The London councils really don’t like roof terraces and it can be very hard to get permission for them. Case officers worry that roof terraces allow people to overlook their neighbours, causing a loss of privacy. They also argue that roof terraces look out of place in design terms and can cause noise and disturbance if used for parties.
In this case, the roof terrace had already been created and we were working with Wandsworth Council to try and get it approved. They refused permission, but it was granted at appeal. The appeal inspector decided that the terrace was acceptable as long as the glazed panels were frosted, so that they might restrict views over neighbours’ gardens. A planning condition was added to the decision notice requiring that details of the obscure-glazed balustrades be submitted to the council for sign off without 3 months of the decision.
Conditions like this are dealt with by submitted an ‘approval of details’ planning application (also known as a ‘discharge of conditions’ application). If you don’t agree with the need for the condition in the first place, you can appeal against it or apply to remove it.
An approval of details application is straightforward – you submit plans, a form and a fee in the normal way. Councils can be slow to make a decision, but there is a provision by which you can serve notice on the council after 6 weeks have elapsed, requiring that they make a decision within the following two weeks. This is known as a ‘deemed discharge notice’. If a decision is not then made in time, you can assume that the details are approved. You can find more details of deemed discharge notices here.
Since the condition required that the new screening be in place within three months, we had to act fast and get the details approved. Happily the decision came through quickly, prompted no doubt by our deemed discharge notice.
For advice on discharging conditions, contact our lovely planners 🙂
Want some advice on whether you might be able to create a roof terrace at your home? Try asking Martin.