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Appeal Decision 173 - Certificate of Lawful Development.

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December 2010 - Code a00173


Summary of Case (appeal dismissed): 


The property is a two-storey semi-detached house, and the application was for a proposed porch outside the main front door. The walls of the proposed porch would have width 2.64m and length 1.1m (measured externally), giving an area of 2.9m2, and the pitched roof of the proposed porch would have a maximum height of 2.9m. 


However, the roof of the proposed porch would significantly project sideways beyond the line of the side walls, resulting in a structure similar to a projecting canopy that would join onto the roofs of the nearby bay windows. 


The key issue was whether the area under this projecting proposed structure would be contrary to Class D, part D.1(a), which states that “Development is not permitted by Class D if … the ground area (measured externally) of the structure would exceed 3 square metres”. 


The Inspector stated the following: 


“The proposed development is described as a front porch on the application drawings which show a structure in front of the existing entrance door comprising dwarf walls above which there would be part glazing to fascia height. There would be a door on the front elevation in line with the present entrance door. Above fascia height a hipped tiled roof would rise to a height of about 2.9m where its front slope meets the main front wall of the house. The base of the hips forming the flanks of this roof would project either side of the enclosed structure and would meet the existing monopitch roof above the angle of each bay. The width of the enclosure is shown to be 2.64m and its depth as 1.10m. 


There is no dispute that no part of the structure would be within 2 metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse with [the road], and no part would be more than 3 metres above ground level. However, the Council say that the ground area of the structure (measured externally) would exceed 3 square metres, because this measurement should include the volume of all the space beneath the proposed roof, including that beneath the flanking hips. Hence in their view the proposed porch would not comply with Class D.1(a) of the GPDO and hence is not permitted development. 


The word “porch” is not defined in the GPDO so that I consider its interpretation for that purpose should be to take it in its ordinary everyday meaning. The Concise Oxford Dictionary says a porch is a covered approach to the entrance to a building, while the Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary defines porch as a building forming an enclosure or protection for a doorway. These seem useful working definitions which would enable a reasonable person to recognise what is or is not a porch. Thus not only would a fully enclosed building or structure fall within these definitions, but so too, for example, would a canopy over an external door, whether self-supporting, supported on brackets attached to the wall, or supported by posts or pillars from the ground. 


Applying these definitions to the present case I consider that, as a matter of fact and degree, the flank wings or hips of the structure do form part of the porch. In the first place, these wings or hips form an integral part of the entire proposal for which a certificate is sought and should thus be considered on that basis. Secondly, in terms of design and construction, as well as protecting the enclosed part of this structure, these features are, albeit indirectly, part of the covering and protection for the existing doorway. 


The appellant says the spaces beneath these wings could not be part of the porch as they would not form part of the approach to the door because the side walls of the enclosure would be in the way. But that argument does not assist his case because the wings would thus comprise development not within Class D. Hence the proposed development would be a composite structure and, being part porch and part other development, it would not fall into any class of permitted development in Part 1 of the Second Schedule to the GPDO so that 

permission would be required for its erection. 


In any event, for the reasons already set out, I consider that it is the whole structure subject of the application which has to be considered and I am satisfied the whole is, as a matter of fact and degree, a porch falling within 

Class D. In turn I consider that for the purposes of Class D.1(a) the ground area measurement should be of the land covered by the whole structure. This Class does not require the ground area to be measured only to the extent that a porch or part of a porch is enclosed. Hence in my view the whole area of ground covered by the porch, whether enclosed or not, is to be measured for the purposes of Class D.1(a)”. 


The Inspector then dismissed the appeal on the basis that the area of the porch, including the area under the projecting roof, would exceed 3m2. 


Main Conclusions: 


·       The term “porch” not only covers an enclosed structure, but also covers a projecting canopy over an external door.
[Relevant to: Class D].


·       The above conclusion is regardless of whether the projecting canopy is self-supporting, supported on brackets attached to the wall, or supported by posts or pillars from the ground.
[Relevant to: Class D].


·       For the purposes of Class D, part D.1(d), the area underneath a projecting canopy should be included in the calculation of “the ground area … of the structure”.
[Relevant to: D.1(d)].


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


·       Appeal Decision Notice: 

·       OS Map: 

·       Drawings: 





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