Policy HOU3 Residential Extensions and Alterations
Planning permission will be granted for a proposal to extend or alter a residential property where all of the following criteria are met:
the scale, massing, design and external materials of the proposal are sympathetic with the built form and appearance of the existing property and will not detract from the appearance and character of the surrounding area;
the proposal does not unduly affect the privacy or amenity of neighbouring residents;
the proposal will not cause the unacceptable loss of, or damage to, trees or other landscape features which contribute significantly to local environmental quality; and
sufficient space remains within the curtilage of the property for recreational and domestic purposes including the parking and manoeuvring of vehicles.
The guidance set out in Appendix G will be taken into account when assessing proposals against the above criteria.
Justification and Amplification
This policy applies to all dwelling houses, flats or apartments throughout the Borough, including a dwelling located in the countryside.
In line with the SPPS, the LDP seeks to support good design and it is an important material consideration in the assessment of all applications, including proposals for residential extensions and alterations. Good design will help promote sustainable development and improve the quality of the existing environment.
A proposal to extend or alter a residential property can have a significant impact on the character and appearance of the local environment. Even small-scale changes can, by virtue of their cumulative impact over a period of time, significantly erode the character of a street, village or rural setting. An extension or alteration should be in scale with existing and adjoining buildings. The height, width and general size of an extension should generally be smaller than the existing dwelling and subordinate or integrated so as not to dominate the host building. It is important that an extension fits in with its surroundings by not only complementing the dwelling but also the street scene that it sits within. The overall aim is to encourage high quality design solutions irrespective of whether the approach followed seeks to mirror the style of the existing property or adopts a contemporary modern design approach.
It is important that the amenity of all residents is protected from ‘unneighbourly’ extensions as these can cause problems through overshadowing/loss of light, dominance and loss of privacy. The extent to which potential problems may arise is usually dependent upon the separation distance, height, depth, mass and location of an extension and window positions.
Care should be taken to ensure that proposals to extend do not decrease the amount of private open space to a level that cannot accommodate the normal domestic activities such as bin storage, clothes drying, sitting out and playspace. In considering the effect of an extension on private amenity space, Council will take into account the guidelines in Creating Places and the prevailing standard of private amenity space in the local area. Proposals which involve the loss of incurtilage car parking will require alternative parking elsewhere within the curtilage of the site or on street.
In assessing planning applications for residential extensions and/or alterations in Conservation Areas, Areas of Townscape Character and those affecting Listed Buildings, Council will also consider the relevant Historic Environment policies (HE6, HE7, HE3) together with any policy or advice contained in the relevant local design guide.
Applications for house extensions and alterations raise detailed, site specific issues and each case will be assessed on its individual merits. The acceptability of proposals will depend on the particular circumstances on the site and its surroundings and decisions will be informed by the guidance provided in Appendix G.