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Hello Tom and Ian,


I have a question regarding the property I own. It is leasehold with a local authority . The property occupies the top two floors , it has a flat roof .I wonder what would be the likelihood of getting successful planning permission to make a roof terrace with access from the property . 

any advice really appreciated.

Many thanks 


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Hi Everyone,   I am a Planning Officer for a local authority in London so I thought I would offer my services...for free!   Please feel free to ask me any planning rela

Hi, I don't know if Ian is still posting on the forum as he hasn't posted on this thread in a while. I am also a planning professional, so happy to help with any questions you have regarding plan

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Hi Glen,

You may require both planning permission and the permission of the freeholder - planning permission from the local authority is not permission from the local authority as the freeholder, these are separate. 

In terms of just planning, the key things to look at are 

  1. Would the roof terrace result in any overlooking or loss of privacy to neighbours?
  2. Would it have an impact on the street scene or character and appearance of the area that would be harmful?

The first point may be able to be overcome through the use of privacy screens etc, but this may then have a knock on impact on the second point. 

Unfortunately like anything in planning, there is no straightforward yes or no answer, but I hope this helps 


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, as others have already said I'm grateful for the opportunity to submit my question, some of the planning documentation are a minefield to try and navigate.

I'm at the very early stages of reviewing whether an extension is possible and I'd appreciate Ian and Toms view on this.

My house is a semi-detached with a side garage attached and butting upto an adjacent road. In principle could I apply to have an extension built above my existing property as shown in the blue lines of the attached photo? I've also attached a google maps view of the surroundings in case that helps.

This would double the size of the updstairs of the house but without increasing the footprint. It also wouldnt reduce the garden size or impact on parking.


(I'm aware I will likely need to knock down and rebuild appropriate foundations etc.)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

house top view.jpg

house extension.jpg

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Certainly looks like you would be able to get something in that space. Councils tend to vary in their requirements for home extensions - some have useful guides regarding what they would usually allow and what would usually be unacceptable, so worth checking the policy sections of their websites and maybe giving them a quick call to ask if they have such a document.

In my experience, the following are general "rules of thumb" that ensure two storey side extensions are acceptable:

  • No more than half the width of the original house (e.g. if your house is 5m wide, then the extension should be no more than 2.5m wide)
  • Set the extension back from the front elevation by 0.5m-1m (this may not be required where there is a ground floor extension/garage existing)
  • Set the roof ridge down from the original house's ridge

Councils essentially look for extensions to remain subservient to the main house, and these things can help to ensure that this is the case. Having said that, each site is different and there are no hard and fast rules, so some parts may not be required. A good thing to do is take a walk around the local area to see if there are any similar properties who have done work similar, and to check the Council's planning search to see whether there have been any recent permissions nearby for a similar extension - this could point towards what the Council are more likely to allow.

Hope this helps


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Hi Ian,

I just happened upon your very kind offer of planning advice. I’d be very interested in your opinion.

I live in rural Cheshire in a house among a development of converted barns (although my house was completely taken down and so is essentially a new build). I’m looking to install a wood burning stove. We are not in either a smoke-control zone or a conservation area, however a neighbour of mine tells me permitted development rights were removed at the time of the original planning application, 15-20 years ago.

Our HETAS stove engineer assures us planning permission is not necessary, but I’m not so sure.

unfortunately, Cheshire East Planning Department are less than accessible right now. Perhaps you can offer some advice?

thanks in advance




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Hi Ian/Tom,

I hope you can help.   Our house has a wrap around garden and our front door faces the shared driveway (not the highway), we are both detached.  The side garden faces the highway and the other side and back of the garden join drives/gardens.  I just wanted to check as we would like to build a garden room that would be no higher than 2.5m and 4m width x 3m depth within the garden to the side that joins the highway and would be near the fence and bushes which would hide it from view.  We are in a conservation area so I am sure we would need planning permission but I read about not being able to build anything if it is nearer to the highway than your house or is that only if you don't get planning permission?  Are you able to advise on this please?  Many thanks for your help.

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Jack - it is unlikely that you would need planning permission. The removal of permitted development rights is pretty standard for new build or converted properties, but does not extend to internal changes like installing a woodburning stove. Where permission may be required is if you were adding a chimney or external flue or something like that, but if not you would be able to do without planning.

Nik-c - as you are in a Conservation Area you will unfortunately need planning permission for an outbuilding to the side of the house. Each planning application is taken on its merits, so there aren't really any hard and fast rules about where you can position an outbuilding, but I would try to position it so it is not easily visible (if possible) and make sure that the design is in keeping with the main house and the character of the surrounding area

Hope this helps you both


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  • 3 weeks later...


I am wondering if I can make use of the new 2 story PD rules to add a side extension to a corner house where the boundary is at the pavement of the adjacent road. I think the answer is 'no' as I read PD doesn't apply if within 2 meters of a boundary..

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I believe the new two storey rules you mention relate only to upwards extension, i.e. adding an additional storey or two to your property. Two storey side extensions still require planning permission


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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all

Just wondered if could help, Im the only existing house in an area, and planning has gone in.

My property is about 80-90 ft away from the road, that's how far set back, and all proposed properties are 10 ft away from road, so brought forward.

Do the developers have to follow the existing building line as I have set a precedent of the building line, and would majorly make my property out of character.?  

Also what happens if planning maps have been manipulated and not accurate?

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Difficult to provide accurate advice as there isn't a lot of info in your post. What has been proposed? 

Building line is one of many things considered when looking at a planning application, but is not the most important, and there are no rules to state that new development has to follow an established building line. If your property is the only property on that line in the area then the argument would likely be that there is not established building line as there is only one property in it. 

If the documents the applicant has submitted are inaccurate you should note this in an objection to the Council and hope that they follow up on it. Regardless, it sounds like you should have been consulted by the Council about the proposals, and you are able to make comments on the application as part of the process, so as you have concerns you should tell them

Hope that this helps


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