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Planning approach advice

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Posted (edited)

I am having a dilemma .Would greatly appreciate, if I could seek some collective wisdom/advise.


The self build is a demolition of single storied bungalow to replace ideally with a sustainable 2.5 storey house that will be my forever home.

The site is in outer London, just inside M25 on a road dominated by 1930's houses with large gardens. 

An owner occupied two-bedroom bungalow exists at the current site. It is the only single storey building on the street. The site is about 17.5m wide (road facing) and 15.5m deep. The two adjecent properties are 1930s detached houses .The three properties on the opposite side are detached but differnt from each other  built at differnt times.Directly opposite is the only chalet bunglow (with two rooms in loft) on the street, which has the same ridge height as other houses 2.5 storey houses.
The bungalow was built in 1975 followed by a change in use from dentistry on a garden plot. There are no explicit planning restrictions when permission was granted and its not a conservation area.  The current owners bought and renovated the property in 2013 without altering the layout.

The existing footprint is about 80 sqm on a 17M (road facing) x 15 M plot which gives me 80 +80 + 40 =200 SQM, which at a high level gives me enough for my requirements.
Given the varied street scene and the poor architectural quality of the current dwelling, I was of the view that a larger mordern dwelling is possible which doesnot have to look like it was built a century back.

Thankfully a new planning law allowing a fast-track process for adding storey to a single storey house is

Potentially it adds options on planning permission approach. For e.g. a fast track for a storey addition, followed by a full planning permission for increasing roof
height with rooms in roof in line with surrounding houses for 2nd storey and a more modern façade.

The other approach is normal one to just go for target state to start with, which is much simpler and in worst case use FastTrack process.

The first, fastTrack approach will still go to neighbour consultation and other public body checks, but the principle of massing is established and not in question from what I understand. Once that is established, new planning application will be asking for small increase i.e 2 to 2.5 floors, versus the second approach where we are looking at significant increase in size. 


Other considerations are 
-I am living in the bungalow for last few years so a 6 month planning delay immaterial .
-The new build due to its position does not look like it will affect any neighbour's light.
-One of my key brief conditions is to respect privacy of neighbours and which in turn is my privacy too.
-I have been told by my two of my nearest neighbours that they will object no matter what provisions are in the design for privacy. I am expecting fair few objections, but expecting planning considerations to prevail over individual preferences.
-When I asked the planners back in 2013 informally about the prospects, they hinted a chalet like opposite property  should be possible .I sort of worry that it might be initial mindset, i.e. due to garden plot, any property should be subservient to other houses. 


My gut feel is to play it safe and go for a two phased approach. It feels like the path of least resistance , but not sure if LPA will slap a restriction that makes subsequent enlargement difficult.
The architect who has a lot of experience with self builds is of the view that we should go for option 2, as its simpler and achieves our goals better, which also is right in its own place.


I decided against pushing for what I felt right and agreed to go with the expert, but now having second thoughts after initial design interaction was a bit underwhelming after signing and placing deposit. I have been assured it will be addressed but  feel that I need more convincing on the planning approach.


Attaching some topographical reports including elevations of impacted neighbouring properties if it helps.

TS21-201-1 1-100@A0 (2).pdf TS21-201-2 1-50@A1 (3).pdf TS21-201-3 1-50@A1 (2).pdf TS21-201-4 1-100@A1 (2).pdf

Edited by pipedream

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You could go option 2 but include in the Design and Access Statement a few paragraphs and perhaps a drawing showing an alternative design that would be allowed under the new extra storey PDR. You can say you have ruled out this option in favour of the current application because you think it would be out of keeping etc. I'm sure your architect could make that look as horrible as possible. Hint to neighbours you have had interest from a developer who likes that option. See if they will support your preferred design after all.

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