Planning permission inconsistancies

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 LastBoyScout 16 Jul 2021

I recently submitted a planning application to put 2 windows in the bathroom and downstairs toilet of our new house - side elevation.

Permission has been granted, but with a clause that if we want them to open, the opening portion must be 1.7m above floor level - reason given is due to "tall people potentially being able to overlook neighbouring properties and therefore affecting privacy".

Now, the problem with that is that the existing bathroom window we have on the other side of the property has an opening section 1.6m from the floor and several other houses in the vicinity have bathroom windows in side elevations with similar opening heights and even fully opening windows (including our immediate nighbours) which puts them around 1.2m from the floor level!

Currently in discussion with our local council, but they're digging heels in and have said I'd need to submit a new application with strong arguments about why we should be allowed 1.6m, which may cost me another another application fee.

Doubly frustrating, as one of the other clauses in the permission states the new windows should be of similar appearance and construction to the existing ones - putting them 10cm higher will just look odd!

I don't understand why the builders have been able to put windows into neighbouring houses that apparently breach planning regulations but we are being denied putting the exact same thing in.

</vent> - apologies

In reply to LastBoyScout:

Possibly the neighbours didn't ask for permission. 

 LastBoyScout 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Dax H:

The neighbours ones were put in by the builders, they haven't had them added - we're on a fairly new estate.

In reply to LastBoyScout:

1) two wrongs don't make a right.

2) Have planning rules changed since the other windows were put in?

3) Do the other windows overlook whatever like yours potentially do?

4) Not living in the UK, do planning rules take into account precedents set by neighbouring properties?

In reply to LastBoyScout:

> The neighbours ones were put in by the builders, they haven't had them added - we're on a fairly new estate.

This key. Most local councils don't have the funds and calibre of legal team to challenge companies, but they'll happily see Joe bloggs in court.

In reply to summo:

Miles easier for the planners to ask a company to make corrections than to go after an unknown, potentially angry and argumentative, householder. The planners already have a working relationship with housebuilding companies and those companies might be willing to bend the rules but they don't want to breach them. 

This isn't a matter for a legal team anyway, it's a refused planning permission. More likely reasons for any inconsistency are maybe the detail was missed amongst the volume of detail to be reviewed in the original application for multiple houses in an estate, or maybe local planning policy has changed since the original application for the estate.

In reply to LastBoyScout:

Any chance you could lower the ground level below the window?

Do the work, send a pic of a tape measure to show it meets standard, then fill in the hole?

 Bezz 16 Jul 2021
In reply to LastBoyScout:

maybe speak with your immediate neighbours to see if they'd object to having the window opening you'd prefer? If they're ok you might want to just go ahead regardless of planning (after all, planning rules exist to protect your neighbours privacy, if your neighbours don;t mind then surely you're ok?)  

 LastBoyScout 16 Jul 2021
In reply to Bezz:

It would currently look out onto a blank wall, but they have to take into account (apparently) that next door (a mirror image of our house) might want to put windows in at some point in the future!

I was going to just go ahead, but I don't really want to fall foul of the permission granted and end up with a hefty fine and told to re-do them.

 LastBoyScout 16 Jul 2021
In reply to dread-i:

Distance is from the floor of the room inside - not much chance of digging a hole in that!

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