'Oppressive and overbearing' home extension plan in South Shields refused at appeal

A householder’s bid for a home extension in South Shields has been thrown out at appeal by a Government-appointed planning inspector.

Earlier this year, South Tyneside Council’s planning department received an application for a property in Woodlands Terrace at the Lawe Top in the Beacon and Bents ward.

Plans proposed a two-storey rear extension over an existing kitchen offshoot.

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This aimed to create a bathroom and shower room to the first floor with a balcony above and a new side window to an existing rear offshoot to create a laundry room at first floor level.

General view of Woodlands Terrace, South Shields. Picture: Google Streetview

During the application process, amended floor and elevation plans were submitted to council decision-makers.

After assessing the proposals against planning policies however, South Tyneside Council refused the application on August 1, 2022.

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The main reason for refusal, published on the council’s website, included the impact of the physical development on a neighbouring property.

As well as clashing with planning policies, council planners added the works would have an “overbearing impact” on neighbours as well as overshadowing and reduced outlook and daylight impacts.

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The applicant later lodged an appeal against the refusal, with planning inspector J Symmons appointed by the Secretary of State to rule on the matter.

After considering the appeal, the planning inspector dismissed it on October 20, 2022 and upheld the council’s refusal decision.

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An appeal decision report said the plans would “significantly reduce the outlook” of the neighbouring property due to its “closeness”.

This included views from a neighbour’s window and patio doors being “predominantly replaced with a largely blank wall view”.

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Other concerns included the “limited separation between the dwellings” resulting in an “oppressive and overbearing extension” with increased periods of sunlight and daylight loss and overshadowing.

The planning inspector stated the plans would also be contrary to South Tyneside planning policies and guidance set out for householder developments.

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Despite representations from the appellent noting similar extensions on Woodlands Terrace, the planning inspector said these were “slightly smaller in form” and that “full details” were not provided.

The appeal decision report added: “The policy and guidance, amongst other matters, require development to be acceptable in relation to any impact on residential amenity.

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“The guidance further states that new extensions to neighbouring properties should maintain a reasonable outlook from habitable room windows; should not result in an oppressive or overbearing visual impact and should not result in the significant overshadowing of habitable windows over and above that of the existing situation.”

The full appeal decision report can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website by searching appeal reference: APP/A4520/D/22/3304604