DC Casebook: Appeal cases - Garden home justified by efficient use

A proposal for a house in the rear garden of a dwelling in Exeter has been allowed despite local planning authority concerns over the loss of amenity for nearby residents.

The appeal site comprised the far end of a garden and two garages. The appellant proposed to demolish the garages and build a two-storey house along with more modern garages. The council was concerned that the new dwelling would overlook an adjoining garden and permit views into a cottage. But the inspector decided that the proposal would improve the architectural profile of the area.

He noted that the closest bedroom window in the new house would be 11m from the cottage and only oblique views would be afforded. Although a previous appeal had been dismissed in 1973 because of the impact of a proposed dwelling on local residents' amenity, he observed that government policy had moved on since then. In his view, it was necessary to maximise the use of sites in urban areas even if this led to a limited reduction in amenity for existing residents.

A local school objected to the development on the grounds that the living conditions of future occupiers would be undermined by noise generated by children and the activity associated with school life. The inspector decided that such disturbance would be limited. Noise and general disturbance was confined to the beginning and end of the school day, he remarked.

The close proximity of housing to schools is not uncommon in urban areas, he held. Any children living in the proposed development would be able to walk to the school without the need for a car, he added. On that basis, he decided that the appeal proposal would involve a sustainable form of development.

DCS Number 100-051-335

Inspector Mike Fox; Written representations.


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