Home Owners Still Need To Beware Of Neighbours Who Apply For “Extra Large” Extensions

Home Owners Still Need To Beware Of Neighbours Who Apply For “Extra Large” Extensions

Way back on 30th May 2013, the then Coalition Government brought in legislation to “temporarily” relax permitted development for single storey extensions in an attempt to boost the economy. At the time these met with opposition from groups fearing the relaxing of planning laws could lead to serious disputes between neighbours.

As the law stands to this day, as long as a property still has sufficient permitted developments rights intact, then most home owners can build a single storey extension or conservatory up to a projection of 3m if the property is semi-detached and up to 4m if detached. However, even now neighbouring properties have “rights to light” and some councils enforce a 45 degree rule, whilst others a 60 degree rule, in that no structure can go out further than a diagonal line from the neighbours nearest window i.e. line of sight. In addition there are restrictions on the height that single storey extensions can be built to.

Since 1st October 2010, when stricter Building Regulations came into force, adding or replacing an existing glass extension like a conservatory or orangery in England or Wales, needs careful research to ensure that what is added is permitted development. Under the initial temporary planning rules, homeowners had until 30th May 2016 to apply under temporary permitted development to extend up to 6m from rear of a semi-detached or terraced premises and to extend up to 8m on back of a detached house. This was extended, and many councils will still consider (but not necessarily approve) applications for extra large extensions. Some councils refused right from the outset to allow extensions beyond those allowed under permitted development rights, so it is wise to check with your local planning department what they will or will not even consider.

How the temporary planning “rules” works is that local councils consult all adjoining property owners to see if they have any objections. If they do, then a full planning application may be required, putting any extra large development in doubt, as in these circumstances local councils can refuse the application outright. It is also worth noting that both the Building Regulations and planning rules in England and Wales are now much stricter since the need for all new structures to be more thermally efficient, to help cut carbon emissions.

It clearly states on the Government’s planning portal website – as “With all building work, the owner of the property (or land) in question is ultimately responsible for complying with the relevant planning rules and building regulations.” This public information Government website www.planningportal.gov.uk clearly sets out the issues each householder needs to take into account before ordering a new double glazed conservatory or orangery, or indeed replacing an existing structure, because the rules make it quite clear that any changes are made at all (i.e. removing external doors between the house and glass structure, changing the width, depth, height, design etc.), it is likely that planning and/or Building Regulations will be required.

Glass extensions like double glazed conservatories and orangeries can be built if sufficient Permitted Development rights are intact, but even then they may still need to comply with all local/national planning rules and the current Building Regulations.

Anything can be done with planning permission if your property’s PD Rights have been withdrawn or used up, so it is often faster and cheaper to submit a full planning application for what you’d like to build onto your property, than to go down the 8 week Consultation route, as the outcome could simply be that a full planning application is required anyway. Having planning permission for any extension adds to your property’s market value, so it is always wise to get the strongest possible documentation before placing starting work. If you’d like a free consultation with one of Hazlemere Windows design consultants simply fill in this form for a free no obligation design meeting and written quotation.

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