Pitch perfect

In determining an appeal against the refusal of prior approval for the addition of a first floor to a bungalow in Lancashire (DCS Number 400-032-082) an inspector has agreed with the appellant’s interpretation of ‘roof pitch’.

Schedule 2, Part 1, Class AA of the GPDO, the inspector recorded, permits the enlargement of a one-storey dwellinghouse consisting of the construction of one additional storey immediately above the topmost storey of the dwellinghouse, subject to limitations and conditions. The main issue, she found, related to the roof pitch.

Condition AA.2(2)(c), the inspector noted, states that the roof pitch of the principal part of the dwellinghouse following the development must be the same as the roof pitch of the existing dwellinghouse. The appellant stated that the roof pitch of the principal part of the proposed extended dwellinghouse would be the same as the roof pitch of the existing dwellinghouse. Nevertheless, the council was concerned that parts of the existing roof pitch were different from that proposed. The introduction of conventional dual-pitched roofs, the council argued, would introduce an entirely different roof form, with the roof planes at various points sloping in different directions from those currently existing, and ridges introduced where they did not currently exist.

The inspector pointed out, however, that the GPDO wording suggests a relatively narrow assessment as to the roof. The wording of condition AA.2(2)(c) refers specifically to the roof pitch. It does not, she noted, state that the roof must be of the same design, form, profile or direction as the existing roof pitch. Accordingly, she determined that following the development, the pitch of the roof would be the same as the roof pitch of the principal part of the existing dwellinghouse.

Part AA.2(3)(a), the inspector continued, requires the developer, before beginning the development, to apply to the local planning authority for prior approval for matters which include (ii) the external appearance of the dwellinghouse, including the design and architectural features. She decided that although the proposal would result in a differently designed roof, and therefore the external appearance of the dwellinghouse would alter, the scheme would result in a more coherent roof design. Overall, taking into account the design and architectural features of the principal and side elevations, she considered that the proposal would be acceptable in terms of external appearance. 

The inspector decided that the proposal would comply with the conditions, limitations and restrictions specified in the GPDO and that prior approval should be granted.

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