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<< Planning Permission Tips
SIDE EXTENSIONS - THE COMMON
Probably the most common type of residential
extension is the two storey side extension. However, it is one of the
most easiest schemes to get wrong with regard to Planning Permission. Side
extensions have an awful lot of issues that need careful consideration before
submitting a scheme to the Planning Department for Planning Permission.
Firstly is the impact of your scheme upon the
neighbours. Most councils design guides will not let you build right
up to the boundary at the first floor level. This is to prevent 'terracing'
of the street scene. This usually means 'insetting' the extension by at least
1M. The ground floor element can normally go closer.
Secondly, is respecting the shape of the existing
dwelling. This often means setting back the extension to obtain broken
wall and roof lines together with a lower ridge line. Simply adding on a
'block' of same depth extension with flush front elevation wall and roof
lines will normally be resisted.
This is to prevent large bland wall and roof areas.
Having broken wall lines retains the original house shape, adds interest
and is subordinate to the main dwelling. The most common reply to this
design concept from home owners is 'but it will look like an extension!'
Yes if it is done badly but no if the design accommodates good design
detailing, respectful scale and well designed roof slopes. It really
does not take much effort to achieve the right balanced look - just the right
eye and lots of design experience in such matters.
Thirdly are side windows of adjoining properties.
These need to be carefully assessed for right of light issues.
Some side windows are not relevant - others are - you need to decide which
ones are which.
Fourth is the off road car parking
requirements. Additional bedrooms often means additional or compliant
off road car parking provision. If your property is already deficient in
this area and known to be within an on road parking problem area with perhaps
access problems onto a busy classified road then you may have to consider
what you will be formally presenting to the Planners in terms of potential
new bedroom spaces.
Lastly is the overall width of property scenario.
All properties have a dimensional ratio (width versus depth). Many properties
are already long and thin with a wide street scene or presence. A two
storey side extension will often just add to this visual impact which is
again often resisted by the Planners. Clever design tweaks such as recessing
the extension further back from the front elevation and wrapping it around
the rear elevation can often create the additional space required but without
making the property look ungainly wide.
The same result can be achieved by bringing
the extension further forward and wrapping it around part of the front elevation.
Many people seem to think front extensions are impossible because of infringing
'building lines' but the fact is front extensions are becoming far more popular
and acceptable due to the improvement of the street scene. Many front
extensions can turn a really bland looking property into a very interesting
building with interesting roof and wall lines. Property developers
do this all the time but that can fill another topic on its own.
Our 'Maximum Build
Planning Guide' explains further the issues involved when
extending an existing property and what areas can be exploited for developing
land, buildings or a site for residential use.
To purchase our Maximum Build Planning
Guide simply click on one of the links below....
An intelligent plan is the first step to success. The man who plans
knows where he is going, knows what progress he is making and has a pretty
good idea when he will arrive. Planning is the open road to your
About the Author
MSM is a Practicing Planning Agent and building design team offering
Architectural Services to their clients specialising in residential
development. The views and opinions expressed here are personal
ones based on relevant life experiences. These views and opinions are
not intended to be actioned or copied by others.
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