Refusal of retention of dormer windows would not be violation of human rights

Two rear dormer roof extensions to a home in a residential area of north London were refused, and an enforcement notice for their removal upheld, for their adverse impact on the appearance of the property and the character of the area, but with a variation to the compliance period from six to 12 months.

Despite a previous refusal for the retention of the two roof extensions and a previous appeal dismissal at the property, the inspector considered there were sufficient changes in personal circumstances and other matters to warrant a re-consideration of the issues in the case which, he held to be, the appearance and character of the dormers and other matters including human rights and need for additional floorspace. The inspector reviewed the as-built structures and agreed with the previous appeal inspector that by virtue of their form and layout, they dominated the rear elevation of the property. Equally, their top-heavy appearance visually unbalanced the symmetry of the terrace to the detriment of the character of the area.

The inspector also gave full consideration to the arguments of the appellant regarding human rights issues such as meeting the accommodation needs of his eleven children, with two on the way, lack of alternative accommodation and public sector equality duties. The inspector gave significant weight to the needs of the children and moderate weight to the other human rights and equality matters. In concluding against the retention of the dormers however, he cited the need to find in the public interest and uphold planning policy to protect the environment. He did, howver, increase the period for compliance from six to 12 months as a reasonable response to the need to find alternative accommodation for a temporary period.

An appeal for a partial award of costs by the council was refused on the grounds that there had been a change in the personal circumstances of the appellant since the previous appeal and other matters. for example human rights needed to be fully considered.

Inspector: Ahsan Ghafoor; Written Representations

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