The owner of a terraced house in Clifden Road in the London Borough of Hackney initially sought and received a certificate of lawfulness of proposed use or development (CLOPUD) for a second floor roof extension. The CLOPUD was granted with a condition that the extension must be set back 20cm from the building’s eaves. However the applicant proceeded to build the extension and did not satisfy this condition.

The applicant then applied to convert the building into three flats which was subsequently refused by the Local Planning Authority (LPA). The LPA confirmed it had “no option” but to refuse permission for the entire flats conversion, due to the unauthorised loft extension.

The Planning Inspector found the proposal adhered to national and local policies and the design was in keeping with the character of the area. Therefore the appeal was allowed and planning permission granted for the conversion and retrospective roof extension.

The LPA challenged the Inspectors decision and although lawyers found the Inspector didn’t provide sufficient reasons as to why she granted the roof extension, the Inspector said had she given fuller reasons the conclusion would remain the same.

The judge when reviewing the case ruled that the fact that an aspect of the scheme had been built in breach of conditions did not justify refusal of the application, as the failure to inset the roof extension by 20cm was not significant enough to render the entire conversion scheme unacceptable in planning terms.

22 August 2018