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How to build a home extension  without Planning Permission using your PD rights - Oct. 1st 2008

  

 

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SO WHAT ARE THE AREAS OF POOR PHRASING WITHIN THE NEW 2008 GPDO FOR PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS THAT WOULD CAUSE SUCH CONFUSION AND MISINTERPRETATION?

permitted development question The new PD legislation is riddled with ambiguities and lack of clarity of meaning or understanding.  So much so in fact that here we compile our own schedule of the areas that are causing so much confusion.

We have also cited our own interpretation of the legislation (or at least opportunity for the home owner) for these poorly phrased PD restrictions / allowances some of which are based on experienced results with Local Planning Authorities & others which are our own interpretation both of which could still be wrong for your own particular application, build or site.  Therefore treat all this with caution & always, always obtain your own Certificate of Lawful Development first.

If anyone has an alternative understanding based on actual experience then we would love to hear from you.  Remember, appeals & case law is still evolving so do not be cavalier and use our interpretations as wholly correct. 

 


1. MEASUREMENT OF EAVES HEIGHT:-

Where does the Council measure the eaves height from and to. ie - is it from natural adjoining ground level to underside of soffit (which I would take to be eaves) or is it to the top of the fascia board?

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- To underside of soffit board.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has since clarified this point and it is not as described above but to the top of the roof line at the plain of the external wall line.  However, most Councils have been interpreting to the underside of the soffit and it is likley to stay that way.




2. SIDE EXTENSIONS:-

The 50% restriction on the extension width to the original width of the dwelling house - is that just for one side extension or is that for both sides? eg - if an existing house is 10M wide would the PD criteria (as interpreted by the Council) mean a 5M wide extension on each side of the property or is that just for one side only?

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- 50% to each if you have the ground.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has since clarified this point and it is as described above.




3. DEPTH OF A TWO STOREY REAR EXTENSION:-

The PD criteria refers to rear extension depths of 3M for a two storey extension & 4M for a single storey extension. Does that mean a 2 storey extension can an have its ground floor element projecting 4M & its first floor element restricted to 3M as viewed by the Council or must the whole two storey extension simply project 3M from the rear of the original rear elevation wall.

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- The whole 2 storey extension  is restricted to 3M (not staggered) - The Planning Portal makes this aspect fairly clear in their 3D guides.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has since clarified this point and it is as described above.


4. PREVIOUS EXTENSIONS:-

Where an existing property has already been extended at the rear by 3m for a single storey extension can we simply add an extra 1m to the previous extension making a 4M max. projection from the original house rear wall or do we need to fully demolish the previous extension works first in the view of Council.

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- It should be acceptable to class the previous extension as part of the new extension and simply add on the remaining PROVIDING all the other PD dimensional criteria for the modified existing extension still complies with the new PD criteria (heights, closeness to boundary etc).

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has not clarified this point and it will be determined on a case by case basis by each Council.


5. EXTENSION HEIGHTS:-

The PD criteria makes reference to an eaves height not exceeding 3M but a maximum height of 4M. Would the Council assess a side boundary wall of the extension for example being 4M high acceptable as PD (parapet wall) so long as the eaves height of the flat roof is only 3M high?

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- Yes this should be acceptable as the maximum height is not stated as being the eaves height which is 2.5M max.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has since clarified this point and it is as described above.


6. DETACHED ANCILLARY GARDEN BUILDINGS WITHIN A CONSERVATION AREA.

This makes reference to the fact that the new detached building cannot be placed between the side wall & the side boundary of the dwelling house. Does the Council determine this ‘side area’ to extend down the garden running off an extended plain line of the side wall or does it stop at the plain line of the rear elevation wall line.

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- The physical side area where a detached building (in a conservation area) cannot be located is actually and physically between the side wall & the side boundary line.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has not clarified this point and it will be determined on a case by case basis by each Council.




7. DETACHED ANCILLARY GARDEN BUILDINGS WITHIN ARTICLE 1(5) LAND:-

This makes reference to the building being within 20M of the rear elevation wall of the original dwelling house or the area outside this 20M zone not exceeding 10 square meters for a detached garden building. Does the Council consider this literally (ie - you could have a huge building within the 20M zone & a maximum floor area outside this zone of 10 square metres for the same building) or is it that provided part of the building is within 20M it complies to PD & that the 10 square meter reference purely relates to another wholly detached buildings being able to be built outside this 20M zone PROVIDED it does not exceed 10 square metres.

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- The floor area of a detached building that is outside the 20M zone must not be more than 10 square metres.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has not clarified this point and it will be determined on a case by case basis by each Council.


8. EAVES HEIGHT OF DETACHED ANCILLARY GARDEN BUILDINGS:-

The PD criteria states a 2.5M max. eaves height & a maximum building height of 2.5M within 2m of a boundary. Therefore would the Council determine an ancillary building built closer to the boundary as being acceptable provided no part of it was higher than 2.5M.

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- Yes.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has clarified this point and it has made a statement that should any part of the detached Class E building be within 2M of a boundary then the WHOLE building must not exceed 2.5M.




9. DUAL PITCHED ROOF FOR DETACHED ANCILLARY GARDEN BUILDINGS:-

Would a fully hipped roof comply to the dual pitched roof description. (ie - dual meaning 2 where a fully hipped roof would have 4 sloping sides). Likewise, how does the Council assess a mono pitched roof. Would the ridge height be allowed at 4M or 3M?

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- A fully hipped roof with 4 roof slopes could be argued as a dual dual pitched roof and as such complies for the 4M max. ridge height.  The mono pitched roof is still in debate. I would say that the spirit of the dual pitched roof would still apply to a mono-pitched roof rather than a flat roof.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has clarified this point and all sloping roofs of two or more roof slopes can have the higher ridge line.  A mono-pitched roof must not exceed 3M at its highest point.




10. DETERMINING THE PRINCIPAL ELEVATION OF A DWELLING:-

95% of all houses I feel have a clear visual identity of what is a principal elevation which in most cases for traditional urban grain dwellings will be the elevation fronting the highway or main street scene. However, a small percentage of houses on large stand alone plots or corner dwellings for example may have a twisted orientation or a front door on the side that is perhaps not seen as the principal elevation. The front door location does not always determine what is the front or principal elevation. How does the Council assess ‘principal elevation’ and what is the criteria used by the Council in determining which elevation of a property is the principal one.

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- The principle elevation is based upon what the ordinary man on the Clapham omni-bus would deem to be the principal elevation. In other words if it looks like the main elevation to ordinary folk then that's it.  This approach may be argued against for historic buildings where new facades or openings have been applied over time from that of the original 'front'.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has clarified that a building can have only one principal elevation although this may have several faces due to bay winodows or projections for example.




11. SIDE EXTENSIONS WITH A BASEMENT:-

The PD criteria makes reference for side extensions only having one storey. If a single storey side extension incorporates a basement does the Council deem this to be two storey & as such not complying to the PD criteria?

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- Basements should not affect the storey aspect of PD although the Planners could deem this to be an engineering element requiring permission in its own right.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has made it clear that a basement can be counted as a 'storey' and thus affecting waht you can build under PD.


12. CHIMNEY STACK REMOVAL OR SVP ALTERATIONS:-

The PD criteria makes the removal or alteration of a chimney stack not forming part of PD. Does the Council relate this this to work associated with extensions or is it now any removal of a chimney stack or flue or svp now requires formal Planning consent? Does the installation of a new SVP alone to an existing dwelling now require formal Planning Consent? or does Part G of the PD criteria simply override these PD constraints of Part A.

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- ALterations to chimney stacks or svp's are not PD under class A.  However they are permitted (removal, alteration ort addition) under another section of the PD crieteria.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has clarified this point that all extension works must be assessed under all of the PD criteria and not just the main element you are constructing.


13. MATCHING MATERIALS:-

Part of the conditions for PD requires new works to be of a similar appearance to that ofthe existing. Note that they do not use the term 'match'. If a property can already render its brick walls without the need for formal Planning consent (ie - outside of controlled area) but the new extension will be rendered instead of a poor quality matching facing brick that will also be rendered with the extension does this fall foul of the PD criteria as viewed by the Council? Would a technical approach be required first? i.e - render the existing property first BEFORE adding the rendered extension?

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- Provided you are not within a conservation area & the existing walls of the property are changed to match that of the extension (so that the whole extended property matches materials), we feel that it would not be expedient for any Council to take enforcement action on this issue.  However, Many a Council have gone to the Courts seeking redress of similar 'so called' technicalities especially when the Planners / Council cages are being rattled by someone of authority or power (MP's, local members, Human Rights Lawyers etc.)

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has not clarified this point and it will be detrmined on a case by case basis by each Council.  The Technical Guide has clarified that a greater scope is avaiable for materials when they only have to be of a similar appearance.  e.g - you could use brick slips adhered to a timber frame or rendered wall rather than using 'real' bricks.




14. MATCHING ROOF PITCHES:-

The condition of PD again relates to roof pitches matching is so far as practicable. What in Council terms does 'practicable' mean? Within 5 degrees of the existing or within 10 degrees?

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- Yet to be defined.  You pays your monies and you takes your chances.  If you can prove by technical analysis that the roof pitch of the extension was the best you could practically achieve then you should be safe but have your technical explanation on the pitch difference ready and tested BEFORE you start by obtaining a Certificate of Lawful Development first.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has not clarified this point and it will be detrmined on a case by case basis by each Council.


15. STAGGERED REAR ELEVATIONS (AS EXISTING).

The PD makes reference to maximum extension depths of 3M and 4M. Where an existing and original rear elevation is not straight in profile can the extension follow the profile exactly of the original dwelling or is the maximum dimension for the extension measured from the minimum or maximum depth of the existing and original dwelling rear elevation?

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- The extension must follow the profile of the existing and original rear elevation wall thereby obtaining a staggered profile the extension as well.

NOTE - if you are in a Conservation Area then this will be even more restricted as part of the staggered section of the extension may between a side wall & the side boundary and be classed as a side extension which is not allowed in a Conservation Area.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has clarified this point and it is as described above.


16. DETACHED ANCILLARY GARDEN BUILDINGS - CLOSENESS TO EXISTING HOUSE

The old PD rules used to insist that the building was at least 5M away. Now it seems that it can be much closer to the house with no minimum distance limits & for article 1(5) land within 20M of the existing house. Therefore how would the Council view the minimum distance a detached building could be from the existing property? - Could it have a 10mm gap provided it is not touching?

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- Yes - providing it is not touching the existing dwelling (in any shape or form & that means weathering or flashings etc.) it is acceptable to be very close.

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has clarified this point and it is as described above.




17. HOW TO MEASURE HEIGHTS OF A BUILDING WHEN ON SLOPING GROUND.

The new PD is exactly the same as the old one.

OUR UNDERSTANDING:- Where the PD reference is to a height it will be measured from the natural adjoining ground level point and in the case of ground that is not uniform (sloping or uneven) then the height shall be taken form the highest adjoning ground level point which is in the building owners favour (refer to the articals of citaion  ot the front of the main GPDO document).

Sub note - The DCLG Technical Guide has clarified this point and it is as described above.  HOWEVER not when a detached building is within 2M of a boundary which states that the WHOLE building must not be higher than 2.5M which we take to mean irrespective of sloping ground level.


  

 

 

 

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