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Appeal Decision 221 - Certificate of Lawful Development.

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March 2011 - Code a00221


Summary of Case (appeal dismissed): 


The property is a two-storey semi-detached house. The property has an original single storey side garage, which is slightly set-back from the main front building line of the property. The application was for a proposed single storey side extension (to replace the original side garage), and the front wall of the proposed extension would have been in line with the main front building line of the property (i.e. further forward than the front wall of the original side garage). 


The key issue was whether the proposed extension would be contrary to Class A, part A.1(d), which states that “Development is not permitted by Class A if … the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse would extend beyond a wall which— (i) fronts a highway, and (ii) forms either the principal elevation or a side elevation of the original 



The Inspector stated the following: 


“The appellant’s case is that the proposed development would be permitted under the terms of Class A in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO. In his opinion the new extension would be in line with the existing original house and the GDPO does not suggest that a garage should be included as part of the original house. The Council contends that the extension would not comply with the requirements of the GPDO because the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse would extend beyond a wall which both fronts a highway and forms the principal elevation of the original dwellinghouse. 


In applying the GPDO provisions to this case I have considered what is the ‘principal elevation’ of the appeal property and whether any wall from which the extension would project is part of that elevation. The term ‘principal elevation’ is not defined in the GPDO but is generally taken to be that elevation which fronts the highway and which usually contains the main entrance. In this case the highway is Church Way which lies to the east of the main door. There is no question from the drawings that this is, and will remain the principal elevation - with the porch and front door moving, if the proposal were to be realised, from the southern end of the house to a more northerly position close to the new side extension. 


The garage on the north side of the property is recessed from what is now the kitchen, which in turn is recessed from the present WC and porch, the outer walls of which are the most forward facing walls. Under the proposal both the garage elevation and the kitchen elevation would be brought forward towards the highway. An elevation of a building is not always a flat plane. It can include elements which are recessed or which project forward. In this case I find that the principal elevation consists of both the most forward wall of the building and the recessed walls, including the frontage of the garage. The extensions would therefore project forward of those parts of the principal elevation which are the recessed walls. This conclusion is supported by technical guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government2, published on the Planning Portal. The section on Class A.1(d), on pages 13-15, argues with the aid of diagrams that a principal elevation may comprise more than one wall facing the highway. 


In light of the above, I agree with the Council that the proposed extension would front the highway and would project forward of the principal elevation of the dwellinghouse. Having regard to the restrictions in Class A.1(d), the extension would therefore not amount to permitted development. It would require planning permission and an LDC cannot be issued.” 


Main Conclusions: 


·       Where the front elevation of a property is staggered, then more than one wall facing the same direction can form “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)].


·       The front wall of an original side storey side garage (attached to the house) can form part of “the 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: 

·       Existing Floor Plan: 

·       Existing Elevations: 

·       Proposed Floor Plan: 

·       Proposed Elevations: 

·       Photo: 




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