BMX 'half pipe' in back garden requires permission

In agreeing with a local authority who took enforcement action against various developments in a southwest London conservation area that the construction of a timber structure in the rear garden required permission and was visually obtrusive, an inspector decided that various satellite and aerials on the property were acceptable.

The wooden structure known as a ‘half pipe’ was approximately eight metres long with a six metre bowl and was approximately two metres high with platforms at each side. The inspector determined by virtue of its size, permanence and degree of attachment to the ground that it comprised a building which did not fall within any permitted category of the GPDO 2008.

In his opinion while it was not out of place in a public park, its siting within the rear garden was wholly out of place. It also afforded users the opportunity to look over into neighbouring properties when standing on the two platforms. The reverberations caused by its hollow design and the impact of those using skate boards and bicycles was also likely to be different from the expected sounds of youngsters at play in a suburban back garden.

In relation to the satellite dishes and antennas, some of these had been removed or altered since the notice was issued. High aerials and satellite dishes were a feature of the conservation area and the fact that they were visible from neighbouring houses did not equate to harm. Therefore, the structures subject to enforcement action were in his view acceptable and did not undermine the character of the area.

Inspector Alan Langton; Written representations

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