planningapplicationsPlanning application 16/06887/H

Proposed second floor rear extension/addition to existing rear annexe.

The Bishopston Society is concerned about this application, both in respect of the proposed double dormer roof extension (said to be covered under Permitted Development) and the bathroom extension proposed.

The dormer extension is currently at the early stage of construction on site. There are no proper plans and no elevations available. We understand from the Planning Officer that he has strongly recommended that details should be submitted under an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness before the work is progressed, in order that it can be established that the design including fenestration and proposed materials are confirmed to be in compliance with the statutory requirements for Permitted Development. The sketch Second Floor Plan currently submitted shows the proposed dormer covering the full footprint of the host dwelling below i.e. that the front face of the dormer is flush with the existing gable wall below. This is not acceptable and would spoil not only the front elevation of the house but also the integrity of the local streetscene. The front face of the dormer should be set back at least 1100mm from the front wall of the house, in order that the dormer is not immediately visible from the street.

The precedent for this is 95 Berkeley Road where again work was started on a double dormer roof extension under Permitted Development but without a Certificate of Lawfulness and the front face of the dormer was constructed only slightly set back from the front wall of the house. Planning Enforcement stopped the work on site for several weeks and it was finally agreed that the front of the dormer should be taken down and rebuilt 1100mm back from the front face of the house. The end result is not attractive but considerably better than it would have been had it not been corrected.

We are concerned that the proposed bathroom extension at second floor level is too high and ungainly and dominates the rear of what is basically a small cottage, not to mention the adjacent properties and private gardens, which are small such that the window to window distance at the rear is tight. We suggest that permission for the bathroom extension is refused.

To summarise, our firm recommendation is that the dormer extension should be set back 1100mm at the front and should contain one double bedroom and the bathroom. We consider that the current proposals are overdevelopment and out of keeping with the character of the house and the surrounding area. We are extremely concerned that the character of Bishopston is being eroded by insensitive development proposals, particularly roof extensions and parking in front gardens. This raises the question again as to whether the more special parts of residential Bishopston, particularly Egerton Road and Berkeley Road, should have the protection of being a Conservation Area. As they say, once it's gone, it's gone.

Update  :  this application was refused on 6 February 2017

The Bishopton Society is continuing to pursue the question of whether the works already in progress are compliant with the Permitted Development Regulations.