Hello, I’m wondering if anyone could help me. My husband and me hired an architect back in December to draw up some plans to add on an additional bedroom and small bathroom upstairs as we currently have a bathroom downstairs and two bedrooms. Plans all drawn up and we were confident with the advice given from our architect as we don’t know anything about planning. Was submitted in early Feb and got refused. Reason for refusal was that the rear extension on the second floor would cause a sense of enclosure and “un-neighbourly” environment for our neighbor (even though our neighbour didn’t reject). So our architect who was dealing with our application as that was part of his terms and conditions, spoke to the officer to resolve the issues. The planning officer said you would need to reduce the size of the rear extension. So our architect put forward reducing the height so the impact wasn’t so great, The response from the officer was that it was along the right lines, so not a yes or a no. Our architect kept referring to the essex design guide on over shadowing and that it complied with the essex design guide on this issue, but the officer never gave a response to this. So the architect suggested that we resubmit with the changes to the roof height and quoted the detailing from the design guide about this issue.
We then had the second application rejected which we thought it would, being on the same issue. The architect had quite a debate with the officer and the officer told him that Braintree Council don’t follow the design guide like other local authorities. This being highly unfair to our case. He said we can do permitted development but wouldn’t be able to extend further than this, Very frustrating as we only needed an extra 50 cms more to enable us to have the bathroom upstairs. Also very frustrating that the first planning officer never told us that the council don’t follow the essex design guide, which would have saved us an extra £400 and wasted 8 weeks! how to councils get away with such mixed advise, but being a customer so to speak are wrong. So we are now looking at doing permitted development to extend the property, which is 3 metres for double storey,
I contacted the planning officer today to ask if we could arrange a meet up to discuss what can we do next, as the previous officer was willing to meet up with us to discuss. He told us it would cost us £150 to meet with him, even though previously we were allowed to meet up with no mention of a fee. Also other people in my village were never given this fee, so why are we now being asked to pay this?
What we want to do is use the permitted development method as there is no way the officer is going to permit us planning permission. So what we want to know is how far can we extend upstairs and downstairs? Our bottom floor is situated further out from our top floor which is about 3.2 m with a pitched roof, so the double storey permitted development extension wouldn’t be a straight forward 3meter out as the bottom floor is out further than the top. (hope that makes sense) So under permitted devleopment could we extend on the bottom floor as well as the top as this is currently out further?
I’m worried of contacting the council now as everything has been negative and no sympathy has been given at all. We aren’t doing this to make money on the property we are doing to live and extend our family and what gets me that bigger development projects seem to get passed and there have been some questionable ones locally to us locally and the extension we want to do is tiny and it’s been refused. Any help would be greatly appreciated! sorry for the long amount of text.