The main parties agreed that the new house would have a floor area 23 per cent larger than the bungalow's. The council accepted that it would be difficult to argue that it involved a disproportionate increase. However, it noted that the bungalow had already been extended by 65m2 since 1947 and asserted that this space should be discounted from the assessment. Comparison with the bungalow as it existed in 1947 showed an increase well in excess of 25 per cent, it argued.
The appellant claimed that any assessment must be made on the basis of the dwelling as it currently stands. PPG2 permits replacement of existing dwellings provided the increase would not be disproportionate, he pointed out. But the inspector decided that the council's local plan policy made clear that any assessment should be made on the dwelling as it existed in 1947. To include extensions permitted after 1947 would lead to replacement dwellings becoming larger and larger by increments during their lifetimes, he mused. This would circumvent green belt policy and over time erode the openness of such areas, he concluded.
Inspector: David Nicholson; Hearing