Posts Categorized: Current thinking

The offside rule






A quick scan of the appeal record reveals any number of examples of arguments concerning what constitutes the side elevation of a dwelling. In dealing with an appeal against the refusal of a lawful development certificate for a two storey rear extension to a dwelling in south London (DCS Number 400-017-646), an inspector decided that a bay window in the rear elevation was part and parcel of the rear wall.

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The total effect






Right, we’ve had a good look at the meaning of ‘isolated’. Next up, ‘materially larger’.

Paragraph 89 of the NPPF states that planning authorities should regard the construction of new buildings as inappropriate in the green belt. Exceptions include “the replacement of a building, provided the new building is in the same use and not materially larger than the one it replaces”. However, as noted by an inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a replacement house in the green belt near Bristol, the NPPF lacks a definition for the term ‘materially larger’ (DCS Number 400-017-236).

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An isolated case






Regular readers will be aware that in a couple of posts we have drawn attention to the lack of a definition for ‘isolated’ in the NPPF; Nature abhors a vacuum and  ‘Isolation’ – Now we’re getting somewhere. Readers might also be aware that the matter has been addressed recently in the High Court – Braintree District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017].  Here on the Blog we have been keeping watch for an appeal case which refers to this court ruling in order to understand its impact in practice, and a useful example has come up in Worcestershire (DCS Number 400-017-452). This case involves the conversion of storage buildings adjacent to a village settlement boundary to three dwellings. Despite being identified as being within open countryside, the site was not isolated, the inspector concluded:

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Nature abhors a vacuum






We have referred previously to the absence of a definition of ‘isolated’ in the NPPF – ‘Isolation’ – Now we’re getting somewhere – and the efforts of inspectors to fill the void. Here is a bit more from an inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of outline planning permission for two dwellings in rural Suffolk (DCS Number 400-017-227).

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Thinking inside the box….






….Box 5.1 of the Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, Third Edition (GLVIA3) published by the Landscape Institute and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, to be precise. Box 5.1 sets out eight criteria against which landscape value might be assessed. These are landscape quality (condition), conservation interest, scenic quality, recreation value, rarity, perceptual aspects, representativeness and associations.

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