An important judgement in relation to permitted development rights

An important judgement in relation to the interpretation of householders' permitted development rights.

On Wednesday 15 June 2016 Judgement was given in Hilton v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CO/309/2016), in which we acted for the successful claimant. This is a case of widespread importance for larger household extension cases under permitted development. There was no previous Judicial Authority on the point relating to the ability to further extend any house that has already been enlarged by 2 storeys under a planning permission, sometimes called piggybacking.   

Class A grants planning permission for the "enlargement" of a dwelling house. Paragraph A.1(g) provides that development is not permitted where the "enlarged part" would have more than one storey, and would (i) extend more than 6 metres [or 8 metres for a detached house] from the rear wall of the "original dwelling house", or (ii) exceed 4 metres in height.

Together, the existing and proposed extensions would extend less than 6 metres from the rear wall of the original dwelling house. However, the Inspector on appeal under s. 78 held that the "enlarged part" was not merely the extension proposed under the permitted development right, but also included the earlier extension. As a result he found that the proposal was not permitted development, as the pre-existing extension had more than one storey.

The court held that the Inspector was wrong, and that the "enlarged part" of a dwelling house for the purposes of Class A included only that which was being proposed under Class A.

The importance of this decision is that the Government’s guidance on householder permitted development rights is incorrect.

If you want to do a piggyback extension please contact us for guidance and expert advice on permitted developments. Call us on 01634 811 118 or email