy on the right will be easily overlooked, why doesn't the OP step it down? Inconsiderate people!
     
  6. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The whole deck is new development so the point to be measured from is the point near the house. There is no definition in planning law when the deck was completed and new bits added. Rather, the deck (ie the development) has been under construction since it was started.

    Tell the council this and decline their offer to apply for permission on the basis that the whole deck is PD.
     
  7. tony1851

    tony1851

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    @op; Just to reinforce what "W" wrote. If, for example, you build an extension on a pre-existing extension, then for Planning purposes, the whole extension (ie original extension + new extension) is regarded as one unit.
    The same will apply to the decking, regardless of whether or not you replace any of the boards on the old bit. Your LPA is incorrect in its' assessment, and the relevant height is 280mm.
     
  8. napoleondynamite

    napoleondynamite

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    In regard to buildings, the requirement to measure height from the highest ground level comes from the GPDO itself:

    Unless the context otherwise requires, any reference in this Order to the height of a building or of
    plant or machinery is to be construed as a reference to its height when measured from ground
    level; and for the purposes of this paragraph “ground level” means the level of the surface of the
    ground immediately adjacent to the building or plant or machinery in question or, where the level
    of the surface of the ground on which it is situated or is to be situated is not uniform, the level of
    the highest part of the surface of the ground adjacent to it.


    Under householder permitted development rights, raised platforms cannot be constructed, and the GPDO provides a definition of raised:

    “raised” in relation to a platform means a platform with a height greater than 0.3 metres

    I am not sure whether decking can be termed a 'building', and in respect of decks / terraces I would think that the intention was to keep such features below 300mm at all points, to reduce the likelihood of harmful overlooking being caused.

    In my experience many councils take the view that for a deck to represent permitted development the deck cannot be higher than 300mm at any point. E.g. if a deck was 290mm high at one end, and 5 metres high at the other, this would not be PD.

    Some councils may apply the 'highest part of the surface of the ground adjacent to it' element of the GPDO to decking- it looks like yours may do.

    Good point from LukeB123 to check whether you actually have PD rights but hopefully(!) the council have done that already.

    If you do have PD rights and you want to err on the safe side maybe keep all of the decking below 300mm and then it will definitely be PD...
     
  9. GillH

    GillH

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    Thanks guys, like one of the above posts say my neighbour on the left have done exactly the same (in fact we are a row of 5 houses and 4 out of 5 have done the same. Sorry if I offended the person who commented about me overlooking my neighbour, but we are also massively overlooked from the left, infact because of the slope I can stand anywhere in my garden and look up and see in to both my neighbours kitchens, always have been able to do though (so no difference there). We live on a new build we are all over looked (both front and back!)
     
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  11. tony1851

    tony1851

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    He offends everybody............:LOL:
     
  12. GillH

    GillH

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    Ha ha :)
     
  13. GillH

    GillH

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    The ones to the right, before we were aware that the council had been contacted naively I bought them a fence to remedy the privacy issue (at their request), which I've learned since was pointless. Yes the ones to the left have done the exact same with no PP they are also over 50% coverage
     
  14. GillH

    GillH

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    Thanks for your help, I've got a bit of homework to do before the council re-open after Christmas, I'm going to dig out our selling pack!
     
  15. Ian H

    Ian H

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    If they have privacy issues they really need to move house.
     
  16. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Leave it where it is, I can't see it having any relevance.
     
  17. Llamedosnacuoy

    Llamedosnacuoy

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    How did this turn out after?
     
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