Forum: landlord plans additional storey

Q: We live in a purpose-built block of flats. Our landlord has applied to build another flat on the roof. We are concerned about the disruption that construction would cause. Can planning permission be refused for this reason? PA

A: Permission could be refused because of disruption during construction, as this is a material planning consideration. In the scenario you set out, most authorities would be unlikely to refuse permission for this reason because the disruption would only be temporary. However, in an appeal from east London last year where a management plan indicated that construction would take 44 weeks, the inspector refused permission as a result of the disruption the works would cause (DCS Number 400-000-330).

It would be worth quoting this case to your council. If it does not refuse the application, you could ask it to impose appropriate conditions relating to construction, such as restricting the hours when it can take place. Section 8.4 of Development Control Practice includes helpful guidance on processing applications to add further flats to existing blocks and this might suggest other matters you could raise as objections to the proposal. John Harrison

Next questions

I have recently put up a camping pod in my garden. It is mostly for personal use, but I have been letting it out to visitors to the area on an occasional basis during July and August. As I had let out one of my rooms on a similar basis before, it did not occur to me that using a cabin in the same way might fall into a different category, as it is not a self-contained unit, has no plumbing and is ancillary to the main house. However, after being reported by my neighbours, the council decided I could not keep letting it. It agrees that the pod has permitted development rights and is only objecting because we are making money out of it. Has anyone got any experience with similar cases or advice on possible grounds for appeal? JD

Planning permission was granted for a substantial housing development subject to a condition requiring visibility splays. The applicant showed the land required to be within his ownership. The development is now well under way, but another party claims it owns part of the land and has erected a fence blocking one of the splays. The land is not registered but the third party has demonstrated ownership and has indicated that it does not wish to sell it to the developer. If the development is occupied, the access would be dangerous. How can this issue be resolved? KN

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PlanningResource features two online forums dedicated to development management matters. On the forums you can comment on questions raised in this column, or comment on other development management-related topics. Go to for details

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