The prior approval process allows homeowners to build deeper rear extensions than are usually allowed under permitted development.
For a terraced or semi-detached house, you can build to a depth of 3m under permitted development but, by applying for prior approval, you can extend to up to 6m.
The prior approval process is much easier than a standard planning application and, if no neighbours object to the proposal, it is automatically approved.
In this case, there was a neighbour objection, which gave the council the power to make an assessment. It decided that the extension was too long and refused prior approval.
We have a high success rate with these proposals at appeal – we find that appeal inspectors are much more flexible than council case officers when it comes to larger home extensions.
In this case, the house was an end-of-terrace so there was really only one neighbour that might be affected. We pointed out to the inspector that the extension was low in height and that there were tall, mature shrubs along the boundary, meaning that there would be no harmful loss of light. The inspector also noted that the extension would angle away slightly from next door, as a result of a splayed boundary line.
Prior approval was therefore granted, and the extension may go ahead!
If you have been refused prior approval for a larger home extension, do not hesitate to get in touch with us for some help and advice.