ask us a question on permitted development           Permitted Development England
How to build a home extension  without Planning Permission using your PD rights - Oct. 1st 2008



Home Page About Us FAQ Advertise on this site Disclaimer Privacy Contact Us Site Map

Appeal Decision 170 - Certificate of Lawful Development.

This appeal decision summary and assessment has been produced by Planning Jungle Limited.  For more information, please go to



December 2010 - Code a00170  


Summary of Case (appeal dismissed): 


The property is a two-storey mid-terrace house.  The property has an original two-storey rear projection, to the rear of which appears to be a narrower original single storey rear projection.  The application was for an extension within the side infill area, which would have had length 3.9m matching the length of the original two-storey rear projection. 


The key issue was whether the proposals would be contrary to Class A, part A.1(e), which states that “development is not permitted by Class A if … the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse would … extend beyond the rear wall of the original dwellinghouse by more than … 3 metres”. 


The Inspector stated the following: 


“This limitation [A.1(e)] was introduced into the GPDO by means of amendments which came into force on 1 October 2008. These were drafted in such a way that some of their provisions have been prone to conflicting interpretations. Indeed, the Appellants have drawn my attention to two appeal decisions in which Inspectors applied paragraph A.1(e)(i) in different ways. The point of confusion centres on what is meant by the term ‘the rear wall of the original dwellinghouse’ in circumstances where, as in this case and those cited by the Appellants, the rear building line is staggered such that the rear elevation comprises two or more different vertical planes.  


In his decision on appeal ref no [July 2009 - Code a00011], the Inspector concluded that, by reason of the stagger, the original dwellinghouse in fact had three rear walls and that a projection beyond any of these of more than three metres would exceed the permitted development tolerance. However, in determining appeal ref no [December 2009 - Code a00055], another Inspector found in relation to a similar proposal that there could only be one rear wall and that this was, effectively, the rearmost part of the staggered rear elevation. The Appellants favour the latter interpretation. 


Clearly, I am in a position to agree with one or other of my colleagues, but not both. I will therefore start from first principles in applying the legislation. The wording of the GPDO infers, through use of the word ‘the’, that a dwellinghouse has only one rear wall for the purposes of the Order. However, where the rear building line is staggered, the rear elevation will clearly comprise more than one vertical plane. The terms ‘rearmost’ or ‘furthest back’ do not appear in the relevant part of the legislation. Consequently, there is no sound basis for deciding that one plane rather than another constitutes ‘the rear wall’. 


This being so, it follows that the whole of the rear elevation, in all its separate plains, must logically be regarded as ‘the rear wall’ if the GPDO is to be applied in a practical way, and that the limiting measurement must be taken from the part of the rear wall being extended from. In this case, the proposed extension would extend more than three metres from the most deeply recessed section of the rear wall and therefore, despite not projecting beyond the rearmost part of the dwellinghouse, would not have constituted permitted development on the relevant time. 


I note that my interpretation of paragraph A.1(e)(i) accords with that given on page 17 of the document Permitted development for householders – Technical guidance, issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in August 2010 and referred to by the Council. The Appellants contend that the Council has applied this advice retrospectively, as the relevant time precedes its publication. However, this is merely guidance, as opposed to a further amendment to legislation. Moreover, the DCLG had issued an earlier version of it, well before the LDC application was made, which put forward a similar view. In any event, I find this interpretation to be sensible and correct”. 


Main Conclusions: 


·       Where a property has a (part-width) original rear projection, then there will be more than one wall that constitutes “the rear wall of the original dwellinghouse” for the purposes of Class A, part A.1(e).  This means that where the original rear elevation of a property is stepped, the 3m/4m rear projection limit will be similarly stepped.
[Note: This would appear to contradict at least one other appeal decision – for further information see the entry in the “Reference Section” on “The rear wall of the original dwellinghouse”].
[Relevant to: “The rear wall of the original dwellinghouse”, A.1(e), A.1(f), A.2(c)]. 


Links to the “Appeal Decision Notice” and other associated documents (e.g. drawings, etc): 


·       Appeal Decision Notice: 

·       Drawings: 





Download documents and diagrams of useful

Permitted Development information

permitted development documents download



 Appeal Decisions