Extension Diary

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

History - Getting Planning Permission

Together with the plan drawing guy, we drew up and submitted plans for our extension on the day we exchanged contracts on the house - we were eager to get going with the extension ASAP. After a few months, we got a letter from the council telling us our application was refused. Quite a bombshell, we hadn't antcipated any problems.

Their major objection was the distance from the side of the extension to our neighbours house. The local council specify that a 12m gap must be left between the rear and side of adjacent properties. The distance between our extension and our neighbours house was less that 12m.

But we'd never really thought of it as a rear-side relationship - the neighbours house is on a corner plot, so it doesn't have a well defined side and rear. What the planners had decided was the back, we would have called the side. I went to talk to the planners, but they weren't interested in my arguments.

So we had to go to appeal. The guy who had drawn up my plans stopped returning my calls and emails, so I was on my own. I spent a few months reading lots of appeals and researching the planning rules, drawing plans and elevations, and constructing 3D models with Google sketchup. I submitted my appeal in March, and a few months later the appeals officer came and visted the site to take a look round. The council planners didn't submit anything further to support their original decision.And within a few weeks the decision letter landed on our door mat. We'd won! I was chuffed - and we could finally move to the next stage of getting our extension built.


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