Green belt dwelling extension secured when garage included in calculation

By including a detached garage associated with a dwelling in the Berkshire green belt in his calculations an inspector was able to determine that a planned extension would not represent a disproportionate addition.

400-020-025 (Image Credit: Leigh & Glennie Ltd)
400-020-025 (Image Credit: Leigh & Glennie Ltd)

The scheme involved a first floor side extension above the garage and single storey projection linking to the dwelling. The garage and dwelling had been erected at the same time, the inspector noted. Applying the judgment in Sevenoaks District council v Secretary of State for Environment & Dawe [1997], a garage, while physically separated from the main house, was capable of forming part of the dwelling. Consequently, when the garage was included in the overall floorspace, the net increase in floorspace consequent upon the extension was 39.75 per cent which fell below a 40 per cent threshold set out in a local plan policy. Accordingly, it did not represent a disproportionate extension to the house and was therefore appropriate. It was not necessary under these circumstances for the appellant to prove that very special circumstances existed and the appeal was allowed.

A full award of costs was made in favour of the appellant. The council had not correctly applied appropriate case law. It had failed to consider the appellant’s claim that the garage should be treated as part and parcel of the dwelling and when properly interpreted on the facts, it was clear that the planned extension fell below the 40 per cent threshold. The council had behaved unreasonably.

Inspector: S Buckingham; Written representations

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