Appeal against a refusal of planning permission for a first-floor rear extension

Appeal Allowed (Full Planning Permission Granted)


55 Carlton Avenue West,

Council: London Borough of Brent

In this appeal, our client wanted to build a first-floor rear extension to their house in Wembley, within the London Borough of Brent.

The council had refused planning permission because it was concerned about the possible impact of the proposed extension on the character and appearance of the area, as well as its effect on neighbouring properties, particularly regarding light and visual impact.

The inspector assessed the proposed extension’s impact on the character and appearance of the area. Despite concerns raised by the Council regarding the extension’s design, the inspector determined that the extension’s roof design and materials would align with the existing building’s features. Additionally, the inspector noted that the extension’s scale and appearance would be proportionate to the original structure and would not contribute to excessive bulk or harm the visual harmony of the neighbourhood.

The inspector evaluated the potential impact of the extension on the living conditions, particularly regarding light and visual intrusion, at the neighboring property (57 Carlton Avenue West). While the extension’s depth slightly exceeded guidelines, the inspector concluded that there would be no significant loss of daylight or privacy for the neighboring property. Additionally, the inspector found that any potential impact on sunlight at 57 Carlton Avenue West would be minimal and restricted to the early morning hours, thus not significantly affecting living conditions.

Overall, based on the findings related to the character, appearance, and impact on living conditions, the inspector concluded that the proposed extension aligned with relevant planning policies and did not conflict with the local development plan or design guidelines. Therefore, the appeal was allowed, and planning permission was granted for the first-floor rear extension at 55 Carlton Avenue West.

The inspector assessed the proposal in light of Policy DMP1 of the Brent Local Plan. This policy addresses matters related to the character, appearance, and amenity of developments within the borough.

The inspector referenced the Residential Extensions & Alterations Supplementary Planning Document 2 (SPD) to assess the design and impact of the proposed first-floor rear extension. The SPD likely provides guidance on residential extensions and alterations, including considerations for scale, design, and impact on neighboring properties.

There are some very important lessons that can be drawn from this decision:

  1. Importance of Assessing Impact: The decision highlights the significance of thoroughly assessing the potential impact of proposed developments on their surroundings, including neighboring properties and the wider area. Evaluating factors such as visual appearance, scale, and impact on living conditions is crucial in determining whether a development aligns with planning regulations and local policies.
  2. Consideration of Design Guidelines: It’s essential for both applicants and decision-makers to carefully consider relevant design guidelines and planning policies when proposing or assessing developments. Adhering to design standards can help ensure that new constructions complement the existing character of the area and contribute positively to the built environment.
  3. Flexibility within Guidelines: While adherence to planning guidelines is important, the decision also demonstrates that there may be room for interpretation and flexibility in their application. In this case, despite the extension slightly exceeding recommended depth limits, the inspector deemed it acceptable based on specific site conditions and mitigating factors, such as the orientation of neighboring properties and the design of the extension.
  4. Evidence-Based Decision-Making: The decision underscores the importance of basing planning decisions on substantive evidence and thorough analysis rather than solely relying on theoretical concerns or assumptions. The inspector considered factors such as sunlight, privacy, and visual impact based on available data and site observations to reach a reasoned conclusion.

If you have been refused planning permission for an extension to your home, please do not hesitate to contact our team for some advice.

get a free assessment

Fill in our form to receive our assessment on your chances of success.

You will also receive a personalised fixed-fee quote for the preparation, submission and management of your appeal.

If you prefer to email, we can be reached at