Misinterpretation of Permitted Development rules by Council?

30 Apr 2012
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United Kingdom

I've just had an application for permitted development refused. I live in a semi-detached house with a 1mx1m boiler room/ex-outside toilet at the back of the house. I wanted to do a rear extension across the full width of the house, but it has been declined on the basis that "the proposed extension would extend beyond a wall forming a side elevation of the original dwelling house [the 1m wall of the outside toilet] and would have greater diwdth of the original dwellinghouse, in conflict with paragraph (j)(iii).

If that is a legitimate decision, that means that I can't use permitted development to do a rear extension at all. Surely that can't be right?

Any advice appreciated.

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To be permitted development your proposal needs to adhere to the rules with respect to a side extension and a rear extension. Not just the rear extension rules.
There are a number of appeal decisions which would support your case, but a larger number which would support the council's view, so anybody's guess?
Pity it was shown on the drawing in the first place.
So, even though my proposed extension does not extend beyond what I would describe as the "main" side elevation of the house - it counts as a side extension?

I've attached the plans incase my description isn't clear.


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We understand what you mean but the rules are pretty clear. Did you do the drawings/application yourself? If not you're owed a refund, this is pretty basic stuff.
We had them done my an architect.

Tony: are you able to point to any appeal decisions that were successful? Would be interesting to see the arguments that were made.

I also found this document from Havering Council:

It mentions:

"Any rear extension that would extend “beyond a wall forming a side elevation of the original dwellinghouse” should not have a width greater than half the width of the original dwellinghouse. In certain cases, houses will have original projecting parts (not a flat uniform rear building line), the sides of which would be a side elevation – meaning that the rear elevation cannot be more than half the width of the dwelling. This interpretation is confirmed in the Department of Communities and Local Government Technical Guidance (DCLG Technical Guidance) and by relevant appeals issued by the Planning Inspectorate in relation to refusals of Certificate of Lawfulness. Note: It may be possible to demolish the projecting parts such that there are no side elevations to the rear of the house, such that there is a flat, uniform building line."

Is there any potential for demolishing that element and resubmitting?
Not now no. Your architect is an idiot and I would expect a refund. And he needs a lesson in CAD. You'll either have to appeal or submit a planning application.
Annoying. This is really frustrating, but very grateful for your advice.

SO I suppose my question is what the grounds of an appeal would be. I don't know to what standard the small toilet/biolder room is built - does that make a difference? I presume it was part of the original dwelling, but I don't know how that could be proved (or disproved). Is there anything else which could form the basis for an appeal?

We have quite an unusual family set-up as were somewhat relying on being able to do this extension for space reasons and had put in the groundwork to ensure our neighbors were happy with how we were to go about it. I suppose otherwise we will be limited to a 3m extension or will have to think what layout will provide the most space.

As far a formal planning application, I doubt that 6m would be accepted. I think there local plan had rear extensions limited to much shorter than that.
The only option now is to appeal so you might as well get on with it. For such a simple thing you could do it yourself. Keep it straightforward and business like and don't whine on about so and so down the road has got this and that. Point the inspector to previous appeal decisions that show the positive result - there are plenty. The majority of appeals I have done the LPA didn't add anything to their original refusal so previous positive decisions might tip the balance. The best source of info on PD and PD appeals is the Planning Jungle. You'd need to subscribe but would be worth it in your case.
having looked at your plans, you aren't extending sideways but looking to extend to the rear. the part of the GPDO they refer to (j(iii)) specifically refers to side extensions so your proposals wouldn't contradict these. have a look at the following and it may be worth a call with the officer who dealt with your application.

look at page 17 of the document

Planners decision seems rather harsh and your case officer was being rather pedantic but I suppose technically correct. I don't see what choice you have other than to appeal but for the sake of the application fee simultaneously put in a full planning application to hedge your bets.

I was doing a bit of planning history research for a project the other day and found 2 recent cases nearby where the planners had deemed a side return and rear extension as permitted development. Bonkers, if they don't understand their own rules what hope have we got.

Forgot to add, I've had similar projects go through under permitted development it is just pot luck who checks it.
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