The General Permitted Development Order Part - 1 Class F Q & A DCP Section 4.34

This section deals with the interpretation of the principal provisions of the Statutory Instrument entitled Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 - as amended. It also covers the equivalent legislation in Scotland and Wales, both under review at the time of writing. However, information and commentary on the GPDO will concentrate on the English Order, to which radical and controversial changes to Part 1 were made in 2008.

Q & A Part 1 Class F 4.34/107

Permitted development rights cover hardstandings for dwellinghouses but does this permission extend to associated excavation or build-up to create a level surface on sloping ground. What is your view?

Cases have shown that such works may also be considered permitted development provided that they are reasonably part and parcel of the construction of the hardstanding. However, there are appeal examples to demonstrate that there is a limit to the extent of development that may be tolerated, and if the amount of material to be removed or deposited is excessive this may take the hardstanding out of Class F.  Relevant cases are cited at (12.1122).

Could you please advise what the situation is regarding the construction/ erection of wooden decking in the rear garden of a dwellinghouse? In considering this issue should regard be had to Classes A, E or F, Part 1, Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995? AB.

Under the recent English General Permitted Development Order Amendment, decking raised more than 300 millimeters cannot be considered under classes A or E of part 1 of schedule 2.  Where decking is not raised up, it should be considered under class F and it seems reasonable also to accept decking raised up less than 300 millimeters under class F. JH.

Part 1, class F of the October 2008 amendments to the General Permitted Development Order 1995 allows hard surfacing within a domestic curtilage. Condition F.1 requires areas over 5sqm and "situated on land between a wall forming the principal elevation of the dwellinghouse and a highway" to be porous or to have runoff leading to a porous area. Does this suggest that a hard surface ahead of the building line set by the principal elevation but actually to the side of the dwelling could be a non-porous surface even though it would still result in runoff into the highway? RC.

As you say, a requirement that hardstanding only directly in front of a principal elevation has to be porous would be extremely illogical. On the other hand the wording you quote differs from that in, say, E.1(b) relating to outbuildings, "forward of a wall forming the principal elevation". Thus both interpretations are plausible and I am not aware of an appeal decision where this issue has been considered. I would be interested to hear other readers’ views on this, but I would tend towards interpreting the requirement to cover all land forward of the principal elevation as that is more logical. JH.

A retrospective application for a chimney on a flat-roofed extension to a house was submitted to in 2007.  It is 2.5 metres high and is 5 metres from the main dwelling.  The application has remained undetermined for 18 months.  Following the publication of the General Permitted Development Order amendments the council has now decided it comprises permitted development under the Class G provisions.  This is because the flue is less than 1 metre above the main dwellinghouse ridge. Has the correct advice been given? Should not class G.1(a) relate to the roof on which the chimney is to be sited, not that of the main dwelling.  This is more logical given that the chimney can only relate to the roof on which it is sited. Chimneys, etc could be allowed, erected away from the main body of a house on single storey extensions without planning control being required.  This might lead to the erection of extensive structures up to 10 metres in height! ZS.

The wording of G.1(a) of the amendment order states the development is not permitted if "the height of the chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe would exceed the highest part of the roof by 1 metre or more". This echoes the wording in A.1(b) and B.1(a). Class B allows double dormers where the rear part is above the ridge of the rear projection of the house, but below the main ridge, so by analogy a chimney on a rear extension but projecting up to a metre above the main roof should also be permitted development. Furthermore, to avoid a lee effect and therefore allow them to fulfill their purpose, chimneys need to project above the main roof of a house. As the chimney was built before 1 October and therefore would not have been permitted development under the old rules, technically it is a breach of planning control, but clearly the council has considered it not to be expedient to enforce against it following the rule changes. JH.

The 2008 General Permitted Development Order amendment states under the revised classes A and B that development would not be permitted if it consists of installation, alterations or replacements of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe.  Given most house extensions require alteration to or addition of a soil vent pipe, does this not mean that they all now require full planning permission? How does this tie in with the new class G?  Comments are welcome! CN

The Department of Communities and Local Government’s frequently asked questions on the Planning Portal advises that if a soil vent pipe, etc is considered to constitute development, it should be assessed against the Class G criteria. JH.

Terrestrial television aerials on dwellinghouses are generally considered de minimis in planning terms and microwave antennae are covered by class H, part 1, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995 as amended in 2008. Digital television aerials are similar to terrestrial television aerials. Are they still considered to be de minimis, especially when attached to a listed building? If radio spectrum digital television operates above 1,000 megaherz, would the aerials be considered microwave antennae for General Permitted Development Order purposes in accordance with paragraph 7 of Circular 10/2005? BT. 

I can advise that digital television operates at below 1000 megaherz so these aerials would not be considered as microwave antennae for General Permitted Development Order purposes. Digital transmissions can usually be received by using a standard terrestrial aerial, but if a digital television aerial is required it is similar to a terrestrial one but slightly longer. Assessing whether such an aerial requires planning permission or listed building consent is a judgement to be made on a matter of fact and degree basis. I personally would generally err towards saying they would not require planning permission unless they are really large and assess whether listed building consent is needed on the basis of whether harm would result to the listed building from their erection. John Harrison

My authority has received a complaint about a flue which comes from the roof of a conservatory that has been added to a house. The flue projects above the main ridge of the house’s roof. Do we consider it under class A or class G of part 1 schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995 (as amended)? If it is to be considered under class G, this states a flue is permitted unless "the height of the flue would exceed the highest part of the roof by 1 metre or more". Does this mean the roof the flue comes out of or the highest part of any roof? DC

The government’s "Permitted development for householders – Technical guidance" document states, "Class A prevents the installation, alteration of replacement of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe from being permitted development, Class G includes such development as permitted development subject to the rules set out under that Class", so you therefore need to assess the flue against class G. Planning appeal DCS number 100-070-940 confirms this is the correct approach to take. The Technical guidance also indicates that "highest part of the roof" is interpreted for purposes of class G in the same way as it is for class A, i.e. the highest part is the ridge line of the main roof or the height of the highest roof where roofs on a building are flat, so the flue should not project more than a metre above the highest part of the roof assessed in this way. John Harrison

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