Authority faulted after overlooking precedent

An enforcement notice ordering removal of a rear dormer extension at a house in east London has been lifted after the council failed to follow government guidance and misinterpreted previous appeal rulings.

The appellant claimed that the dormer was permitted under class B, part 1, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 2008, which requires roof enlargements to be at least 20 centimetres behind the eaves of the original roof. The council disagreed, on the grounds that the dormer was less than 20 centimetres behind an imaginary line drawn upwards from the edge of the rear wall.

It relied on a previous decision from February 2010 (

) that adopted similar reasoning. But the inspector noted that this earlier decision pre-dated the Department for Communities and Local Government's August 2010 technical guidance on householder permitted development rights. This explains that the 20 centimetre distance has to be measured along the original roof slope. On that basis, he found that the setback distance complied with the order.

The inspector determined that the appellant was entitled to costs because another appeal decision (

) gave a similar interpretation in March 2011, more than two months before the present notice was issued. It was incumbent upon the council to explain why it had not followed the same reasoning, he found.

Inspector: Tim Belcher; Written representations


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