The recent appeal by William John Holley against the New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) emphasised that any distance between a development and the associated dwelling no matter how small fulfils the criteria as a separate development within the curtilage of a property Class E structure under the General Permitted Development Order (GDPO) 2015.

The decision is particularly important to those seeking planning permission to develop an existing property.

In this scenario, a steel-framed conservatory was merely a “finger width” distance from the dwelling, thus appearing to be an enlargement of the premises under Class A of the General Permitted Development Order 2015 rather than a “separate development” permitted under Class E.  

The NFNPA promptly served an enforcement notice requiring the conservatory to be demolished for failing to fulfil the permitted development criteria under Class A.

Following Mr Holley’s appeal, the Planning Inspectorate found that even if a development appears to be an enlargement of the dwelling, if the two structures are not physically attached, then on the balance of probabilities this satisfies the requirement for a Class E structure.

Although the GDPO 2015 clearly defines an extension to a dwelling under Class A as distinct to a construction within the curtilage of a dwelling under Class E, crucially it stipulates no minimum distance between the two structures is required to satisfy the latter.

As a result, the appeal was upheld and the enforcement notice was quashed. It would appear that all that is required to bypass the stringent criteria required for an extension is a gap between the structures, no matter how small, in order to obtain planning permission for a separate construction.

If you have any questions about your rights in relation to a development of your own or your neighbour’s property, Myerson’s dedicated, highly skilled property team will be able to assist.

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