Authorised extension relevant in lawful development claim

The owner of a detached dwelling in Middlesex has been unable to persuade an inspector that an extension which had been granted consent should be ignored in determining whether a single storey addition was lawful under permitted development rights.

The property had been extended by a two-storey side addition and a single storey to the rear. The appellant wished to secure confirmation that a further single storey addition behind the existing single storey addition would be permitted under Class A of Part 1 to Schedule 2 of the GPDO 1995. The council, in accepting that when assessed in isolation it would meet the requirements of Class A, argued that since it would be attached to an existing extension the latter was also relevant. Because this was partly two storey and the extension would extend more than three metres beyond the rear wall of the original dwelling, it was not permitted development.

The words used in Class A referred to the ‘enlarged part of the dwellinghouse’, the inspector noted, and not to the ‘original dwellinghouse’. If the authors of the order had intended restrictions in Class A to apply only to the extension being proposed at any particular time and to therefore ignore previous proposals including those for which an express consent had been obtained, a wording could have been used which made things a lot clearer. The scheme would clearly enlarge a dwelling which had already been extended and although the technical guidance on householder extensions published by government did not clarify the point, in his opinion since permitted development rights were a form of planning permission, it was logical and reasonable to have regard to previous extensions. Whilst his conclusion might mean that houses with extensions built with express permission were then unable to benefit from permitted development rights, this was insufficient to dissuade him from concluding that another single storey addition would not be permitted under Class A.

Inspector: Phil Grainger; Written representations

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