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  1. thank you for reading this long read, dear forum experts I'm new to planning and I was dreadfully affected by the refusal, didn't help that I fell in love with the project too soon, having had to deal with land registry anomaly tribunal over ownership for 3 years.. We bought the wee end of terrace 2-story thinking we had an easy case because out of 30 terrace houses - 26 houses had they original L-shape first floors extended (gap filled with an extra room/bathroom) and some had rare extensions built into the gardens. We applied for exactly that - bring first floor in line with existing pattern, and extend ground level by 2m into the garden to allow for office space that we dearly need - working from home and all that. We worked with professional planners and architects so we assumed things were in order. The objection came from the neighbour we could not trace before submitting (property developer living far away) - the objection threw kitchen sink at us - every argument was there, including that the area is in the need of very small houses, not average houses that we were aspiring to (the neighbour himself owns house twice the size of ours). Reasons of overlooking and bulk and out of character were all thrown in - except everything was going to make us look like the rest of the conservation square of 30, except we were end of terrace and facing infrequently used public path (which was only introduced in 1980s, much later after houses were built for London first gas workers, late 1800s) We withdrew from planning and made 3 changes - move one of the rare proposed windows to the side flunk, to obscure the other window facing neighbour, and we reduced ground extention to 1.4m. We had a very supportive heritage statement from a lovely person, and we used an even more distinguished planning consultant for our new application and statement. the decision was delayed by 2 months and it came like a tonne of bricks. Apparently we were so out of character, our garden would suffer, our flunk wall would be too oppressive etc etc. the same neighbour objected on the same grounds, even though we were no longer overlooking him with clear glass (and we are still at least 8 meters apart, in central London!) the issues we have are the following - planning officer didn't tell us about the new objection second time around so we could not correct inaccuracies that our garden was described as too small and narrow in relation to others therefore we should not be allowed to touch it - planning officer didn't visit the site so how could he judge the level of 'oppressive', when our heritage expert thought it was the right thing for us to do as it would make things consistent - planning office said their conservation officer could not make formal comment on our heritage statement due to workload, whilst mentioning impact on conservation standards - the square is of mixed character - how can our sympathetic works, as judged by 3 sets of professional architects/planners/heritage teams - be seen out of character, without even taking a site visit? - if other 3 end of terraces were allowed much less sympathetic works - shouldn't any form of consistency be considered by the planners, to allow family space (currently the house is too small for us 3 as 700 sq ft) - given the limits size and space - there are no many redesign options - none actually - it seems the officer was totally swayed by the objector who doesn't even live anywhere near. our planning consultant suggest we appeal, but having read the objection in its strongest of forms I'm wondering if it's worth another 6 months of uncertainty.. what is the best way to assess basis for appeal - our planner is supportive but they didn't get us the planning so how do we judge their judgement? any wise thoughts would be most gratefully received!
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