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Appeal Decision 213 - Certificate of Lawful Development.

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


February 2011 - Code a00213 


Summary of Case (appeal dismissed): 


The property is a large detached house, situated to the east of the road, and situated within a conservation area. The west elevation of the house fronts the road, whilst the north elevation of the house contains the main entrance. The application included a proposed outbuilding, which would have been situated to the north-east of the house. 


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: 


“There is no specific definition of principal elevation within the GPDO. 


The appellants rely on guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government, published in August 2010, which, it is suggested, defines the principal elevation as “a wall which: (i) fronts a highway and (ii) forms either the principal elevation or a side elevation.” The appellants further rely on the Council’s description of the Appeal B proposals, which would be on a similar footprint, as being at the side and rear of the property. 


The above quote from the 2010 guidance relates to the interpretation of the Class A of the GPDO (extensions to dwellings). The guidance goes on to state that “in most cases the principal elevation will be that part of the house which fronts (directly or at an angle) the main highway serving the house (the main highway will be the one that sets the postcode for the house concerned). It will usually contain the main architectural features such as main bay windows or a porch serving the main entrance to the house. Usually, but not exclusively, the principal elevation will be what is understood to be the front of the house.” 


The inclusion of the word “and” in the quote relied upon by the appellants indicates that a side elevation can face a highway and that the principal elevation may not necessarily do so. It is not totally clear whether it is the appellants’ contention that the eastern or the southern elevation which forms the principal elevation of the house. 


The elevation facing towards [the road] contains no entrance door or other main architectural features. The southern elevation looks out over a patio area and the extensive gardens. 


However, notwithstanding the Council’s reference to the Appeal B proposals being to the side and rear of the dwelling, the northern elevation includes a porch serving the doorway to the hallway and staircase of the house. The driveway from [the road] arrives at the north of the house. As a matter of fact and degree, in this specific case, it is therefore this northern elevation which would be reasonably understood to be the front of the house and for the purposes of Class E of the GPDO it is the principal elevation. 


The development for which an LDC is sought extends more than 12m beyond the northern elevation of the existing dwelling. As it would extend substantially forward of a wall forming the principal elevation it is not permitted development by virtue of Class E of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 as amended.” 


Main Conclusions: 


·       This appeal decision provides an example of the types of factors that should be taken into consideration when determining which elevation is “the principal elevation”.
[Relevant to: “Principal Elevation”, A.1(d), B.1(b), E.1(b), F.1, G.1(b)].

·       The principal elevation is not necessarily the elevation that fronts a highway.
[Relevant to: “Principal Elevation”, A.1(d), B.1(b), E.1(b), F.1, G.1(b)].


·       The phrase “situated on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation of the original dwellinghouse” applies not just to the area directly in front of the wall, but also to the area in front of the imaginary line of the wall when extended to either side.
[Relevant to: E.1(b)].


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


·       Appeal Decision Notice: 

·       OS Map: 

·       Proposed Floor Plans: 

·       Proposed Elevations: 




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