extensions: supplementary planning document
Council have launched a consultation on their new rules for extensions
to houses. This will replace the
current district plan and will run until 2026. A printed copy
is available in Hartley Library.
Why is it important?
document when approved will guide future planning decisions. So
it will affect landowners' chances of getting planning permission
for a particular site, and the grounds that local people can comment
on applications. It may not sound interesting, but potentially
it affects us all.
What is being proposed?
appears to be much more detailed than the current district plan;
for the first time illustrations have been used to show what is
acceptable and what is not. A few of the proposals are reminiscent
of past planning applications that have gone to appeal.
- Rear extensions - should have
pitched roofs and be no more than 3m (semi/terraced houses)
or 4m long (detached)
- Side extensions - should be no
nearer than 1m from the boundary, need to consider street scene,
and not lose key parking spaces
- Front extensions - less acceptable
than rear extensions, but OK if no consistent building line
or projecting features such as gables. Again flat roofs
unpopular unless characteristic of road already. Porches
should not interfere with street scene.
- Loft extensions - preferable at
back rather than front. Dormers not normally permitted
if none in road already, velux windows may be acceptable instead.
Extensions shouldn't be higher than roof and be set back
from eaves. Dormers should align with existing windows
and windows in general should be the same size as the existing
ones on the property.
- Garages - not normally allowable
if in front of building line of road, should be clearly ancilliary
to main building.
- Fences - unsympathetic boundaries
such as close boarded fences should be avoided where they border
the street. Total enclosure by high boundaries will not
be encouraged, as they believe being able to see the street
- Hard surfaces - they wish to encourage
the use of permeable surfaces.
- Neighbour amenity - there are
detailed considerations as to what the authority will assume
is unacceptable development to neighbour amenity, extra protection
is given to the space 5m behind a property which is the "private
- Green belt - they intend to apply
the same criteria even for houses which cannot easily be seen.
The "50% rule" for size of extensions will continue,
the size of the dwelling will include any ancilliary buildings
within 5m of the main house. Basements will be included
in floorspace calculations for extensions. Extensions
should appear secondary to the building. Loss of traditional
boundaries such as hedges should be avoided and "urban"
boundaries should be avoided.
- General design - should be energy
efficient, recycle materials where possible, design out crime,
retain trees and hedges where possible and encourage wildlife.
What happens next?
only a consultation document at present. If you have any comments
for or against, you should let the council know. Remember
that this will dictate planning decisions for many years to come.
It could be your one chance to have a say now! You can
make your comments by logging in to the consultation website.