New and Important Change in Planning Law For Homeowners too

Homeowners also have new opportunities under the  new General Development Order to which Gavin Collett has referred in his comments on its  implications for farmers and landowners.

Article 4 of the 2013 Order allows larger home extensions to be built until 30th May 2016. The extensions may be up to 8 metres beyond he rear wall of the original house if detached and 6 metres for all other types of home . Height is limited to 4 metres.

This temporary permitted development right is subject to a new procedure:

-Before beginning the development the person relying on the right must notify the local planning authority and give prescribed details of the development and themselves namely:-

(1)    A written description of the proposal which includes the length that the extension extends beyond the rear wall of the original house, the height at the eaves and the height at the highest point of the extension

(2)    A plan of the site, showing the proposed development

(3)    The addresses of any adjoining properties

(4)    A contact address of the developer and an email address if the developer is happy to receive correspondence by email.

–          The local planning authority will then notify neighbouring properties of the proposals  , tell them when the 42 day determination period will expire and how long they have to make objections (it must be a minimum of 21 days) and the date by which these must be received. If neighbours object to the proposals , the authority will consider whether the extension should be approved, bearing in mind the impact on the amenity of all adjoining properties.

So what this would mean if the relevant property was in Exeter is that – provided it is within the thresholds specified in the GDO – a proposed extension would be permitted development (ie would not require planning permission)– unless a neighbour objected within the statutory consultation period.  If a neighbour does object, the proposed extension will be considered against local planning policies in the Exeter Local Plan First Review and Exeter Core Strategy.. These would be Local Policy DG4 and the Householder’s Guide to Extension Design SPD.   Additional policies could also be relevant depending on the precise nature and location of the proposal  (for example where the property is a listed building or in a conservation area  – or could be affected by flooding.) Of course local policies do vary and are sometime difficult to track down. It took me some time to discover that Islington planners in London adhered to  a document called “Emerging Policy “DM3”!

But the best plan for potential extenders , of course, is to persuade neighbours not to object!

To read more about Gavin, please see his Chambers profile here.