oldkettle

Planning permission refused - options

Recommended Posts

Had our application for extension (bungalow to a house) refused today. There are a few reasons mentioned by the planner: 

... not demonstrated acceptable impact on the character of the street

... incongruous gable-like front elevation... not demonstrated, that this large massing would be in keeping with neighbouring houses

and my favourite: 

... proposal creates a property that is both wide and deep which is out of character with the prevailing urban grain of the area. I.e. everybody has 150m2, you can't have 200! And yes, one can only see if from a helicopter.

 

He made it sound like we are proposing some kind of a monstrosity, where as in fact this is just a normal family house (please tell me I am not wrong :-) ). We are trying to replace a front facing dormer for goodness' sake. Yes, there is a front gable, as it gives us south facing slope for PV and the width is smaller that the length.

 

Neighbours had no concerns AFAIK. We have a very long plot - about 50m back garden only, front garden of about 15m. We are separated from the road and from the neighbours by very high hedges (2.5-4m). It is not actually possible to see two houses at the same time from the pavement, only parts of the ridge line. The other side of the road is not built up. I am quite disappointed that we are basically not allowed to build a normal house on a massive plot - where as if a developer tried to split it into two they would have no problems (this happened down the road).

 

I talked to a councillor - member of the planning committee. He said they would pull the application from the planners but clearly this has not happened. I will of course follow up but would be useful to understand whether I have any chance to stand my ground here.

 

The only proposal from the planner was dropping the ridge line by 1.5m! It would mean a slope of 22 degrees and look absolutely abhorrent.

My only suggestion to the architect was creating a half-hipped or may be hipped roof - as much as I dislike the idea.

 

Would anybody at all be happier if I choose to build an 8m single storey extension under permitted development? :-(

 

The view is our neighbour's house - our existing root can just be seen on the right. The new ridgeline is proposed to be 1.5m higher.

10.png

view.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have not had the refusal letter delivered through the post (just a chat on the phone) then immediately or sooner withdraw your application. By doing so you can make revisions and resubmit without further fees

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's difficult to tell whether the planners objections are reasonable without more information, however I would prepare a more detailed design and access statement disproving the planners  complaints and laying out your permitted development fallback position, which by the sounds of it may be "worse" looking.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, @bassanclan

 

The architect said we can update the application without the loss of the fee, I hope he is right. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had similar issues, see my blog part 2:

Where the planning monkey we were working with didn't like it!  Ultimately my architect debunked all her issues and it was rubber stamped by the senior planner.

 

It would appear you can demonstrate no significant change of impact as viewed from the street.

Do you have a full survey, this was pivotal in our ability to argue our case as it had the edges and heights of the neighbouring properties on it for comparison and argument, thought I did have to lower my roof to 25 degrees and 22.5 degrees.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our planning statement does mention that the new ridgeline will be level with one of the neighbours (although their house is set higher). I don't think it mentions the degree of seclusion, but it is visible on the 1:200 plan. 

One thing the planner mentioned in communication was 

You haven’t provide the proposed street scene drawing so you still haven’t convinced me that the proposed height would have an acceptable impact on character.

To me unfortunately it sounded very empty, the back side covering exercise, as I don't understand what character means with regards to our stretch of the street where all houses are set back from the road. 

 

Edited to add:

Your case does look incredibly similar, but the main difference is no objections from the neighbours for us. Oddly, your roof looks fine on the final plans. The scetch for ours with 22 degrees looked terrible. 

As you went for the hipped roof and it worked this may well be an indication for us. 

Edited by oldkettle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The NW elevation on our plan shows the neighbouring rooflines and edges of their property, this was based on the survey of the original house, if you had the same detail and including hedges to show visibility and even perspectives from the road it could help.  Also photographs showing current with an overlay of the new to show impact if any!

I was frustrated by having to hip the roof, it add complication and lost me good Solar PV area, it also means my attic storage though large is not as well laid out as it could have been, but we can't have it all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, oldkettle said:

As you went for the hipped roof and it worked this may well be an indication for us.

THis was my architects way of de-massing the roofline, we also reduced the eves size, to reduce mass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, oldkettle said:

Thank you, @bassanclan

 

The architect said we can update the application without the loss of the fee, I hope he is right. 

 

You get a ‘second go’ for free, subject to some conditions see below from planning portal:

 

Exemption from payment

If the application is the first revision of an application for development of the same character or description on the same site by the same applicant:
 For a withdrawn application: Within 12 months of the date when the application was received.
 For a determined application: Within 12 months of the date the application was granted, refused or an appeal dismissed.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, oldkettle said:

Had our application for extension (bungalow to a house) refused today. There are a few reasons mentioned by the planner: 

... not demonstrated acceptable impact on the character of the street

... incongruous gable-like front elevation... not demonstrated, that this large massing would be in keeping with neighbouring houses

and my favourite: 

... proposal creates a property that is both wide and deep which is out of character with the prevailing urban grain of the area. I.e. everybody has 150m2, you can't have 200! And yes, one can only see if from a helicopter.

 

 

I'm sorry to hear your application was refused. The planning morons who tried to stop our build used similar words and phrases, planners have a limited vocabulary. We changed from a gabled roof to a half hip to try to placate them. Good luck and don't let the buggers grind you down.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DONT TALK TO ME ABOUT PLANNERS, they wasted two years of my life. It appears their only intention in life is to refuse permission wherever they can. Don’t give up. Yes a street scene ( sketch roughly to scale showing yours against the neighbours including all hedges) will make a lot of difference. Long story short I went to appeal and the Secretary of State department came down firmly on my side and said my application was completely acceptable and the local planning authority were not abiding by their own policies ?.

 

p.s. the planners kept telling me our ridge line was too high as the property next door was only 6.9m high, I went round and measured it and it was 1.2 m higher than they had planning for, so our ridge was lower than theirs!!!!. I would not pay them in washers.

 

rant over!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, oldkettle said:

One thing the planner mentioned in communication was 

You haven’t provide the proposed street scene drawing so you still haven’t convinced me that the proposed height would have an acceptable impact on character.

To me unfortunately it sounded very empty, the back side covering exercise, as I don't understand what character means with regards to our stretch of the street where all houses are set back from the road. 

 

 

I think this may well be quite critical.  Our planners were obsessed with the "street scene" and wanted drawings to show the relative heights of our proposal to the neighbouring properties, including those behind up on the hill. 

 

I got the distinct feeling from reading the previous planning applications that understanding how the proposal would fit in was key, and that some of the consultees, in particular, just couldn't read a drawing properly (hence the scale models I ended up making - which showed the relationship with the surroundings well).

 

It may well be that you can provide some street scene views that show the minimal impact and then argue that the planners have no reason for refusal on those grounds.

 

There is (or should be) a presumption for approval, UNLESS there is a clear breach of planning policy or guidance, so that's worth remembering when making any argument.

Edited by JSHarris
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@JSHarris

 

Yes, our architect has suggested we submit to this requirement, but we have spent quite a lot on this already and I hoped we could avoid spending more. Clearly wrong in hindsight. 

 

My problem with this street view is how to show that it is impossible to see much from the pavement. Of course the bird's eye view can be nice (or maybe not in our case) but general public can only see anything from the ground level. Apart from taking photos like the one attached I couldn't figure out what to give them! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps a series of photos, taken from different angles, from ground eye level, with a wide angle lens, and then make a photo shopped version to try and show the impact of your proposal.  I suspect you won't see much at all in the proposal version, but that's what you need, really.  The planner wants something on his file that shows there is no significant impact on the street scene, I suspect, so that box can be ticked!

Edited by JSHarris
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We didn’t do a street scene, but at one of the homebuilding shows an architect suggested we put the outline of our current bungalow on the new front elevation of our proposed conversion to a 2 1/2 storey house .  This helped us get planning after a refusal for dominating, massing etc. As whilst we were raising the ridge height by 3.5m it didn’t look too big compared to the bungalow that was already there.  

 

They also didnt like the proposed front gable, said it was not in keeping with the area. We got rid of it, but there are numerous examples of houses with front gables around us, so may have been worth arguing our case, but as other things were more important to us which they had not complained about it was easier just to remove it.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Jeremy, Jml

 

I will post a photo in the evening - an existing house, a wall of bricks and a gable with no windows anywhere,  facing our street, it is on a T-junction with an adjacent road. Apparently, it is not a problem. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I did was to provide two line drawings and a photo of our house model to address the "street scene" points that had been raised.  Here are links to the drawings, first the two drawings that compare the previously approved planning application for our site with our proposal, as a front elevation view, as a neighbour had previously raised an objection (not to our application, but previous ones) about any first floor gable end window overlooking their garden.  This also showed the apparent reduced "mass" of our proposal (even though the house in our proposal was around 30% bigger internally!):

 

7 - Elevation Comparison - Revision 1.pdf

 

Window sight line.pdf

 

Next they wanted to see how our proposal looked in section, relative to the house behind and further up the hill (I think this is a part of the problem some people have in being able to understand 3D from a 2D plan):

 

5 - Site Section.pdf

 

Also, because they had previously been an issue with earlier, refused, applications over the area of the plot that the house occupied, and as I wanted to build a bigger house, but with a smaller footprint, I did this comparison drawing:

 

6 - Site Plan Comparison.pdf

 

Finally, because it was clear from earlier correspondence that some of the consultees just couldn't read a drawing, I made a scale model, to show how the proposed house would be set deep down into the plot:

 

 

5741d34ae3f2c_Model-SWView-small.JPG.cb30c671267ad3fc2698a735f6d368cc.JPG

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Jeremy. 

 

Of course I remember the model you've made. This was my concern exactly: view from above can be scary, but from the front it actually is not, well, not much worse than the other houses. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, oldkettle said:

@JSHarris

 

Yes, our architect has suggested we submit to this requirement, but we have spent quite a lot on this already and I hoped we could avoid spending more. Clearly wrong in hindsight. 

 

My problem with this street view is how to show that it is impossible to see much from the pavement. Of course the bird's eye view can be nice (or maybe not in our case) but general public can only see anything from the ground level. Apart from taking photos like the one attached I couldn't figure out what to give them! 

 

Have there been any other recent planning applications in your street which may have done a street scene?  which you could use as an example (even better if you house was part of it!).  Our council planning website is a mine of information especially if you can find similar applications to yourselves.

 

 I spent a few hours looking at what other applicants had submitted, reasons for refusual of plans and subsequent approval.  Our council does weekly lists of applications and decisions which found it was worth following to see what they liked and did not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, @Jml, I will have a look. There was one only in our street where a developer replaced a single house with two detached standing right next to each other. Talk about "out of character". But there might have been other applications nearby so certainly worth a try. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, oldkettle said:

 

My problem with this street view is how to show that it is impossible to see much from the pavement. Of course the bird's eye view can be nice (or maybe not in our case) but general public can only see anything from the ground level. Apart from taking photos like the one attached I couldn't figure out what to give them! 

 

Nothing like your scene, but this is what we gave our planners to satisfy them of what would be visible.

PW016.JPG.d114e500a94e6c3bfb885e462a0f437f.JPG

 

 

PW017.JPG.f7a1ff6520e51bee0f9a8f8a2424fe39.JPG

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Peter 

 

I have found that on the latest Google Street View the pictures happened to be taken from the opposite side of the road and obviously higher level than the eye level, so it is indeed possible to see several houses, which is probably not great for our case. But from the pavement it is very different. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your Council office or website might go back 15 or 20 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure that there is software around now that will allow several photos to be stitched together, to make a panoramic view, like Streetview, but from eye level.  making up one or two of these, and then doing as @PeterStarck has done and photo shopping in the proposed development, would seem a pretty good way to have a go at making something to show the planners what it will look like.

 

If it's as benign-looking as Peter's photos, then that should go some way to addressing the planners concerns.  I remain convinced that sometimes they just want something on file to tick a box, or for future reference in the event of a complaint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I can suggest is you address the issue the planners raise with supporting evidence. Print up elevations of other house in the road to the same scale a bit like you would for a street scene. Consider if any changes can be made to address their concerns. If you really don't want to make changes consider appealing.

 

If the plot is big enough for two houses consider making an application for PP to build two houses. Make them slightly bigger and perhaps uglier than the neighbours. If the planners think there is a chance you might get them approved at appeal they may prefer your original proposal for a conversion.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now