Erection of a new, two-bedroom house to the side of the existing dwelling

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


Lea Bushes,
WD25 9TL

Council: Watford Borough Council

This is an interesting case in which the appeal inspector agreed with the council that the proposed new house would cause some local harm to the area, but concluded that this was outweighed by the fact that Watford Council (where I used to work as a case officer) cannot show a 5-year supply of housing. In other words, the housing shortage justified granting permission for the new house despite some concerns about its impact.

The proposal was for a new house to the side of an existing house in a post-war housing development of two-storey terraced houses and maisonettes. The area has houses set back from the road, contributing to a spacious character. Lea Bushes, a cul-de-sac, has terraced houses around a parking area and green space.

The council had objected on the basis that the new house would appear cramped and out of place. The inspector agreed that it was a little unusual in that it faced onto a pedestrian walkway rather than the street and that its design was not typical for the area. He decided, however, that it would be tucked away and that it would use matching materials.

While there would be limited local harm to the area’s character, the inspector decided that the house would generally align with guidelines for infill development. Most importantly, the proposed dwelling would modestly contribute to the borough’s housing supply, supporting the objective of increasing housing in an area with a shortfall, as emphasised in the government’s National Planning Policy Framework.

We do a lot of appeals for new infill dwellings on tight sites, and will always check whether the area has a 5-year supply of housing and is meeting its housing targets. If you are considering a development or have been refused planning permission for a new house, please get in touch.

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