Eavesdropping

A ruling from an inspector who issued a lawful development certificate for a rear extension to a house in Northamptonshire (DCS Number 400-015-584) tells us that we can drop eaves from certain* permitted development calculations.

The council accepted that the extension complied with all the criteria and conditions of Class A, Part 1, Schedule 2 of the GPDO, other than criterion (i). To satisfy this criterion the extension must not be within 2 metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse where its eaves height exceeds 3 metres, the inspector recorded. The side wall of the extension was not within 2 metres of the boundary of the curtilage, but the extended eaves of the roof of the extension was within 2 metres of the boundary and exceeded 3 metres in height. For this reason the council maintained that the extension did not comply with criterion (i) of Class A.

The inspector referred to the Technical Guidance to the GPDO. This refers to ‘any part of a proposed extension’ and the council regarded the extended eaves of the roof to be a part of the extension. The inspector reasoned, however, that diagrams and text of the Technical Guidance consistently refer to ‘walls’ as being the outer limits of permitted development. Furthermore, he noted, it is common practice for buildings to be measured, for setting out purposes and to assess their ground coverage, from the outer faces of their external walls. He added that measuring a building by taking into account eaves overhangs and gutters was imprecise. Also, an eaves overhang of a building or extension does not result in the building or extension being any higher than it would be without the overhang.

For all these reasons, he concluded, it is reasonable to assume that ‘any part’ of an extension refers to any external wall of the extension.  Therefore, the eaves overhang of the rear extension at the appeal dwelling could be disregarded to assess whether the extension complied with the provisions of Class A, Part 1, Schedule 2 of the GPDO.

The extension therefore satisfied criterion (i), and could thus be regarded to be permitted  development, he determined.

*Not all!

The following DCP section is relevant: 4.3421  

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