Outbuilding judged too close to house to be incidental

A "detached" outbuilding just five centimetres from the rear of a terraced house in north London does not comprise permitted development, an inspector has ruled.

The main issue was whether the appellant had shown that the proposal would be permitted under class E, part 1, schedule 2 of the GPDO 2015. The inspector recorded that the limitations in class E do not prevent an incidental building from being sited very close to a dwelling. However, he decided that the five-centimetre gap between the outbuilding and the house, stretching across the entire width of the site, had little obvious practical benefit in terms of an incidental use.

He also noted that the outbuilding’s position would restrict the outlook from ground-floor windows at the rear of the property. In his opinion, the building appeared to have been contrived to try and make it fit within the limits of class E, rather than being a genuine consequence of its intended function. In the absence of clear and precise evidence on its intended use, he concluded that it was not required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling and was not functionally subordinate to the primary residential use. On that basis, he refused to issue a lawful development certificate.

Inspector: Stephen Hawkins; Written representations

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