Development Control Casebook: Householder Development - Glass balustrade held to alter home shape

An inspector has upheld an enforcement notice aimed at a roof terrace on a house in north London due to loss of neighbours' privacy and harm to the appearance of the home and a conservation area.

The notice required the removal of a balustrade around the flat roof of a single-storey extension to the new house, which was in the Queen Anne revival style. The appellant argued that the balustrade had been permitted development when it was built in 2007. A previous inspector had concluded that because the balustrade was made of glass it could not be said to have altered the shape of the building.

The current inspector disagreed. In his view, the balustrade could be seen even though it was transparent and formed part of the shape of the building, leading to a material alteration. In any event, he found insufficient evidence to conclude that the building had become a dwelling by the time the balustrade was constructed. On that basis, he held that permitted development rights did not apply.

The appellant explained that the balustrade had been designed without supporting uprights or a handrail to give a simple, elegant and tidy appearance that did not compete with the visual balance of the rear elevation. But the inspector considered that the large expanse of glass was intrusive and out of character against the red brick of the house. He decided that the development had reduced the privacy of neighbours to an unacceptable degree.

DCS Number 100-069-461

Inspector Dennis Bradley; Hearing

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