The planning process was ridiculous and the stress, extra work and cost created for us by planning being initially refused was horrendous.
I have felt compelled to highlight the incompetencies of the planning department by publishing extracts from the initial refusal notice alongside the appeal result notice which illustrates the complete lack of consistency and poor application of common sense by the first planning officer. Bits in black are our architects comments. I know its a bit long winded- if nothing else, read the bold bits!
The neighbouring property on the south side would be most affected by any further addition on this flank.
The proposed extension to our client property is sited to the north of the
adjoining property in question. A simple sunlight travel path would clearly
indicate that the natural light levels to said property would not be greatly
In the case of sunlight there would be little or no reduction because of the orientation of the respective properties
The proposed extension would project sufficiently beyond its extended neighbour to result in the flank wall causing an infringement of the 45°, light angle from the rear extension windows. This proposal fails to comply with design guidance that is intended to ensure all development reasonably respects neighbouring amenity and its depth would result in an unreasonable loss of daylight to the neighbour and overbearing impact when viewed from that property.
The boundary in question has mature planting on the adjoining side in the form of
trees and large shrubs - all of which to remain. It is our belief that the
addition of the proposed extension would have no greater impact on the light
levels that the existing natural screening. We would also confirm that you
stated during our telephone conversation that you could not see the windows of
the adjoining property from our client site due to the above.
At present trees and shrubs along the boundary already restrict daylight to the particular rear
window of No37 with that house’s own extension creating further shade. While
the proposed extension would not pass the recommended 45 degree angle test with
regard to the small corner area of No 37 I consider that its impact on natural light would not be significant and in all likelihood less than the screening of daylight resulting from the present
boundary trees and other vegetation.
The proposed extension would also result in the need for extensive
work to reduce the Pine tree shown within the neighbouring property but
overhanging the applicants land. The extent of the work would most likely lead
to its demise and as such the application has been considered in light of the removal of this tree.
I also note that the proposed extension would require extensive work to reduce the pine tree on the
immediate boundary resulting in trauma placing its future in doubt. However, I share the Council’s view that the tree has no particular amenity value and therefore this does not affect my findings on the main issue.
Reasons For Refusal
The proposal would infringe light and amenity to the ground floor rear elevation windows of the adjoining property due to the excessive depth of projection being proposed within
close proximity to the boundary, as such it fails to take account of advice in the saved policies HSG16, HSG20, ENV1 and ENV2 of the Replacement Elmbridge Borough Local Plan
2000, also Government advice, Planning Policy Statement 1 (Delivering Sustainable Development), Planning Policy Statement 3 (Housing).
Together with existing mature planting on either side of the boundary benefiting its setting and
screening, I do not consider that this modest development would have an overbearing impact on the outlook from the neighbouring property.
In my view the proposed extension would neither harm the character and appearance of this
residential area nor have a significant impact on the living conditions of the occupiers of the neighbouring property. For these reasons I conclude that it would accord with policies HSG16, HSG20, ENV1 and ENV2 of the Replacement Elmbridge Borough Local Plan 2000. For the reasons given above I conclude that the appeal should be allowed.