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Appeal Decision 204 - Certificate of Lawful Development.

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


January 2011 - Code a00204


Summary of Case (appeal dismissed): 


The property is a two-storey detached house, situated to the north of the end point of a cul-de-sac. The front elevation of the property faces south-east, the rear elevation faces north-west, and the side elevations face south-west and south-east. As such, looking out from the front elevation, the direction of the highway is at an approx 45 degree angle. The application included a proposed front dormer. As the relationship between the property and the highway is relatively unusual, please refer to the submitted drawings. 


The key issue was whether the proposed front dormer would be contrary to Class B, part B.1(b), which states that “development is not permitted by Class B if … any part of the dwellinghouse would, as a result of the works, extend beyond the plane of any existing roof slope which forms the principal elevation of the dwellinghouse and fronts a highway”. 


The Inspector stated the following: 


“The appeal property is a detached house at the end of a short spur off the main part of Greenfinch Close. Although informally laid out, in a Y shape with rounded ends, there is no dispute that the spur forms part of the highway. Nor is there any dispute that it is the two-storey southeast facing elevation of the house that is the principal one. Having regard to the design and architectural features of the property, I agree. 


What is in dispute is whether this elevation can properly be said to front the highway. Although the Council consider that it can, it is agreed that what passes directly in front of the house is a private drive (serving this property only) and that the public highway ends at the property boundary. As a result, no part of the public highway is directly in front of the southeast elevation in the sense that lines drawn perpendicular from the corners of that elevation would not intersect with the highway. 


In addition, the flowing shape of the highway means that there is no straight edge at the end of it that could be extended to intersect with the line of the principal elevation. It might be argued that had the highway taken a more traditional form the angle of intersection would probably have been a little under 45°. So too, depending on the point chosen, could a tangent touching the end of the highway. However, it seems to me that in circumstances like this the advice on angles contained in the guidance issued by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) may not be capable of direct application. 


That said, for what it is worth, whilst the highway does not pass directly in front of the southeast elevation it comes within about 2m of doing so. As a result, views of the highway from in front of that elevation are not particularly oblique. Indeed by the time an observer standing with her/his back to the principal elevation close to the corner nearest the highway had turned through 45° she or he would be looking almost directly along this arm of the Y. 


In addition, there are other aspects of the DCLG guidance against which the proposal can undoubtedly be assessed. The property directly abuts the highway and a direct line can be drawn (or walked) between the principal elevation and the nearest part of the highway without crossing land in a different ownership. Moreover, the distance involved is not great – about 7m to the nearest part of the service strip and 9m to the vehicular highway. The elevation is also clearly visible from the end of the highway. Whilst ‘fronting’ is not the same as ‘visible from’, all this indicates that the southeast elevation of the appeal property shares many of the characteristics of a principal elevation fronting a highway as defined in the guidance. 


Furthermore, such a conclusion would be very much in accordance with the impression that I gained standing on the highway close to the site boundary. Taking all these matters into account I conclude that the principal, southeast facing elevation of [the application site] can, as a matter of fact and degree, properly be regarded as fronting the highway.” 


Main Conclusions: 


·       The term “highwaycan include a cul-de-sac.
[Relevant to: “Highway”, A.1(d), B.1(b), D.1(c), F.1(a), G.1(b), H.1(d)].


·       Where an elevation of a property is at an angle to a highway, it is still possible for that elevation to front the highway.
[Relevant to: “Fronts a highway”, A.1(d), B.1(b), G.1(b)].


·       For example, even where an elevation of a property is at an angle of approx 45 degrees to a highway, it is still possible for that elevation to front the highway.
[Relevant to: “Fronts a highway”, A.1(d), B.1(b), G.1(b)].


·       This appeal decision provides an example of where it was considered that a particular elevation does front a highway, even though the highway does not pass through the area directly in front of the elevation.
[Relevant to: “Fronts a highway”, A.1(d), B.1(b), G.1(b)].


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


·       Appeal Decision Notice: 

·       Drawings: 




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