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
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.