Councils are often reluctant to grant planning permission for the full-sized rear dormers you see on houses all over our towns and cities.
These dormers are usually permitted development, but not in this case because the application also proposed two-story side and rear extensions.
Spelthorne Council argued that the dormer did not comply with its supplementary planning guidance, which says that dormers should be set away 1 metre from the edges of the roof. That was simply not possible, or desirable, in this case, but the council could not see past its guidance and refused to make a reasonable exception.
Many of the appeals we do are necessary because council planning case officers interpret their guidance too strictly and won’t show some flexibility. It is a tick box mentality – ‘computer says no’.
The good news is that we tend to win these kinds of appeals. In this case, the inspector said that although the dormer “does not entirely comply with the SPD guidance, the dormer is of a modest scale and has a clearly subservient appearance to the host dwelling. Its tile hung sides and simple design further integrate it into the roof of the host dwelling and it does not appear disproportionate or unduly dominant or prominent.“