Paris22

Planning advice please

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Hi I’m new here. 
I need some planning advice please. Hoping someone who has been through this can help. 
We have finally decided after 10 years to take the plunge and extend our 3 bedroom semi as we can’t afford to move. I have a large family and we need the space. 
We drew up plans for a 6 metre x 3.7 m rear extension and showed it to our neighbour before submitting the plans. He said he would not object but that we had to promise that a balcony/terrace would never go on top of the extension and that all drainage, water issues will be done properly. We were happy with this and submitted it under the new neighbour consultation scheme assuring him that we would do these things. 
We were refused by Enfield council and told that it was because our neighbour objected. He obviously changed his mind. We went to see him again and told him that we would like to resubmit and could we discuss it and come to a happy medium. He basically said I’ll agree to your extension if you add a restrictive covenant to your property to say that anyone buying the house in the future can not use the roof as a terrace (which will never be our intention) and you have to apply for planning anyway. My husband and I were shocked as who knows what will happen in the future. I just feel that this is a bit drastic. I have no idea where to go from here, I really don’t want to mess with my house register. 
has anyone experienced this before? Architect thinks if he objects again we will be refused. Our garden is 100ft so it’s not a small plot and the scene allows up to 6 metres. 

also a few doors down neighbours were granted permission for this dimension as neither of their neighbours objected. 

Any advice will be welcome. 
 

thank you 

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Is this going to be a single or two storey extension?

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Just apply for planning permission - he can’t object to something that isn’t there (a roof terrace) and I would also look at using a sloping roof if possible anyway - depending on tiles you can get down to 17.5 degrees and they are easier to detail to get the insulation correct. 

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"Not liking it" is not a valid criterion for objection. I believe that all letters of objection (or support - these do happen sometimes) are published by the council for all to see - so see what reasons were given and if you can work in some mitigation so that the objection is unwarranted. I do agree with PeterW that a pitch to the roof would be better for performance reasons. I was considering a flat roof on my garage, but my architect talked me out of it on the grounds the local planners don't like large flat roofs.

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That’s actually a very good idea about the pitched roof, I actually like designs Ive seen. Well what happened was he told the council why he objected, mainly the roof. They then looked into it and decided the extension may block their light, and that the extension is too big. Our garden is 100ft. So I don’t agree that it’s too big. He assured us that he didn’t give this reason at all. 
 

when we went to see him about resubmitting and asking him if he would object and we’ll make sure his needs are met he said he wants something set in stone like a covenant on our deeds, in case someone else buys the house and decides to put a terrace. I don’t have a crystal ball. why would I go through all this aggravation and expense and saving for 10 yrs to sell my home? it’s very hard not to take it personally. 
 

 


 

 

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I think there has to be a valid planning reason to refuse your application.  If there is a valid reason, whether your neighbour objects or not is irrelevant, and whatever private agreement you come to with him doesn't trump planning law.   I would continue discussions about acceptability with the planners, not your neighbour. 

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8 hours ago, Paris22 said:

Single 

 

Perhaps mention to the neighbour that you are struggling to get planning permission for a 6m single storey extension so you may have to build a 3m two storey extension instead as that wouldn't need planning permission at all. Unfortunately the upstairs windows of a two storey would overlook his garden but what can you do 🙂

 

I agree with others. You could just apply for planning permission. Cite the similar 6m extensions in the road as examples of what has been considered acceptable previously. Any objection from the neighbour would then have to be a valid planing reason. An objection on the grounds you might put a balcony up there wouldn't count. Find out what else he objected to.

 

 

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Thanks I will, I’m not happy with our architect. He’s not giving us too many options and he seems to think if we get the neighbour onboard we’ll get the planning. Had enough already, great start. 

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23 hours ago, Paris22 said:

Any advice will be welcome. 

Hi Paris22,

I've had a quick word with my wife who's a retired town planner with 30 years experience working for local government and, latterly, as a private planning consultant. Her first suggestion is to establish what you can do without having to apply for planning permission (PP) under permitted development rights. If you can do something similar without PP, then your neighbour isn't an issue.

 

This link to the Planning Portal will help: Permitted Development: Extensions (single storey)

Part A of this link is a bit more explicit: Permitted development rights for householders

 

Her second suggestion is that a condition could be attached to any PP granted that specifically prohibits the roof of the extension being used as a balcony/terrace. This achieves the result your neighbour is seeking without the hassle and expense of getting a covenant. If you - or subsequent owners of the property - ever want to use the roof as a terrace, you/they would have to get the condition lifted by submitting a new planning application, at which point the neighbour would be able to object. 

 

Hope that helps.

Tim.

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Thanks Timsk 

very helpful reply,  thank you, I think the condition added would be very welcome for both of us and we were hoping that we would be granted the planning with this condition but they simply rejected it. How can we go about asking them to consider applying this condition? I feel our architect is useless! 
 

also I have researched and the new larger extension scheme which has now been made permanent allows  you To extend up to 6 metres without permission in a semi. So why have we been refused? This is all so confusing. 
 

thank you 

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+1 to the idea of a planning condition although the planners might say one isn't needed because a new planning permission would be required to use it as a balcony.

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Very true, I really don’t know what his problem is, he is intelligent enough to know that someone would have to apply for planning permission to create a roof terrace. I am thinking maybe he just doesn’t want to just come out and say I just don’t want you to have it. My husband has been very patient and honest with him, I’m worried his patience will run out. 

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Don’t talk to me about “not in my backyard” neighbours, inadequate architects and jumped up planners. (Sorry rant over).

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I was so pissed of with our planning officer I considered changing the roof tiles to a mixture of colours and hiding something rude about him in Chinese script, Morse code or Braille.

  • Haha 1

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😂 now I believe people when they were saying what hassle it will all be. Funny this is, my neighbours wife said to my husband that they would also like to build an extension in the future. 😂

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Paris22 said:

Thanks Timsk 

1. . . .but they simply rejected it. How can we go about asking them to consider applying this condition?

2. I feel our architect is useless! 

3. also I have researched and the new larger extension scheme which has now been made permanent allows  you To extend up to 6 metres without permission in a semi. So why have we been refused? This is all so confusing. 
 

Hi Paris22,

I'll try and address what appear to be the three main points of your post (that I've numbered in the quote). . .

1. Well, as per my previous post, if you can build under permitted development - you may not need to. Don't assume that because PP has been refused that you need it. I realise that sounds completely counter intuitive - bizarre even - but it's not uncommon for applicants to be refused permission for something that doesn't require it in the first place! So, be sure to do your homework on this front. This may involve tweaking your design to fit the requirements under permitted development rights. In addition to the Planning Portal links, these links from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) may help: For a single-storey rear extension. If you have no joy there, you can get a small amount of free advice by e-mailing them: Submit a Request.

 

2. I suggest you keep separate the design side from the planning side, i.e. don't involve your architect with planning at all. Architects, including good ones, aren't always that hot when it comes to planning. So, either do this yourself or, if you feel completely out of your depth, find a local planning consultant to act on your behalf. The RTPI has a list of members here: Directory of Planning Consultants. Also, the council planning department will have a list of people who deal with them on a regular basis - so it's worth asking them too, as a local consultant will know the officials and the way they work - which is to your advantage.

 

3. My wife may be able to comment on this but would need to see the reason for refusal. Can you either upload a copy of the letter or type verbatim - word for word, comma for comma - exactly what the planners have said.

Tim.

Edited by timsk

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On 28/06/2020 at 00:10, Paris22 said:

That’s actually a very good idea about the pitched roof, I actually like designs Ive seen. Well what happened was he told the council why he objected, mainly the roof. They then looked into it and decided the extension may block their light, and that the extension is too big. Our garden is 100ft. So I don’t agree that it’s too big. He assured us that he didn’t give this reason at all. 
 

when we went to see him about resubmitting and asking him if he would object and we’ll make sure his needs are met he said he wants something set in stone like a covenant on our deeds, in case someone else buys the house and decides to put a terrace. I don’t have a crystal ball. why would I go through all this aggravation and expense and saving for 10 yrs to sell my home? it’s very hard not to take it personally. 

 

It's your judgement as to what point you declare "too much aggro" over "please the neighbour".  I think if you do it anyway then your neighbour's feathers will become unruffled surprisingly quickly, but the future relationship may be civil but wary on that topic. Your call if it matters.

 

Personally I like the pitched roof, which gives you both what you want without paperwork.

 

16 hours ago, timsk said:

Hi Paris22,

I've had a quick word with my wife who's a retired town planner with 30 years experience working for local government and, latterly, as a private planning consultant. Her first suggestion is to establish what you can do without having to apply for planning permission (PP) under permitted development rights. If you can do something similar without PP, then your neighbour isn't an issue.

 

This link to the Planning Portal will help: Permitted Development: Extensions (single storey)

Part A of this link is a bit more explicit: Permitted development rights for householders

 

Her second suggestion is that a condition could be attached to any PP granted that specifically prohibits the roof of the extension being used as a balcony/terrace. This achieves the result your neighbour is seeking without the hassle and expense of getting a covenant. If you - or subsequent owners of the property - ever want to use the roof as a terrace, you/they would have to get the condition lifted by submitting a new planning application, at which point the neighbour would be able to object. 

 

Hope that helps.

Tim.

 

The main issue I can see with that 2nd approach is that the Council might not respect the wording you jointly propose, which is unpredictable. Your neighbour's position would be weaker but maybe resentful. It is your call whether that matters.

 

16 hours ago, Paris22 said:

 

On 28/06/2020 at 06:26, Roundtuit said:

I think there has to be a valid planning reason to refuse your application.  If there is a valid reason, whether your neighbour objects or not is irrelevant, and whatever private agreement you come to with him doesn't trump planning law.   I would continue discussions about acceptability with the planners, not your neighbour. 

That's not quite it. Planning and Civil law sit alongside each other, and you are subject to both.

 

If you come to a private agreement,  that will be regulated as an agreement under 'non-Planning Law' eg contract law, and any obligations  under that agreement where planning law applies to the  obligations will still be required to meet Planning Law. You could not, for example, come to a private agreement to put your drive in a place which violates visibility splay requirements.   

F

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5 hours ago, timsk said:

Hi Paris22,

I'll try and address what appear to be the three main points of your post (that I've numbered in the quote). . .

1. Well, as per my previous post, if you can build under permitted development - you may not need to. Don't assume that because PP has been refused that you need it. I realise that sounds completely counter intuitive - bizarre even - but it's not uncommon for applicants to be refused permission for something that doesn't require it in the first place! So, be sure to do your homework on this front. This may involve tweaking your design to fit the requirements under permitted development rights. In addition to the Planning Portal links, these links from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) may help: For a single-storey rear extension. If you have no joy there, you can get a small amount of free advice by e-mailing them: Submit a Request.

 

2. I suggest you keep separate the design side from the planning side, i.e. don't involve your architect with planning at all. Architects, including good ones, aren't always that hot when it comes to planning. So, either do this yourself or, if you feel completely out of your depth, find a local planning consultant to act on your behalf. The RTPI has a list of members here: Directory of Planning Consultants. Also, the council planning department will have a list of people who deal with them on a regular basis - so it's worth asking them too, as a local consultant will know the officials and the way they work - which is to your advantage.

 

3. My wife may be able to comment on this but would need to see the reason for refusal. Can you either upload a copy of the letter or type verbatim - word for word, comma for comma - exactly what the planners have said.

Tim.

Thank you so much this is so helpful, can’t thank you enough. I just feel that we are going into this blind and your posts have really helped me understand the way it works. Thank you. 

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4 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

 

It's your judgement as to what point you declare "too much aggro" over "please the neighbour".  I think if you do it anyway then your neighbour's feathers will become unruffled surprisingly quickly, but the future relationship may be civil but wary on that topic. Your call if it matters.

 

Personally I like the pitched roof, which gives you both what you want without paperwork.

 

 

The main issue I can see with that 2nd approach is that the Council might not respect the wording you jointly propose, which is unpredictable. Your neighbour's position would be weaker but maybe resentful. It is your call whether that matters.

 

That's not quite it. Planning and Civil law sit alongside each other, and you are subject to both.

 

If you come to a private agreement,  that will be regulated as an agreement under 'non-Planning Law' eg contract law, and any obligations  under that agreement where planning law applies to the  obligations will still be required to meet Planning Law. You could not, for example, come to a private agreement to put your drive in a place which violates visibility splay requirements.   

F

Thank you. As long as whatever I do is lawful and subject to planning laws I couldn’t care less what he thinks. I like to think that I am a considerate neighbour and wouldn’t do anything that I wouldn’t like done to me. At the end of the day, what I will build will be subject to strict building regulations that will be checked and everything will be done in accordance with the law. If he doesn’t like it, he can always Go and buy a nice detached house somewhere. 

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9 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

. . .The main issue I can see with that 2nd approach is that the Council might not respect the wording you jointly propose, which is unpredictable. Your neighbour's position would be weaker but maybe resentful. It is your call whether that matters.

Hi Ferdinand,

Just to clarify, it would be the local authority planners who would attach the condition, so the wording would be theirs; it would have nothing to do with either Paris22 or her neighbour. It's very common for PP to be granted subject to a condition - sometimes many conditions. Apologies for not making that clear! 😉

Tim.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, timsk said:

Hi Ferdinand,

Just to clarify, it would be the local authority planners who would attach the condition, so the wording would be theirs; it would have nothing to do with either Paris22 or her neighbour. It's very common for PP to be granted subject to a condition - sometimes many conditions. Apologies for not making that clear! 😉

Tim.

 

There's nothing to stop you proposing wording agreed between you and neighbour. If you were to get that done by a Planning Lawyer, then it is more likely to mean what you want than Council boilerplate.

 

The Council need to adopt it, but I think this is quite regularly done.

 

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand

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Thing is planning conditions have to be "necessary for valid planning reasons" or they can be challenged/appealed. You can't convert a flat roof to a balcony (aka Raised platform) without getting planning permission so the planners may say such a planning condition doesn't meet the criteria of being "necessary". But hey worth a shot if it solves the problem. 

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Im not prepared to pay for a planning lawyer, I think my neighbour is just being difficult. 

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