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Clarification of Ground Level of Terraced House on sloping Ground and Planning Permission

Postby mibh76 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:08 pm


Wonder if anyone can help with some clarification of what would be considered the ground level on our property.

We would like to remove an old coal bunker and build some wooden decking in its place in the garden of our 1930’s terraced house. We would like extend the decking area out to the 3 metres of our permitted development. Due to the topographical characteristics of the land surrounding the house however, we are unsure whether it can be done on permitted development or whether planning permission is required.

The land slopes from front to back with the pavement at the street level significantly higher than the back garden. Steps run down from the street level to the front door and also from the roof of the coal bunker at the rear down into the garden.

Our confusion arises from the terminology used in the Planning Portals permitted development guidance information.

It states that planning permission for decking is required if "The raised platform of the structure is more than 300mm above ground level (measured at the highest point)”.

This leads us to consider, because of the unusual topography surrounding our house, what exactly the ground level on our property is.

Regarding this point the Planning Portal technical guidance section states:

"Ground level is the surface of the ground immediately adjacent to the building in question. Where ground level is not uniform (eg if the ground is sloping), then the ground level is the highest part of the surface of the ground next to the building".

My understanding from reading this is that ground level on our property would be from the base of the front door as this is the highest part of the surface of the ground next to the building and that planning permission wouldn’t be required as the timber decking structure wouldn’t be built up over 300mm from that ground level.

Can anyone confirm whether I am right in thinking this?

With this message is a diagram of the side elevation of the house and a few images to help with your understanding. I have positioned two arrows on the diagram to show where I think ground level might be. I feel that, from the information I’ve read, ground level is at the arrow marked ‘2’. I am concerned however that it may actually be at the arrow marked ‘1’.

Any help would be really appreciated. So far I've spoken with council planners, building regs and the department for communities and local government and none of them can clarify this simple question. I going round in circles and its sending me crazy.

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Postby welsh brickie » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:49 pm

you will need planning consent, the council require a plan of your intensions and will grant or deny it, based on drawings you submit, you need to include a basic plan of your house, from a birds eye view, the proposed height, direction (north, south etc) the materials you plan to use handrail height, and what the finished project will look like
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Postby collectors » Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:59 am

Some of the problem you might get is as you extend you may be taking away the privacy of your neighbours with looking down into their gardens.
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