Birmingham City is one of the biggest council districts in England and they decide hundreds of thousands of householder planning applications each year.
We get lots of enquiries from homeowners who have been refused planning permission for extensions in Birmingham each year, and who are considering a planning appeal.
Like all councils, Birmingham has its own planning 'culture'. There are types of extensions they just don't like and tend to refuse planning permission for.
Their number one dislike is deep ground floor extensions.
We were recently successful in obtaining permission at appeal for a single-storey rear extension to a depth of 5m on a semi-detached house in the south of the city. Our applicant had applied for prior approval for a larger home extension (I wrote about this kind of application in another blog post - click here).
As you may know, all planning applications must be decided in line with planning policies. The development plan for Birmingham is the Birmingham Development Plan (BDP). It has fairly specific policies on extensions. The council also has adopted planning guidance - a document from 2007 called 'Extending Your Home'.
Unlike lots of councils, Birmingham does not set a specific limit on how deep your rear extension can be (some councils say 3m or 3.5m for example). You can therefore build to any depth as long as you can justify it!
The council's policies and guidance do recommend that rear extensions observe the 45-degree rule, whereby they do not intersect an imaginary 45-degree line drawn from the midpoint of the neighbours’ nearest habitable windows.
The difficulty with the 45-degree rule is that, where neighbours are physically attached to each other and in common alignment, almost any ground floor rear extension will breach a 45-degree line. Even 3m-deep extensions, which are permitted development and do not usually require planning permission, would do so.
Our role, as planning consultants, is to show why a deeper rear extension is justified in your case. There could be lots of ways of justifying it - its height, location, relationship to neighbours, nature of boundary treatments, orientation, developments at other houses and planning precedents.
We have a high appeal success rate in Birmingham, and a high success rate for appeals relating to single-storey rear extensions. Appeals are considered by independent inspectors who have no connection with the local council.
If you would like to appeal, consider our low, fixed-price appeal service. If you would like independent advice on whether an appeal is worthwhile (and what your other options are), try our £99 case review service.