EXTENSIONS are a great way to improve your home and save money – as building out is often cheaper than moving.
But any building works can quickly create problems with your neighbours if you don’t stick to the rules.
Recent research from Santander found that UK homeowners applied for more than 60,000 home extensions and conversions during the first coronavirus lockdown, and the trend has only continued.
But you’ll need planning permission for certain types of extension, and it could get rejected by your local planning authority if you don’t stick to the rules.
Andrew Cann, director of Planning Direct, a planning consultancy based in the East of England, said there are ways to appeal if your initial application for an extension is rejected.
Here’s what you need to know:
Why might your home extension be rejected?
It’s worth remembering that sometimes you don’t need permission to build an extension.
Permitted development rights are rules which apply to homes in England and allow you to improve or extend without planning permission.
As well as allowing developers to change buildings such as offices into homes, they allow homeowners to build small extensions.
But for bigger builds, you’ll need to apply for permission, and there are a whole range of reasons why your extension might be rejected, according to Andrew.
“Your home extension can be rejected because it is too large, is not in character with the area or it cause harm to neighbours – such as overshadowing or overlooking,” he said.
Should I always try and appeal?
If you application is rejected, you might be able to appeal – but Andrew said this isn’t always a good idea.
If in doubt, get advice from an expert – especially if there are other examples of similar developments in the area.
“Where the house is listed or on green belt land it can often be pointless to appeal, for example,” said Andrew.
“But even if you lose, the Inspector (who is the judge of the merits of the appeal) will lay out what they find acceptable or not and this can be the basis of a second successful application.”
How do you actually appeal?
In order to appeal, you’ll need to prepare a Statement of Case.
This is a document setting out why you believe the extension should be granted in planning policy terms – an expert can help you with this, but they will charge.
This is sent along with an appeal form to the Planning Inspectorate.
This is a government body independent of your local council, which will check whether the planning authority which refused you was correct to do so.
There is normally no fee to submit a planning appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
The main cost is the fee you’ll need to give a consultant or solicitor to prepare and manage it on your behalf – the amount will depend on the case.
How do I win my appeal?
The truth is, there is no guarantee to winning your appeal – and you should be wary of any solicitor or consultant that promises you a victory.
“Any one consultant who says an appeal will definitely be won should be avoided” said Andrew.
That said, there are some tips that can help you on your way to a win. “Take a look around – if other nearby homeowners have made similar changes, the chances are you will win,” said Andrew.
Another thing to look out for is that your application may have been refused on a technicality or just because of a missing detail.
“Sometimes it is worth re-applying with a modified version if the council only wants small changes. A re-application is free within a year of the first refusal,” said Andrew.
But if an appeal is mishandled and refused this can “blight” the property and you will not get permission in future.
There are some challenges when you are looking to appeal.
You must establish that the extension complies with local planning policy and importantly does not harm others.
Elsewhere, we have looked at how to build an extension without needing to get planning permission.
And one couple sued their neighbour when she built an extension that touched their home.
Source: The Sun