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Permitted Development in a Conservation Area

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by phykell, 14 May 2020.

  1. phykell

    phykell

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    Hi,

    Can anyone please advise me on the following or suggest who can? My architect is doing the best he can but now wondering if a legal representative is an option.

    I live in a (circa 1760) house in a conservation area and green belt, and I wish to extend it as follows:

    1. Side extension, two storeys.

    2. Demolish an existing conservatory (dwarf brick wall, wooden frame and glass built circa 1974), which is to the rear elevation, and replace with a single-storey garden room.

    The planning authority has indicated that they will allow up to 50% additional volume but they've insisted that a replacement to the existing conservatory is included within that even though it was built almost 50 years ago (but after the cut-off date of 1948).

    My take on all of this is that I should be allowed to build the extension to the side (up to 50% of the existing house volume) and the conservatory/garden room should not be a factor. I should then be able to demolish the conservatory and replace it according to my Permitted Development rights, i.e a single-story building extending up to 8m from the rear of the property (I only want around 3m). In fact, I should be able to extend along the full width of the property by up to 8m in I so wished.

    The planning authority are implying that the garden room, even under PD, should be included in the 50% calculation but I disagree. I've seen that the council had a development plan which includes a guideline that "extension or replacement of the dwelling... of over 50% will not be allowed" but this seems to apply to "preserving the openess of the Green Belt" and the conservatory is tucked away, out of view, between the house and a very large hedge bordering a road.

    According to the UK Planning Portal, Permitted Development rights are only redacted on what is known as Article 2 (3) land including Conservation Areas. However, I've checked and a so-called "Article 4 Directive" has NOT been placed on the conservation area so my Permitted Development rights should not have been curtailed in any way.

    My take on it all then is that if I built my extension, leaving the conservatory in place, and sold the house, would the buyer be restricted from any further development under PD because the maxuimum allowable additional volume "allocation" had already been used?

    Thanks for reading all of this and if anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it as I'm pulling my hair out now!

    Thanks :)
     
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  3. DevilDamo

    DevilDamo

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    PD is based on the 'original' house as it stood in 1948 or sooner if it was built after this date. PD is not based on the 'existing' house. In that respect, any previous extensions will eat into the 50% uplift as stated by your LPA.

    If you proceed with any PD extensions and apply formally for anything else that is not covered by PD, then the LPA will take the volume of the PD extensions in determining Planning for everything else. A way round this would be to extend formally up to 50% and then where possible, extend under PD as the 50% wouldn't then come into it. However, bear in mind the LPA could withdraw your Class A PD rights should you maximise the allowable percentage uplift.

    As the property is located within a Conservation Area, i.e. a designated area then you cannot add on a side extension under PD but would require the submission of a formal Planning application. Also and due to the classification of the area, the extended limits via Prior Approval do not apply to you so you are restricted to a 3m/4m deep single storey rear extension respectively. Even though it appears you're not planning to, a two storey rear extension would also require the submission of a formal Planning application as this is not covered via PD for properties within a conservation/designated area.
     
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  4. phykell

    phykell

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    Thanks for your quick reply - really appreciated :cool:

    That approach does sound interesting - we could have the side extension built under formal planning permission, which I understand we'll get, and then simply do the garden room extension at a later date under PD. The potential issues I see there:

    1. We'd need planning permission to demolish the conservatory but it's a dwarf wall, wood frame and glass so perhaps not.
    2. I've seen recommendations to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate for PD.
    3. The point about the council withdrawing Class A PD rights - is that a very real risk and/or something that happens often?

    Understood on the maximum depth of the rear single-storey extension - it's a detached house so the 4-metre limitation is fine.
     
  5. DevilDamo

    DevilDamo

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    You would not require PP for demolition. That would only normally apply to listed buildings. Unless of course the LPA have advised you otherwise?

    Correct. A Lawful Development Certificate or Certificate of Lawfulness application is what you'd submit to the LPA for them to confirm whether or not the proposals constitute PD.

    Not in your normal situation but extensions with the Green Belt, it is quite common especially if you are substantially eating into the percentage uplift allowance. In addition to Class A and depending on the location and size of plot, they may also look to withdraw Class E. It's quite rare for the LPA to withdraw various Classes unless they felt this could lead to a significant over development.
     
  6. DevilDamo

    DevilDamo

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    Something to think about that ‘may’ help is when the Green Belt boundary was defined. If it was defined post 1974 and therefore after the conservatory extension was built, then the extension will not be included as to eat into that percentage uplift.
     
  7. phykell

    phykell

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    I've just found the conservatory on the LPA's planning portal and it seems that while the planning permission was validated in 1974, a decision was then issued in 1979. However, I've also determined that the initial Local Plan for Green Belt status was established in 1983 so it looks like the conservatory was indeed built *before* the Green Belt status was established.

    Thank you for this - I'll pass the information on to my architect and see what he says - I'll let you know how I get on.

    Thanks again :)
     
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  9. phykell

    phykell

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    Sorry to have taken so long for an update but I've only just heard back from the local authority: they consider extensions as "attributing to the overall volume contribution of extensions if post-1948" and that "the designation date of the Green Belt or conservation area is not a consideration". Apparently, this is borne out by the policies in the adopted and up-to-date (2016) local plan which has gone through a public inquiry process. The plan comprises a number of documents and, try as I might, I can't find anything to confirm or deny this. Instead, I think it might be a case of the plan explicitly saying that any extension will be up to 50% of what the dwelling was pre-1948 and because there's no complementary position on the period between 1948 and the designation of the green belt and its 50% extension rule, the LA believes they can argue that the extensions/improvements within this "window" are as though they were built post-greenbelt designation.

    Unfortunately, I found this document from another LA which seems to confirm this, at least for them:

    https://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/media/1076507/SPG-7-Extensions-to-dwellings-in-the-Green-Belt-2.pdf

    "Extensions built before 1st July 1948 (the date of the first modern Planning Acts) should be considered to be part of the original dwelling, while extensions built after 1st July 1948 will be taken into account."
     
  10. DevilDamo

    DevilDamo

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    Sorry, what are you actually asking?

    Are you sure the 50% is not related to the additional floor area as opposed to the volume?
     
  11. phykell

    phykell

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    No, unfortunately it’s based on volume. A supplementary document relating to householder development states the following for planned extensions in the greenbelt:

    “The original house is the house as it existed on 1 July 1948 or as it was built if it has been constructed since then. ... Where a dwelling proposed to be extended such that cumulative additions would amount to an increase on the original volume of over 50% these will normally be classed as disproportionate and unlikely to be allowed.”

    So the designation of greenbelt status seems to apply retrospectively and there’s been no provision for grandfathering in extensions built after 1948 and before the greenbelt was established. Worst case scenario would be an extension built just after 1948 which, over seventy years later, would be included in any volume uplift calculation.
     
  12. DevilDamo

    DevilDamo

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    Can you not seek the Council’s Pre-application advice of which they will then clarify the situation? Some LPA’s however don’t really provide advice on PD proposals but only those relating to Full applications. So you could try seeking advice on the basis of a Full application and then see if the Council mention about a PD fallback position?
     
  13. phykell

    phykell

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    I did take pre-application advice and a plan, as part of a full application, was the submitted. However, it was withdrawn after a meeting with the planning people and a revised plan was then submitted - this happened at the beginning of the year. Having said that, there have been some developments over the last 24 hours so I'm hoping for a positive response in the next few days.
     
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