How can I gain plan­ning per­mis­sion for a back­land de­vel­op­ment?

Build It - - EXPERT HELP -

We are con­sid­er­ing pur­chas­ing the bot­tom of a large gar­den to build our home on. Un­for­tu­nately, I have been made aware that coun­cils gen­er­ally frown upon gar­den de­vel­op­ments. We sought pre-plan­ning ad­vice and were in­formed that the size and style we want should not be much of an is­sue, but they were con­cerned about the re­duc­tion of the green space, fear­ing it may cause harm to the lo­cal area. Say­ing that, the pic­ture they were bas­ing their opin­ion on was a Google Maps screen grab, which likely showed the green­ery as be­ing fuller than it is.

Short of us ob­tain­ing a site visit prior to our ap­pli­ca­tion, do you know of any­thing that may help us gain plan­ning per­mis­sion? What do the coun­cils class as harm and in­ap­pro­pri­ate de­vel­op­ment in gar­dens? Build­ing in a back gar­den, or ‘back­land’ de­vel­op­ments, as they are known, can raise dif­fi­cul­ties in suc­cess­fully gain­ing plan­ning per­mis­sion. e key is­sues tend to be the noise and dis­tur­bance im­pact of a new ac­cess route in close prox­im­ity to the flanks of ad­join­ing houses and their pri­vate gar­dens, plus over­look­ing win­dows and loss of light or out­look to neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties. e plan­ners will also con­sider any prospec­tive harm to the char­ac­ter of the sur­round­ings.

e coun­cil has iden­ti­fied some po­ten­tial dam­age to the area through the loss of green­ery, but un­less any sig­nif­i­cant trees are to be lost, this shouldn’t be too much of an is­sue. Pos­si­ble wider dis­rup­tion is in­evitably a sub­jec­tive judg­ment. Much would de­pend on the promi­nence of the new house, in terms of its size, height, ma­te­ri­als and vis­i­bil­ity. e amount of screen­ing and the de­gree to which it would ei­ther blend or con­flict with the pre­vail­ing pat­tern of hous­ing nearby are fac­tors, too.

Your coun­cil’s Lo­cal Plan poli­cies will set out cri­te­ria for new de­vel­op­ment and you should check your project against those. In pre­sent­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion, en­sure your draw­ings look at­trac­tive. It’s worth con­sid­er­ing com­mis­sion­ing some 3D images or artists’ im­pres­sions, to show how the house would look in its con­text. It is best to avoid any ob­jec­tions from neigh­bours too, as this can only help you in your bid.

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