Words on the street

The new design advisory body, the Office for Place, and the final version of the National Model Design Code have no doubt been launched with lofty ambitions. Given a recent appeal decision, however, (DCS Number 400-031-261) we are wondering how the tension between these high ideals and the freedoms of the prior approval regime will be resolved on the ground. 

In this case a council in Hampshire had refused to grant prior approval for a second storey extension on an existing two-storey house, finding that it would look out of place in the street of single and two-storey dwellings. Overruling the council, the inspector pointed out that the GPDO refers specifically to the external appearance of the house itself rather than the surrounding area. Concluding that the proposal would not cause unacceptable harm to the external appearance of the dwellinghouse, when viewed by itself, the inspector concluded that it would be in accord with the provisions of Part 1, Class AA. 

How does that square with the aim of “creating more beautiful places”?

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