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paulm

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Question for those familiar with building works and planning permissions please.

Next door has approved plans to build a new house alongside ours on the next door plot.

The approved plans show a separation distance of 7.8m building to building, as stated and drawn on the site layout plan which is shown from above looking down at the ground perspective.

My question is whether such a plan normally shows the outline of the roof area, or the outline of the external walls (this being less due to fascias and guttering) ?

So would the 7.8m distance be taken as wall to wall, fascia to fascia, or edge of gutterings?

Is there a generally accepted convention or rule around planning drawings or definition of separation distance in that context ?

Thanks for any info' :)

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MikeG.

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The drawing convention is normally wall to boundary. I don't think I have ever come across a measurement between two buildings on different sites, but this may be because there is no boundary extant on the site. Is that the case? Be aware that there are tolerances (ie the local authority won't require a building to be demolished if it is 5mm out of place).

It should be fairly easy to tell if the line on the drawing represents the roof or the footprint. There will be other drawings in the package with the walls shown, and you could simply take the longest measurement you can and see if it scales to the same as the drawing you are concerned with.
 

paulm

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Hi Mike, thanks for the response.

Oddly, there is an existing close boarded fence boundary in place (that we own), so not sure why the developer has measured between the properties instead.

Below are two bits of the application drawings, the first showing the plan view of the two properties (new build at the top), and the second being the only one that I can see that shows the roof structure of the new dwelling in relation to the built footprint of same.

The new build replaces an existing single storey bungalow that was around 9m from the boundary, and the new build will be full two storeys and only 3m from the boundary. There are no first floor windows overlooking us on the side elevation (one obscured glass storage room) but most of our habitable room windows (dining room, lounge window and french doors, upstairs bedroom veluxes) are on that side elevation together with main amenity areas for bbq, sitting out, entertaining etc, so will be affected by the large bulk of built form in itself and reducing light (in the first drawing east is at top of page and west at bottom).

We argued against the proximity and scale of the new dwelling at planning, this being a semi-rural village location next to a Conservation Area rather than a suburban/estate location, but didn't get anywhere unfortunately. The current question is small in the scheme of things, but pushing the new build back by a foot or two would be some small improvement in matters if the 7.8m should be measured fascia to fascia (or guttering/guttering).

The drawing of the chimney in the second picture suggests to me that the first picture is drawn as the roof outline, given the proportion of the chimney stack inside the drawn area if that makes sense ? May be wishful thinking !

I suspect the planning people may not care in any event, so just trying to figure out whether it's worth pursuing or not. The new dwelling isn't built yet, they are just clearing the site and laying out markings for foundations at present.

Any further thoughts would be much appreciated :)
 

MikeG.

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Well the roof plan to the same scale will give you the answer. Whichever of the outer (solid) or inner (dashed) line matches the line in the block plan will tell you what the block plan represents. It looks like a roof plan to me, but measure it. It isn't normally done with rooves because planners want to be able to measure at an early stage if there is any query, and obviously there is no roof at that stage. Don't expect a lot of support from the planners. They aren't wanting a battle over 400mm or so I can tell you.
 

paulm

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Thanks Mike. I'm not sure how to go about matching the scales and measuring without the actual original drawings, but probably being a bit slow !

I can imagine the planners not caring, but it makes a difference to us, hence trying to get a better feel of whether we are technically correct in which case I don't mind making myself unpopular and creating a fuss, but wouldn't want to do that if we are not technically okay in the first place !
 

paulm

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Had a go at measuring/scaling but couldn't figure it out accurately, so have emailed the planning officer and development control in any event on the basis I had done so, and the chimney position confirms, and will let them confirm or tell me otherwise !

They will likely say so what or similar and then the question arises of what can I do about if anything ?!!

Have to try at least, as pushing the bulk and overbearing new dwelling back another 0.4m is material and significant from our perspective.
 

Sheffield Tony

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I'd be very surprised if the planners will be interested. They usually remind you that you have no right to a view beyond the boundary of your property, and tell you you're not "materially affected". And at 7.8m, by modern standards you could fit a whole extra house in that gap !

You have my sympathy though.
 

paulm

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Yes, we fought and lost that battle already I'm afraid :(

This though is a bit different, it's a question of whether the build already approved has to be built as drawn and approved or whether the planners can just wave through departures from the approval (if my interpretation of the drawings is correct) and whether I have any recourse in that event.

I suspect yes they can and yes they will, and nothing I can do about it, but not one to give up if there's anything to be done about it :)
 

paulm

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That's annoying !

Had another coffee and cleared my head a bit and figured out how to compare the two drawings, which were on different scales, and enlarged them enough to give a reasonable degree of accuracy, and the block plan outline of the new dwelling does actually correspond to the wall measurement on the roof drawing, even though the position of the chimney stack suggests otherwise.

So the block plan and the 7.8m separation distance is indeed wall to wall after all, which seemed to be more likely given normal conventions.

Will wait for development control to confirm I'm wrong then after all !!!
 

tsb

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I'm sure there's a rule which states that there should be a distance of 21m between windows. I'm no expert but that might be worth looking into
 

MikeG.

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tsb":aksyhvz3 said:
I'm sure there's a rule which states that there should be a distance of 21m between windows.......
The only time I've ever come across this it referred to back-window-to back-window separation, in one council's guidance to their policy documents. It didn't apply to front or side windows. Besides, that would vary from council to council, and most, in my experience, have no policy on the matter at all.

Most importantly of all, this development has already got permission, so trying to retrospectively object is a fruitless exercise.
 

paulm

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Yes, that battle was fought and lost, this was then about interpreting the permission and ensuring it was built to plan to avoid further issues.

Separately though, there is a FOI request in to better understand how a very ambitious planning proposal came to be approved, together with several amendments in favour of the developer, given other recent planning history in the immediate area !
 

Rorschach

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FWIW for anyone else having trouble with development, the best way to stop a potential build is not to word your argument around a full objection. Planning officers want to allow projects to proceed, they are not looking to stop something not are they concerned about your view or changes to your living circumstances. What really concerns them is health and safety and potential for future litigation.

Don't talk about your view, it will be ignored, don't talk about site access for building, that will also be ignored and is only a minor temporary problem anyway, don't talk about the effect on your property price, they will resent you for that one.

Gear your argument around privacy issues both now and in the future, road traffic issues, especially around visibility , and, depending on your location probably your trump card is parking and vehicle access.

Don't expect to block the application though, you are not likely too. What you really want to aim for is adding so many restrictions to their application that it makes the project uneconomical to pursue. You will be much more successful with this route.

Case in point, neighbours of ours wanted to build in their back garden. They applied to build 2 x 3 bedroom semi detached houses and their planning permission ultimately was approved. The project was abandoned though because of restrictions placed by the planning officer. When we read the restriction list it was almost entirely based around points raised in our objection.

We objected to loss of privacy, safety on the road and lack of local parking space. The restrictions placed by the planning department stated that they had to provide off road parking for 2 cars per property and 2 cars for the current property (whose existing parking was being removed by the new buildings). The height of the buildings were restricted as well as window placement so they would not overlook our property.

What this meant for our neighbours was that they ran out of room for 2 houses with the parking restrictions, and the height restriction meant either serious ground works or a bungalow and ending up with no garden space for any of the properties on the site. This turned their plan for easy money on 2 properties to an expensive project that would not be appealing to sell afterwards. They abandoned the project and sold the house and land less than 12 months later.
 
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