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Appeal Decision 195 - Certificate of Lawful Development.

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January 2011 - Code a00195


Summary of Case (appeal dismissed): 


The property is a two-storey end-of-terrace house, on a corner between two roads. The terrace runs north-to-south, and the application site is at the southern end. The west elevation of the property fronts St Andrews Road, contains the main front door, and has a similar design to the front elevation of some of the other properties along this terrace. The south elevation of the property fronts Sunningdale Road, contains a prominent projecting two-storey bay window, and contains two chimneys. The application was for a proposed outbuilding which would have been located to the east of the main building in the rear garden. The south elevation of the proposed outbuilding would have been slightly closer to Sunningdale Road (i.e. slightly further south) than the south elevation of the main building. 


The key issue was whether the proposed outbuilding would be contrary to Class E, part E.1(b), which states that “Development is not permitted by Class E if … any part of the building, enclosure, pool or container would be situated on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation of the original dwellinghouse”. 


The Inspector stated the following: 


“While the frontage of the property facing St Andrews Road is a principal elevation, I find that the side elevation facing Sunningdale Avenue is also a principal elevation. It contains projecting bay windows at ground and first floor with tile hanging in between. The garage as proposed would extend forward of the wall forming this elevation as established by the position of the south-east corner of the property. As such the proposed outbuilding/garage is not permitted development. 


The appellant, though his professional agent, considers that the interpretation of the amended GPDO, came about after the LDC application was submitted (May 2010) and was influenced by the Technical guidance of the “Permitted development for householders” issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government in August 2010. However, this guidance does not alter the terms of the amended Order itself, although it is a material consideration. Nevertheless, the Council’s conclusion that the proposed garage was forward of the principal elevation was a reasonable judgement to make as a matter of fact and degree and could also have reasonably been taken before the subsequent guidance was issued. 


For the reasons given above I conclude that the Council’s refusal to grant a certificate of lawful use or development in respect of the erection of a rear garage was well-founded and that the appeal should fail. I will exercise accordingly the powers transferred to me in section 195(3) of the 1990 Act as amended.” 


[Note: In my opinion, this appeal decision is questionable. 6 previous appeal decisions have concluded that only one elevation can constitute “the principal elevation”, and the “DCLG - Permitted development for householders - Technical guidance” (August 2010) document states the following 


There will only be one principal elevation on a house. Where there are two elevations which may have the character of a principal elevation (for example, on a corner plot), a view will need to be taken as to which of these forms the principal elevation.” 


The Inspector has therefore made a conclusion that directly contradicts all of the above, without even acknowledging the specific advice in the Technical Guide]. 


Main Conclusions: 


·       More than one elevation can constitute “the principal elevation”.
[Note: This would appear to contradict at least one other appeal decision – for further information see the entry in the “Reference Section” on “Principal Elevation”].
[Relevant to: “Principal Elevation”, A.1(d), B.1(b), E.1(b), F.1, G.1(b)].

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


·       Appeal Decision Notice: 

·       OS Map: 

·       Drawings: 

·       Proposed Site Plan: 




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