Dirty trick No. 2:- The Engineering Project Scam.
There is a section within the PD legislation that makes reference to works not being
considered as Permitted development if they result or require engineering works. Regretfully it would appear that
2M high retaining wall for a swimming pool chamber is not considered an engineering project but somebody levelling
their garden by 300mm for a detached Class E building for example is considered to be an engineering project
preventing the scheme being built under PD.
This aspect of any surface or wider ground works for landscaping or levelling or even using the spoil on site to
make up garden level by 300mm or more is instantly leapt on by the Planners or their lawyers to stop you building
under Permitted Development.
Suggestion:- Unless you are feeling brave, do not make reference to any minor ground levelling works on
your scheme drawings. No one really knows where to draw the line on ‘what is or is not’ an engineering project. The
Planers and their lawyers use the ‘fact and degree’ test that is very subjective. Obviously if you are recessing a
detached garage for example into a steeply rising bank by over 1M or more then it could very well be argued that it
is an engineering works. This tactic is not without risk. For those that do not want to take this risk of a scheme
becoming an engineering project requiring retrospective planning consent then do show all relevant ground levelling
or earth works.