Effective appeal strategy secures planning approval for designer annexe, Oxford

Annexe accommodation

An effective planning strategy ensured we were able to help our client secure permission for an architect designed annexe at appeal.

The original planning application:

The applicant had submitted a previous application for a large scale annexe to provide ancillary accommodation and care for 2 relatives, which had been refused by Oxford City Council.

Key reasons for refusal included: the effect of the development on the character and appearance of the area; and the impact on neighbouring amenity. We were approached to assist with a revised application and set about preparing a review of the case to date, the site and planning history.

Our research identified complications over the garden, which had been previously amalgamated to create a larger space. This led to uncertainty over what could technically be called ‘curtilage’, adding a further layer of complexity as the proposed annexe would straddle what were formerly two gardens and be sited behind the rear boundary of the neighbouring property.

Furthermore, in assessing the council response we identified misapplication of local policy and felt overall the reasons for refusal were unjustified.

Preparing an effective appeal strategy:

We advised that strategically in this particular case our client would be best served by a full planning appeal rather than a householder appeal, which meant we could submit amended plans in regard to the curtilage and include final comments.

As part of our preparation for the appeal we:

  • suggested amendments to the design to help with the ancillary arguments;
  • secured the position in relation to the curtilage issue;
  • justified how and why the design and size was appropriate in this context and would cause no negative impact on neighbouring amenity;
  • reviewed the surrounding context and evidenced how the proposed annexe would not harm the suburban character of the area;
  • evidenced how the design of the annexe and its location straddling the previous boundary line would not appear incongruous;
  • Proposed a condition to secure the use of the unit for the long term.

We were delighted that the Planning Inspector found merit in our justifications and evidence and, like us, felt that what was proposed was of a high standard of design that responded to and protected the character of the site and its surroundings.

The appeal was allowed and planning granted.

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IMAGE SOURCE: Green Studios 2016