ask us a question on permitted development           Permitted Development England
How to build a home extension  without Planning Permission using your PD rights - Oct. 1st 2008



Home Page About Us FAQ Advertise on this site Disclaimer Privacy Contact Us Site Map

Appeal Decision 73 - Certificate of Lawful Development.

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

January 2010 - Code a00073


Summary of Case (appeal allowed): 


The property is a detached bungalow, and the application was for a proposed single storey rear extension. The proposed extension would have had a flat roof with parapet walls at height 3.3m-3.9m (variation due to the sloping ground level), and these parapet walls would have been higher than the eaves of the bungalow. 


The key issue was whether the proposed extension would be contrary to Class A, part A.1(c), which states that “Development is not permitted by Class A if … the height of the eaves of the part of the dwellinghouse enlarged, improved or altered would exceed the height of the eaves of the existing dwellinghouse” 


The Inspector stated the following: 


“To assist in resolving this matter, the definition of “eaves” has to be examined in some detail. The GPDO itself is silent as far as a definition of eaves is concerned. For a general dictionary definition the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary says:- “The projecting edge of a roof, etc., which overhangs the side.” At a more technical level, the Oxford Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (James Stevens Curl OUP 1999) says:-Eave (pl. eaves). Sheltered area under eaves. Eaves Lowest part of a pitched roof projecting beyond the naked* of the wall below. *Naked. Unadorned plain surface of anything, but especially the main plane of a building’s façade.” 


Taking all of this into account, I note that “eaves”, in the definitions quoted in the previous paragraph, denote some measure of roof or other overhang beyond a wall. The single-storey extension shown on the submitted drawings has no eaves, as defined by an overhanging projection to a roof. In the absence of any eaves, as ordinarily or technically understood, on this particular addition, I am forced to the conclusion that limitation A.1(c) does not apply, the extension as proposed fully conforms to limitation A.1(e) and the proposed rear extension constitutes permitted development”. 


This appeal decision implies not just that the top of a parapet wall does not constitute “eaves”, but also that the edge of a flat roof itself (i.e. without a parapet wall) does not constitute “eaves”. 


[Note: The above conclusion for Class A, part A.1(c), in conjunction with the wording of Class A, parts A.1(e), A.1(g), and A.1(h), implies that, for a single storey extension the following maximum heights apply: 


- Pitched roof: Eaves restricted to height 3m (A.1(g)) and ridge-line restricted to height 4m (A.1(e) and A.1(h)). 

- Flat roof: Level restricted to height 4m (A.1(e) and A.1(h)), whilst A.1(g) does not apply. 


In my opinion, the irony resulting from the above conclusion is that such an extension could have a flat roof at height 4m, but could not have a pitched roof at height 3.1m-4.0m, even though the latter has significantly less impact, both visually and upon neighbour amenity. Indeed, were enforcement action to be taken against an extension with height 3.1m-4.0m, this conclusion would imply that a fall-back position would be to increase the height of the extension, by raising its eaves by 0.9m to convert the pitched roof into a flat roof. 


In my opinion, the above conclusion (i.e. that neither the top or a parapet wall nor the edge of a flat roof constitutes an “eaves”) could potentially cause significant problems if also applied to the term “eaves” in Class A, part A.1(g). This is because Class A, part A.1(g) is typically the only limitation that would prevent a two-storey rear extension close to (i.e. within 2m), or indeed next to, a boundary with a neighbouring property. For example, on a mid-terrace property, typically the only reason a full-width two-storey rear extension would not be permitted development is because Class A, part A.1(g) would not allow the "eaves” to be higher than 3m. 


However, if it is accepted – in my opinion, wrongly – that the edge of a flat roof does not constitute “eaves”, then on a two-storey mid-terrace property with a flat roof, a full-width two-storey rear extension would be permitted development, even though this would result in a two-storey wall next to the boundary with a neighbouring property, which would have an extremely significant impact upon the amenity of the latter. Indeed, as an even more extreme example, on a four-storey mid-terrace property with a flat roof, a full-width four-storey rear extension would be permitted development, even thought this would result in a four-storey wall next to the boundary with a neighbouring property … ! 


In my opinion, it is possible to avoid the above problems if it is accepted that the edge of a flat roof does constitute “eaves”. In my opinion, this can be done by reference to the definition of “eaves” within the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, which is as follows: 


Eaves: (plural noun) the part of a roof that meets or overhangs the walls of a building” 


As such, in my opinion, it could be argued that the edge of a flat roof (or indeed the top of a parapet wall), is “the part of a roof that meets the walls [of the extension]”, and therefore constitutes “eaves”. This would mean that a flat roof (or indeed a parapet wall) would be subject to the height restrictions within Class A, part A.1(c), Class A, part A.1(g) and Class E, part E.1(e)]. 


Main Conclusions: 


·       The term “eaves” does not apply to the edge of a flat roof (note: in this particular case, the flat roof would not have an overhang that would project beyond the line of the walls).
[Note: This would appear to contradict at least one other appeal decision – for further information see the entry in the “Reference Section” on “Eaves”].
[Relevant to: “Eaves”, A.1(c), A.1(g), E.1(e)].


·       The term “eaves” does not apply to the top of a parapet wall.
[Relevant to: “Eaves”, A.1(c), A.1(g), E.1(e)].


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


·       Appeal Decision Notice: 

·       Existing Plan: 

·       Existing Front and Side Elevations: 

·       Existing Rear Elevation: 

·       Proposed Plan: 

·       Proposed Elevations: 






Download documents and diagrams of useful

Permitted Development information

permitted development documents download

 Appeal Decisions