Enlarging on extensions

Unsurprisingly, confusion can arise about the meaning of the reference in Class A, Part 1, Schedule 2 of the GPDO to “the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse”. Does it mean just the extension currently proposed, or should it include previous extensions to the dwelling? The answer is that it used to be the latter, then it was the former but now it’s the latter, as helpfully set out by an inspector in a recent appeal decision (DCS Number 400-019-328).

The case before the inspector involved the erection of a first floor extension on top of an existing ground floor extension. He recorded that the April 2016 edition of ‘Permitted Development Rights for Householders – Technical Guidance’ set out the Government’s view that a first floor addition would not be permitted development if it was located on top of an existing ground floor extension which projected by more than 3m from the original rear wall. He went on to explain, however, that that interpretation had been the subject of a legal challenge in The Queen on the Application of Hilton v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016]. In Hilton it was held that the ‘enlarged part of the dwellinghouse’ should be interpreted as meaning the specific element that was proposed at the time, not taking account of previous extensions.

Subsequent to Hilton, however, the Government issued The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2017. This introduced paragraph A.1(ja) to Part 1 which states that development would not be permitted if “any total enlargement (being the enlarged part together with any existing enlargement of the original dwellinghouse to which it will be joined) exceeds or would exceed the limits set out in sub-paragraphs (e) to (j)”. It seemed to the inspector that the Government had been concerned about the potential implications of the Hilton judgement and made changes to the statutory instrument to the effect that ‘the enlarged part’ of the dwellinghouse should be considered as the total enlargement, including the proposed and any existing extensions. A new edition of the Technical Guidance was also published in April 2017 to confirm that position, which remains in force. So, in the case before the inspector the ‘enlarged part of the dwellinghouse’ comprised the first floor addition and the existing single storey extension taken together.

Good. That’s that sorted. Time for a lie down.

Section 4.3421 of DCP Online concerns GPDO Part 1.