Appeal against a refusal of planning permission for a single-storey side and rear extension and a garage conversion

Appeal Allowed (Full Planning Permission Granted) on 18 June 2024

Conservation Area Appeal

2 Heath Villas,
SE18 1PG

Council: Royal Borough of Greenwich

In this case, our client had been refused planning permission for a single-storey wraparound extension to the side and rear of their home in Plumstead, in London.

Wraparound extensions can sometimes be controversial and Greenwich council was particularly concerned about the impact on the Plumstead Common Conservation Area.

A conservation area is an area recognised for its special architectural or historical significance, often containing buildings or landscapes that are preserved to maintain their unique character. 

Houses in conservation areas are subject to more planning controls (and have fewer permitted development rights) and it can therefore be more difficult to extend your home.

It is right, of course, that our historic environment should be protected, and Plumstead Common is an important area of ancient common land, with significant buildings around its periphery.

The appeal inspector disagreed with the council that the various minor changes that the homeowner was proposed would cause any harm to the special character of the conservation area.

In respect of the rear extension, the inspector pointed out that the main contribution the house makes to the conservation area comes from its front elevation and the quality of its architectural detailing.

The inspector decided that the extensions would integrate well with the existing structure. He determined that, although the roof height would not align with the council’s Urban Design Guide (UDG), its limited visibility and appropriate scale ensure it would not dominate the street scene or harm views of the Common.

He noted that the depth of the extension would exceed the UDG recommendations but would nevertheless not compromise neighbouring amenities. The original form of the dwelling would remain discernible, and the extensions would appear subordinate and well-integrated.

Despite the council’s concerns about the extension’s scale, the inspector noted that existing variety along Heath Villas mitigates these issues. Ultimately, it was determined that the proposal aligns with local policies and guidelines, preserving and enhancing the conservation area’s character and significance, justifying a departure from detailed UDG guidelines.

We are delighted with the result, which allows the homeowner to go ahead with an extension that will transform their downstairs reception space. If you too have been refused planning permission for an extension to your house, please do not hesitate to get in touch for some advice on your prospects at appeal.

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