BB Partnership have obtained planning approval to significantly extend a detached house in Chingford following a successful planning appeal against a previous refusal, this article looks at the planning and appeal processes relating to this project.
The detached Edwardian property house located in the Chingford Station Road Conservation Area.
The proposed scheme includes both rear and side extensions at ground and first floor level along with a remodelled roof that will provide accommodation at a new second floor level.
The residential floor area will be increased by 67%.
The scheme was designed to comply with all local planning guidance issued by the London Borough of Waltham Forest, however the local authority rejected the scheme. Following the rejection we reviewed the options with our client.
First and foremost it is important to recognise that the majority of planning appeals are dismissed, so any decision to appeal a scheme must be carefully considered, especially considering the time and expense that goes into an appeal.
It is also important to review the reasons for the original refusal, it may be possible to make a case regarding some of them, but unless all the reasons for rejection can be addressed then caution should be advised before proceeding.
The fundamental reason for the original refusal was the size of the proposed increase which at 79% is significant, however the house is located on a large plot and has good separation from the neighbouring properties and whilst the gaps between properties form an important part of the character of any area, and of a conservation area, the gap between this property and that of the neighbouring property was much wider than the typical gaps between properties within the conservation area.
In terms of definable measures, the original application included drawings that demonstrated compliance with the 45-degree rule. The 45-degree rule is that if a line is drawn from the centre of the nearest neighbouring window in both plan and elevation then the proposed extensions should not cross that line.
The view taken with our client was that the rejected scheme was in accordance with the relevant policies and that an appeal should be submitted, but as the family were keen to start work on turning the dilapidated house into a home it was also important to have some fall-back positions if the appeal was unsuccessful.
A Pre-Application process and subsequent Mini-Planning Performance Agreement had established that the local authority would support a smaller scheme and therefore a planning application was submitted for this smaller scheme as a fall-back position, which was subsequently approved.
Applications were also made to utilise the Permitted Development opportunities for the property, which demonstrated that a smaller but significant scale of development could be achieved using Permitted Development rights, although they would not result in such an aesthetically pleasing option as the scheme that was ultimately approved.
In granting the appeal the Planning Inspector deemed the following, shown in italics, with our commentary below:
This represents a key component of the design, by subtly setting back the extensions from the original dwelling and slightly reducing the height of the roof we were able to demonstrate that the proposed extensions were subservient to the host building,
The unique aspects of a scheme need to be addressed when considering an appeal, in this case the plot and separation with other buildings were larger than other properties in the area meaning that the site could support a scheme larger whilst still maintaining the characteristic development grain of the area.
The design of the proposed scheme replicated the detailing and style of the host building and whilst it is equally valid to apply a contemporary style to an extension, the key to producing a scheme that preserves and enhances a conservation area is that the detailing has to be carefully considered.
The inspector acknowledges the specific opportunities that the site offers and agrees that a larger than normal extension can be allowed.
It is important that planning applications address relevant policies to give them the best chance of being approved without the need for an appeal. It is also important to understand that a planning inspector assesses an appeal against the same policies that the local authority assess the application against
Essentially the final sentence describes the approach that should adopted when designing any scheme.
BB Partnership would love to hear from you if you have a project where our experience could help you to obtain the best outcomes.