Earlier extension discounted under permitted development rights

In relation to householders’ permitted development rights what is the meaning of “the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse” in Class A of Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015?

This grants planning permission for the “enlargement” of a dwellinghouse. Paragraph A.1(g) says that development is not permitted where the “enlarged part” would have more than one storey, and would (i) extend more than 6 metres [or 8 metres for a detached house] from the rear wall of the “original dwellinghouse”, or (ii) be more than 4 metres in height.

In the High Court case of Hilton v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2016] Mr Hilton had already constructed a two-storey rear extension pursuant to an express planning permission. He then applied for prior approval for a single storey rear extension. Collectively the existing and proposed extensions would extend less than 6 metres from the rear wall of the original dwellinghouse.

However, on appeal under Section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 the Inspector ruled that the “enlarged part” went beyond the extension proposed under the permitted development right; it also included the earlier extension. So the proposal was not permitted development because the previous extension had more than one storey. This was consistent with the Secretary of State’s guidance on householder permitted development rights.

The High Court said that the Inspector (and by implication that guidance) was wrong, and that the “enlarged part” of a dwellinghouse under Class A meant only what was being proposed.

This blog has been posted out of general interest. It does not replace the need to get bespoke legal advice in individual cases.