A porch too far?

PDP_Retrospective Planning Permission

We recently secured a retrospective planning permission for a client who had started to build a porch structure around the front door of their Class Q barn conversion. The converted building was formerly a piggery before the landowner approached us to submit a successful Prior Notification Application under Permitted Development Rights legislation. During the design process, great care was taken to ensure the agricultural character of the building was preserved. This was achieved by utilising the existing openings on the structure for windows and doors, and we proposed the converted building be clad in timber to soften its appearance in the landscape.

Permission was duly granted and the works carried out within the 3 year timeframe required by the legislation. However an issue arose when a member of the Local Authority’s Enforcement Team became aware that the landowner had begun to erect a porch structure around the front entrance of the property. For many domestic properties similarly modest extensions would be permissible under the General Permitted Development (England) Order 2015. However, the problem in this particular situation was two-fold. Firstly, extensions to the primary elevation of a dwellinghouse are not permitted by virtue of Schedule 2, Part 1, Class A.1 (e). Secondly, the legislation is clear that any former agricultural building that is converted under the provision of Class Q does not benefit from Permitted Development Rights.

To remedy the situation, we produced a full planning application to gain retrospective permission for the extension. Our argument focused on how the porch was acceptable from a design perspective, in so far as it was subservient to the original dwelling in size and scale, and that the use of the same timber cladding would tie the porch in visual with the rest of the site. We also highlighted the functional need of the space. The landowner is still involved in the agriculture business and needed the porch as a “boot-room” space where they could easily get in and out of muddy boots and clothes. We successfully explained that the extension was compliant with the requirements of the Authority’s countryside and landscape protection policies. We also took the opportunity to apply for an extension to the dwellings domestic curtilage, which is also restricted under Class Q, which now means the landowner can enjoy the area of land which encompasses their building more freely than the legislation permits.

Sometimes people undertake building work or they use land in a different way without applying for planning permission when they should.

The planning system is complex and mistakes happen. We are always willing to provide help and advice, and are able to provide an initial consultation without charge. Please contact us if you have a project or property you would like to discuss.

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