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Side infill planning - help needed!

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Sn00py, 20 Oct 2016.

  1. Sn00py

    Sn00py

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    All,

    I'm new on here but going through a bit of a planning nightmare at the moment and would really appreciate any guidance or help the community can offer!

    I'll try to keep this brief but want to give the relevant details so please bear with me:

    I recently bought a 3 bed mid-terraced property and received advice (clearly not very good advice) that I would have no trouble widening the kitchen at the rear either through planning or PD. I have uploaded a file showing the existing and proposed plans to illustrate what I would like to build.

    This is not a large extension - it measures 4.6m long x 1.4m wide and is single storey - however it is long enough to require a neighbour consultation scheme if using PD. The other complication is that it would be built up to the boundary with my neighbour whose house is a mirror image of my existing plans (including window placements). This means that I would be filling in my gap at the side but my neighbour would be retaining his which is where I have had difficulty.

    I took advice and had the extension designed with a pitched roof and an eaves height of just 2.3m by the time it reached the boundary to minimise any impact on my neighbour. I say just 2.3m because there is a pre-existing boundary wall measuring 1.9m so the change in view, outlook etc. is quite small. I discussed this with my neighbour, got his consent, and submitted my PD application assuming all would be fine.

    My neighbour however, has dementia. He forgot our conversation, got surprised by a council notification, and objected. The planning officer, after first telling me she couldn't assess the objections and had no power to approve the PD once an objection had been lodged, then decided to reject on 3 grounds:
    1. "Excessive" depth (the actual word that was used)
    2. Light: citing 45 degree rule drawn from window from existing dining room - see attached plans
    3. Outlook: apparently raising the height of the wall by 40cm would have an unacceptable impact on my neighbouring property's amenity (still not clear what this means)
    I won't even bother with #1 but #2 & #3 are what concerns me.

    Starting with #2 - surely there can be no impact on light from this extension when there is already a 2 storey house already blocking light from this direction and which crosses the 45 degree rule? Not to mention the pitched roof design and low eaves height.

    #3 - I guess there might be some effect on outlook but noone has ever clearly explained to me what change in outlook means so I'm having trouble assessing this. Whatever it is, surely 40cm is quite small and wouldn't have any material impact?

    I understand appeal is one option but this takes at least 3 months and I don't really have that time. Any advice greatly appreciated!

    If you've read this far, thank you for taking the time and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
     

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  3. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    I can't see why you (or the council) would think that this is PD (Prior Approval or no Prior Approval). The existing extension appears to be a later (i.e. post 1948) addition to a typical Edwardian terrace house. Please clarify if I've misunderstood.
     
  4. Sn00py

    Sn00py

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    Hi Najako

    If you mean the rear projection on the existing plans then no, this is pre-1948 addition to a victorian terrace (built 1891). And just to clarify, the added rear extension on the proposed plans has already been approved. Only talking about the side infill here.

    Thanks
     
  5. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    Thanks for clarifying. So what we're really talking about here is the final 600mm of extension that can't be built under 'normal' PD, right?
     
  6. Sn00py

    Sn00py

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    An extra 1600mm but yes, that's correct (depth is 4600mm vs. 3000mm for normal PD rights).
     
  7. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    Oh actually the depth is more like 5.1m, so it's the final 2.1m! It's a real shame that you can't come to an agreement with your neighbour. If I was your neighbour, I would ask that you build the extension on the party wall, such that I could use the other half of the wall for my own extension! That way you both end up with larger extensions! Failing that, can you look at splaying the final ca. 2.1m at 45 degrees, so it doesn't impact on your neighbour's light. I did that on one project, to the satisfaction of the LPA and (grumblingly) the neighbour - although the project was never in fact built.
     
  8. Sn00py

    Sn00py

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    5.1m? Bit confused by that one - it's a 4.6m extension so it's the final 1.6m! Non-detached houses only get 3m on regular PD.

    In any case I agree with you - it's a shame that the neighbour is old and not well and it's just not possible to have a reasonable conversation like that with him. I do feel bad for anyone with dementia but it makes for a very frustrating planning process even though we've tried to take him into account every step of the way.

    Can you explain the splaying idea a little more - I'm not sure I can picture what you're suggesting. Not sure how much it would help though as the council told me that, even though I'm allowed to build 3m, they view this application as a full 4.6m and aren't taking the 3m allowance into account. Apparently because it's not built yet they don't need to account for it!
     
  9. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    Your drawing TD214/PL/211 (marked up copy attached) shows a single storey side extension with a pitched roof measuring 4.85m plus ca. 300mm (for the wall thickness) which equals 5.15m. This is what I understand we're talking about.

    Under 'normal' PD, you could build this out to 3m without any problem. So the LPA can only reasonably object to the final 2.15m, and they can only object on the grounds that it impinges on your neighbour's amenity. If you splay the final portion away from your neighbour at 45 degrees, then there's no reasonable grounds to object under the Prior Notification process.
     

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  11. Sn00py

    Sn00py

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    Ah right with you. Yes forgot that drawing says 4.85m - think a later one was corrected to 4.6m. But anyway, the point is the same - I fully agree with what you're saying but the council are objecting to all of it - not just the final couple of metres.

    You and I might think that's unreasonable given I am allowed to build to 3m but that's the position they're taking (much to my frustration).
     
  12. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    Well, here's one idea. You're entitled to build an extension 3m deep x 3m high (2.5m high at eaves), so why not propose to the council that you're going to build that if the 4.6m scheme (x 1.85m eaves height) is unacceptable. Clearly this would have a more detrimental affect on your neighbour (certainly then the 'splayed' alternative I suggest), so a reasonable case officer (I know, I know) might come to see your POV.
     
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  13. Sn00py

    Sn00py

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    Haha a reasonable case officer :ROFLMAO:

    Seriously though, I have tried that one and they weren't having it. Maybe I've pi**ed them off somehow though can't think how. The splayed idea is not bad though - if my latest application fails I will try that although I'm not so keen to lose that corner. Better than nothing though!

    Thanks for the help
     
  14. chappers

    chappers

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    would an eaves height of 1.9m with a vaulted ceiling work for you
     
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  15. Sn00py

    Sn00py

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    Hi chappers, it's possible and that is our fall back position with the council (though not as yet had permission even for this).

    Problem is that 1.9m eaves height leaves you with ~1.7m internal ceiling height at the lowest point. It's not a disaster but it makes it very difficult to accommodate things like a cooker hood and, at the rear facing side, a window out to the garden - would have to get a small triangular window maybe. As I said, not a disaster but the whole thing just works better with the extra height.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  16. chappers

    chappers

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    Fully se all your points, it's just that they really won't be able to object if you keep the height the same as the existing
     
  17. Sn00py

    Sn00py

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    You're right but I've been persevering with the original plans and hoping that somehow logic would prevail and, amazingly, it might have done.

    Spoke with planning officer this morning and we discussed the fall back position of 3m under PD and she conceded that building that would impact neighbours anyway (although it wouldn't very much) and that the extra depth didn't have any real affect so she's going to approve it!

    Not celebrating until I'm holding the decision letter but looks like this one might work out. Thanks for the help Nakajo and Chappers
     
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