Appeal allowed for proposed development works in the setting of a conservation area

Front extensions to 1980s dwelling

It is not unusual for a property to be located outside of a conservation area, and yet still be within its ‘setting’. In such scenarios, any proposed development would still need to be assessed in terms of its impact on the character of the conservation area. This can often pose constraints for homeowners and developers that seek to advance their development proposals.

We have recently worked on one such case, where this type of planning consideration can be seen in practice.

Planning in practice – the setting of a conservation area

Our client sought to enhance their 1980s detached property, which has limited architectural features of merit, through an extension to the front and alterations to the fenestration. The proposed works would bring several benefits to the existing property, including: an increase in living space, an increase in natural light and make more effective use of the potential sea views. The site however faced the Westgate Conservation Area in Thanet, and as such the Council applied an overly restrictive stance towards the proposals.   

During the original application process, our client and their architect worked with Thanet District Council to seek workable solutions to concerns over the proposals and, responding to feedback from the case officer, amended the plans to reduce the scale and bulk of the extension. Despite this, the Council refused the application, highlighting concerns over the impact to the setting of the Conservation Area and a perceived harm to the uniformed character of a nearby 1980s properties.  

Adding value at planning appeal

It was at this point that our planning consultants were asked to help find a way forward.  

Following a thorough review of the refused application, our planning team researched the surrounding environs and made an assessment of the site and its context, enabling us to:  

  • identify how the site did not form a significant relationship with the buildings in the CA;
  • evidence how the proposed extensions would have no negative impact on the CA but would in fact enhance the existing streetscene;
  • analyse views of the site from the Conservation Area and the neighbourhood context more generally which helped us to provide a strong and evidence-based narrative for why the proposals should be approved.

We were able to successfully demonstrate to the Planning Inspector why the property would not detrimentally impact on the character, appearance or significance of the area and would enliven and enhance the existing dwelling.  Consequently, we are very pleased that this scheme was allowed at appeal.

About us

Plainview Planning has been providing an expert and personal planning service for developer, householder and commercial projects for over a decade.  If you have recently been refused planning permission and wish to better understand your next steps and explore the potential for an appeal, contact the Plainview Planning team via to see how we can help and to receive a no obligation fee quote.

IMAGE SOURCE: Invent Architecture 2018