Do I have a chance of getting permission for a rear ground floor extension after my neighbours objections got me refused the first time…


Q: I live in N16, Hackney, I was refused planning permission for a first-floor rear extension, primarily due to neighbour’s objections, I then built a flat in the basement, now that I am no longer a single dwelling property, do I have a chance of getting permission for a rear extension at ground level? This will barely affect neighbours (although they are very difficult). Can I put in an external staircase?


A: Yes, you can still get planning for a rear extension under a Full Planning Application or in other cases were the house is not subdivided you can amend the drawings to reduce impact and go in again for a Prior notification Permitted Development six metre rear extension, as well I would advise to get a daylight report. The best way to get it, is having a friendly chat with the neighbour and understand their concerns, and address it in the Prior notification. If all the above doesn’t work, there is the route of going for a full application, however it will be a much smaller rear extension.

In the SPD (supplementary planning document), a rear extension under full planning will be Granted, if it’s up to three meters in depth and three meters in height. If your neighbours have larger extensions they will allow bigger.

Regarding the height, going higher than three meters, it all depends on the character of the street, and the impact of
the neighbours.

So, if you want do want to go higher than three meters I would advise in getting a daylight report, to show that there is no impact to neighbours, and even with this they can still refuse it on the grounds of ‘sense of enclosure’. Now if your house is an L shaped house they will allow to infill the side extension and go out a further three to four meters after the house (meaning from the main house it will be around six to eight meters), however in most cases they will require you to drop the height by the boundaries to 2.3m high (as the drawings below), however in this case it’s advisable that both neighbours go in together
for planning, like this the need to lower the height by the boundary will be avoided.

There are other ways to get a six meter wrap-around extension, however it would be too complicated to write in the article, if you would like to know how this can be achieved, please call my office on 02038466745 to discuss it. 

Now regarding you making an unauthorised flat in the basement, please note after 4 years it gets immune from enforcement, and if you will put in a Prior Notification PD application it will be contradicting when you will want to establish it after 4 years.
An external staircase will always need planning, either to the front or to the rear.

Below ground level to the front of the property, it is possible to get planning, if the front garden is big enough (over 2 meters in length), and it’s not disruptive to the character.

Below ground level to the rear of the property, is easily achieved, as long as it does not take up more than 50% of
the garden garden.

To extend at the front of your property at ground or first floor is impossible (unless there are very good mitigation, and the house is in Pakistan).

If you would like to make a rear external staircase going from first floor to the garden, this is a tricky application to make, as you need to avoid overlooking the neighbours garden, and even if the local authority will grant it, they will condition that it can’t be used as a terrace/balcony, only as a passage way.

Many thanks for the question, it was a complicated one and I would advise that the best way to clarify questions of
this nature are by calling us to discuss and clarify. In short, when you get planning permission, follow the approved drawings! If you don’t, you will be immune from potentially severe consequences only after 10 years have passed and you have established use. 




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