Appeal Decision 178 - Certificate of Lawful
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December 2010 -
Summary of Case (appeal
The property is a two-storey
mid-terrace house, and the application was a proposed rear dormer and a proposed single storey rear extension.
The proposed rear dormer
would be set back by more than 20cm from the outer edge of the section of the roof overhanging the rear wall of
the house, but less than 20cm from the point where the vertical plane of this wall meets the slope of the
The key issue was whether the
proposed rear dormer would be contrary to Class B, part B.2(b), which states that “Development is permitted by
Class B subject to the following conditions … (b) other than in the case of a hip-to-gable enlargement, the edge
of the enlargement closest to the eaves of the original roof shall, so far as practicable, be not less than 20
centimetres from the eaves of the original roof”.
The Inspector stated the
“Paragraph B.2(b) states
that development is permitted by Class B provided that “other than in the case of a hip-to-gable enlargement,
the edge of the enlargement closest to the eaves of the original roof shall, so far as practicable, be not less
than 20 cm from the eaves of the original roof.” It is clear from the drawings that the rear elevation of the
roof shows the proposed dormer extension sitting on the original roof with the drawings No. 10, 12 and 132
showing a set back of 30cm from the edge of the original roof to the rear upright wall of the proposed dormer.
The Council argues that the eaves should be taken as measured excluding the overhang of the roof beyond the
original rear wall. They find support for this view from previous Inspectors’ decisions [February 2010 - Code a00092 and February 2010 - Code a00093].
guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has recently been published on the
Planning Portal, which I consider resolves the disputed issue reasonably straightforwardly. I note that the
Council’s statement refers to this guidance. On page 35 under the heading of B.2 (b), the advice is given that
“the measurement of 20cm should be made along the original roof slope from the outermost edge of the eaves (the
edge of the tiles or slates) to the edge of the enlargement.” This written guidance is supplemented by a diagram
showing how the measurement should be made.
It is clear to me that the
proposed development conforms with this advice and the measurement from the eaves to the edge of the proposed
enlargement is, at 30cm, comfortably over the minimum of 20cm. Although the term “eaves” is not defined in the
GPDO the DCLG advice takes it to mean the edge of the tiles or slates and not that part of the roof where the
vertical wall meets the slope of the roof. I see no good reason why I should not follow this definition. While I
appreciate it differs from the Inspectors’ decisions which the Council have used to support their view that the
proposal is not lawful, those decisions were issued in February 2010, six months before the DCLG advice was
published. As stated on page 5, the DCLG guidance is intended to “give an explanation of the rules on permitted
development for householders, what these mean and how they should be applied to particular sets of
circumstances”. In this case I am satisfied that the guidance enables the appeal issue to be
Therefore, for the reasons
given above, my overall conclusion is that the proposed, single storey rear extension and rear dormer roof
extension to facilitate a loft conversion, as described, would have been lawful at the date of the application.
I am therefore satisfied that the Council’s refusal to issue an LDC in the terms described above was not
For the purposes of the 20cm set
back, the term “eaves” applies just to the outer edge of the section of the roof overhanging the wall. As
such, the 20cm set back should be measured from the outer edge of the sloping roof.
[Note: This would appear to contradict
at least one other appeal decision – for further information see the entry in the “Reference Section” on
[Relevant to: B.2(b)].
Links to the “Appeal Decision
Notice” and other associated documents (e.g. drawings, etc):
· Appeal Decision
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