The following three letters have been sent to the planning department giving the Bishopston Society's opinion on these three applications:


This application is for a Certificate of Lawfulness rather than a full Planning Permission. It is in effect seeking confirmation that the proposed roof extension is Permitted Development and as such does not require planning permission. The Bishopston Society is extremely concerned about the poor quality of proposals at roof level; particularly when they will be visible from the street frontage. In this case the house already has a dormer to the front roof slope and a second to the rear slope. The proposal to extend the existing dormers to the side to create significant additional space is so ugly and ungainly it beggars belief. It pays no respect to the style of the property or even the shape of the original roof and simply swamps the hipped form of the roof.  If it were a planning application rather than permitted development it would almost certainly be refused on the grounds of being an unacceptably poor design which causes significant damage to an attractive existing period property.

This brings us to the definition of Permitted Development. The rules state that a dormer may be built under PD on a REAR roof slope so long as it complies with certain criteria. No reference is made to a side roof at 90deg to the street, but the clear implication of the legislation is that PD rights only apply when the extension is NOT visible from the street frontage. It is clear that the legislation needs to be clarified so that roof extensions on side roofs, which are clearly visible from the street, are not permitted under Permitted Development. If this were the case then the dreadful proposals for this property would be required to be of a standard which would be good enough to achieve planning permission. If the rules are not strengthened then more and more properties and the streets in which they sit will be defaced and the character of attractive areas like Bishopston will be further undermined.

Despite our detailed objection above, the Planning department approved the application, with the following explanation for this decision:

Decision: Certificate of Lawfulness be issued
Application No. 14/02859/CP
First Schedule: Application for a Lawful Development Certificate for proposed enlargement of existing side and rear dormers to provide additional living accommodation.
Second Schedule: 11 Ash Road, Bristol, BS7 8RN.
The council hereby certifies that on 12 June 2014 (the date the application was made), the
use/operations described above in the First Schedule, in respect of the land specified in the Second Schedule, and in respect of drawings detailed below, is lawful within the meaning of the Section 192 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), for the following reason(s):-
1. Based on the information submitted the proposal constitutes Permitted Development as
defined by Class B, Part 1, Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General
Permitted Development) 1995 as amended 2013.
2. List of approved plans and drawings
The development shall conform in all aspects with the plans and details shown in the
application as listed below, unless variations are agreed by the Local Planning Authority in
order to discharge other conditions attached to this decision.
Site location plan, received 12 June 2014
Proposed second floor plan, received 12 June 2014
Proposed side elevation, received 12 June 2014
Proposed rear elevation, received 12 June 2014
Proposed front elevation, received 12 June 2014
Date of Notice: 07.08.14

 23 - 25, GLOUCESTER ROAD   14/02492/F 

The Bishopston Society does not object in principle to the conversion of the upper floor to residential use.  However, we note that the proposed Kitchen/Dining has inadequate natural daylight with the existing windows as shown. The proposal to split the windows on the front elevation to serve two bedrooms will need careful handling of the central mullion in order to have a satisfactory appearance.  We would recommend a timber mullion at least 150mm wide with some detail to reflect and enhance the character of the building.


The Bishopston Society is extremely concerned about the poor quality of design and the scale of the proposals for this prominent corner site.  The design crams an additional 4 flats onto the site by means of an extremely bulky side extension, tight to the back of footpath, and extending into the roofspace.  The quality of the proposed elevations is utterly basic and does nothing to enhance the character of the area.  The application states that the on-site parking is increased from 2 to 5 spaces but it is not clear where the existing spaces are located.  The 3 new spaces are provided as 2 at the rear and 1 on the forecourt at the front.  The spaces at the rear do not have sufficient aisle width to manoeuvre an average car ( 6m is the minimum required) whilst the cars are tight up to the rear windows of the flats. The application states that there are no proposed new accesses from the highway for vehicles and from the footpath for pedestrians, when both are clearly shown on the drawings. The Design Statement confirms that the rainwater from the development is discharged by means of a soakaway. The site would appear to be far too small for a soakaway, as the minimum distance between a soakaway and a building is normally 5m.

In conclusion, this application is poor quality design and grossly oversized and will only serve to detract from the area if permission is granted.  We recommend refusal.

Outcome: Granted

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