We just won the first ever appeal for Class AA upwards extensions to a dwellinghouse!

In late 2020, the government introduced a new permitted development right to allow homeowners to add up to 2 extra floors to their houses.

The permitted development right is Class AA of Part 2, Schedule 1 of the General Permitted Development Order: ‘enlargement of a dwellinghouse by construction of additional storeys’.

Unlike most permitted development rights, you can’t just start work straight away. To take advantage of this new permitted development right, you must first apply to the council for prior approval.

When you apply, the council assesses whether the proposed extension would harm the appearance of the house and whether it would harm living conditions of close neighbours.

Councils do not like this new permitted development right. The planners are horrified that homeowners might be able to extend upwards without obtaining full planning permission. But the new permitted development right should apply to everyone, unless there are serious design or neighbour impacts.

Sadly, councils have been refusing these prior approval applications where they can and lots of homeowners have been appealing these decisions. As far as we know, the first ever appeal decision for Class AA extensions came through this week and it was one we submitted on behalf of a client in Essex.

And we are delighted to report that we won!

The council refused permission because it said the upwards extension to a town house in Buckhurst Hill would look out of place – the new storey would stand out next to all of the other houses on the terraced row. But we pointed out that the legislation restricts decisionmakers to assessing the impact of the design on the house itself, not on the wider streetscene. The inspector agreed with us that the proposed upwards extension was proportionate, used matching materials and fitted in with the design of the host building.

If you have been refused permission for a Class AA upwards extension to a dwellinghouse or would like advice on how to apply for prior approval to take advantage of this permitted development rights, contact us now!

1 Comment
  1. Hello,
    I’m looking for advice and guidance as I have just had a prior approval application refused under class AA due to the external appearance of the proposed development (the C3 is ugly ! ) however it is acknowledged that it meets the criteria to comply with class AA. I’m stuck as we have had to match the appearance of the existing dwelling !

    Please advise !!
    Thank you

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