Appeal Decision 221 - Certificate of Lawful
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March 2011 - Code a00221
Summary of Case (appeal
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
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
“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
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
Where the front elevation of a
property is staggered, then more than one wall facing the same direction can form “the principal
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
“Principal Elevation”, A.1(d), B.1(b), E.1(b), F.1, G.1(b)].
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