Existing extension would not cause permitted development breach

An LDC was granted for the erection of a single storey rear extension at a two storey end-of-terrace dwellinghouse in Kent with an inspector finding that it was unreasonable to interpret the term "the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse" as including an existing extension.

The appellant contended that the scheme was permitted development as defined by Class A of Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order 1995. In particular the appellant contended that, if considered in isolation, the proposed addition complied with limitation A.1(e) which specified that development was not permitted by Class A if the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse would have a single storey and, in the case of a terraced or semi-detached property, would extend beyond the rear wall of the original dwellinghouse by more than 3 metres. However, the council argued that an existing extension should be regarded as part of the "enlarged part of the dwellinghouse" for the purposes of applying Class A, rather than just the addition now proposed. If this approach was taken, then the rear addition as a whole failed to comply with limitation A.1(e) by reason of the existing depth of projection beyond the rear wall of the original dwellinghouse.

The inspector found that the envisaged addition would not, of itself, either cause a Class A limitation to be breached or, alternatively, exacerbate the degree by which such a limitation had already been breached. Rather, it would be tucked away to the side of the existing extension, neither increasing its rearward projection nor extending its width in such a way as to foil the objectives underpinning the GPDO. In these circumstances, it was unreasonable to interpret the term "the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse" as including the existing extension. The inspector found that any ambiguity in this regard was circumvented by applying the principle that, to qualify as permitted development, a proposal when considered in tandem with existing extensions could not of itself cause a Class A limitation to be exceeded or exacerbate the degree of existing non-compliance. The proposal was therefore permitted development and was lawful.

Inspector: Alan Woolnough; Written representations

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