Cutting down

Happy New Year! After far too many mince pies over Christmas some serious cutting down would be in order here at DCP Blog HQ, so perhaps that’s why this one jumped out:-

An inspector has issued a certificate of lawfulness for ‘a loft conversion with hip to gable and rear dormer’ at an end terrace house in east London, deciding that it would be permitted development despite the council’s contention that it would not involve an enlargement of the dwelling (DCS Number 400-033-777).  

The appellant argued that the development would be permitted development under Class B Part 1 Schedule 2 of the GPDO. Class B, the inspector recorded, sets out that the enlargement of a dwellinghouse consisting of an addition or an alteration to its roof is permitted development, subject to a number of limitations and conditions.

The drawings showed that in order to construct the rear dormer, the roof of a rear extension would be partially removed and replaced with a flat roof. The council refused the application as it considered that the changes to the roof of the rear extension would be a reduction rather than an enlargement of the dwelling and would therefore not fall within Class B.

The inspector pointed out, however, that Class B permits enlargements consisting of alterations as well as additions. The term ‘alteration’, he remarked, is not defined in the GPDO. He reasoned that, in simple terms, an alteration is a change to something to make it different, and saw no reason why it could not include the removal of part of the existing structure.

The inspector decided that the removal of part of the pitched roof of the existing extension and its replacement with a flat roof was an alteration to the roof. Accordingly, he found that the development would benefit from the permitted development right set out in Class B of the GPDO.

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