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Kitchen Extension Planning Permission - what are the issues

Even with the so called loosening up of the planning system by the recent re-write of the permitted development rights, most house extensions including kitchen extensions will usually require formal planning consent. This is because the best design solution for the property itself and the clients requirements fall outside of the sites PD rights which are constrained by many dimensional and technical restrictions.

So when a kitchen extension does require formal planning consent what are the issues that the Planning Department will be looking at and judging your kitchen extension design against? Well in a nutshell its all about ‘impact’. What impact will your kitchen extension have upon the legitimate planning issues and will it be adverse and significant or is it limited and acceptable.

So lets define each impact assessment individually:-

1 - IMPACT UPON THE NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES: Planners will asses your scheme as to how it will impact or affect the neighbours amenities and upon their own properties. Will your scheme unacceptably reduce their light to habitable room windows, will the bulk of your kitchen extension have an overbearing impact. These are the two main criteria for neighbour impacts.

2 - IMPACT UPON THE STREET SCENE: Some kitchen extensions will be visible from the all important road or street scene. If so then will this aversely affect the local character of the existing property and the wider locality in general.

3 - IMPACT UPON THE MAIN AND ORIGINAL DWELLING: Will the kitchen extension respect the scale of the original property or will it appear out of scale? Does the kitchen extension along with previous extensions have an adverse impact simply by he accumulative effect of all the extensions put together?

4 - IMPACT UPON THE SPECIAL AREA THAT THE SITE MAY BE IN: Extra design considerations are given to sites within a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). Is your site close to a listed building and will the kitchen extension have any impact upon the setting of the listed building.

5 - BY APPROVING THE SCHEME ARE THE PLANNERS SETTING AN UNDESIRABLE PRECEDENT FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW: This is more of an in-house political issue that many applicants do not appreciate. Therefore if your kitchen extension scheme is the first of its type with regard to size and location on the property or the site then the planners will be considering the wider issue of ‘copycat’ kitchen extensions from other householders along the street.

The 4 groups of planning policy on impact assessment defined above can be broken down further into sub categories but this would lead into a set of Planning jargon most people would simply not understand so lets keep I simple. The bottom line is also the fact that Planning assessment as to your kitchen extensions suitability is based on a set of criteria that is ultimately subjective - it is not a science so inconsistencies of assessment and approach will occur from time to time.






























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