We specialise in planning appeals and submit appeals all over England and Wales, but the London Borough of Hillingdon has been a particularly busy council for us in the past year.
Hillingdon has made some particularly harsh decisions on two-storey side and rear extensions and on some permitted development extensions. But it has also been taking a very strict approach to applications for new houses on smaller, infill sites (such as on a side or rear garden).
Last week, we won an appeal for the conversion of a building on Dawley Road into a new dwelling. The Council saw it as awkward, backland development, but we argued that it was well designed and had a comfortable relationship to the rest of the dwellings on the street.
We also recently won an appeal for a new one bedroom bungalow to the rear of 2 Nichols Avenue, in Hillingdon. This was for a small dwelling designed to closely match its immediate neighbours.
Hillingdon generally dislikes infill development because it argues that it alters the character of the street. However, new houses in existing areas are very sustainable – they take advantage of existing infrastructure and transport links and relieve pressure to build in the Green Belt and the countryside. The London Plan makes clear that the outer London boroughs must accept more of this kind of development. It says that:
“Small sites should play a much greater role in housing delivery and boroughs should pro-actively support well-designed new homes on small sites through both planning decisions and plan-making in order to:
- significantly increase the contribution of small sites to meeting London’s housing needs
- diversify the sources, locations, type and mix of housing supply
- support small and medium-sized housebuilders
- support those wishing to bring forward custom, self-build and community-led housing.”
The policy goes on to say that the boroughs should:
“recognise in their Development Plans and planning decisions that local characterevolves over time and will need to change in appropriate locations to accommodate additional housing provision and increases in residential density through small housing developments.”
Table 4.2 of the London Plan sets Hillingdon a 10 year small sites housing target of 7,650 new homes (an annualised average of 765 homes). This is a demanding target.
Although Hillingdon may still refuse permission for smaller developments, the new London Plan emphasis on delivering new housing on small sites makes it harder for the council to defend its decisions at appeal.
If you have been refused planning permission for a development in Hillingdon, contact us for a free consultation.
If you would like to learn more about the London Plan, click here.