The effect in terms of noise for residents at existing properties where tandem and backland development is proposed can be difficult to judge. In a case concerning a proposal for seven to eight dwellings on a backland site in Leicestershire (DCS Number 400-010-162), however, the inspector had the assistance of supplementary planning guidance.
It was proposed that a new access road would be constructed which would run between two existing properties. The inspector considered that the occupants of the properties either side of the access road were likely to experience unacceptable levels of noise and disturbance associated with vehicular movements passing in close proximity to their windows. This would be compounded by the fact that the access road would narrow to single width as it passed between the two properties which effectively created a pinch point. Consequently, he reasoned, there was a likelihood that a degree of manoeuvring would occur as vehicles entering and exiting the site had to wait for each other to pass.
In support of his conclusion, the inspector referred to supplementary planning guidance adopted by the council on backland and tandem developments. This set out minimum separation distances between an access serving a backland site and the elevations of existing properties. In particular, it stated that an access should be a minimum of 3m from the side or front elevation windows and doors to ancillary rooms and 5m from any side or front elevation windows and doors to main living rooms. In the case before him the proposal did not meet the minimum 3m as set out in the SPG in respect of both properties. The development would have an unacceptable effect on the living conditions of the occupants of the existing properties with regard to noise and disturbance, he decided.
The following DCP chapter is relevant: 8.1