A masquerade

An inspector has declined to issue a certificate of lawfulness for development at the rear of a house in north London, ruling that it would be an extension masquerading as an outbuilding (DCS Number 400-025-329).

The appellant maintained that the development was permitted under Part 2, Class E of the GPDO. Class E, the inspector noted, authorises the provision within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse of any building required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such, subject to several limitations all of which would be complied with in the case before him. The plans indicated that the development would be used as a gym and for storage which, he remarked, are often considered to be incidental purposes.

In refusing the application, the council stated that the proposed development, ‘more properly described as an enlargement of the dwelling’, would extend more than three metres beyond the rear wall of the original dwellinghouse, and as such it would not comply with Part 1, Class A of the GPDO.

The plans showed that a structure would be erected that would be the full width of the house, the inspector related. Its nearest walls would match exactly the profile of the rear walls of the house. The gap between these particular walls would, throughout, be about 5cm. Where the house had an external door and an outside window at present, the structure would have a corresponding door and window about 5cm away. On its opposite side, the structure would have external doors and an external window.

The inspector found it very obvious that the development would be a house extension masquerading as an outbuilding. He ruled that, as such, it should be dealt with under Class A as the council indicated, where it would fail to qualify as permitted development for the reason given by the council. If begun at the time of the application for the certificate the development would not be lawful since it would not have planning permission, he concluded, dismissing the appeal.

Hmm, compare and contrast with the case we reported in Taking the Michael, and see what you think of that inspector’s decision. We are siding with this guy.

The permitted development classes are set out at section 4.342 of DCP Online.