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  • FIRST POST
    • MarissaK
    • By MarissaK 5th Jan 18, 3:22 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 1Thanks
    MarissaK
    Garden planning permission
    • #1
    • 5th Jan 18, 3:22 PM
    Garden planning permission 5th Jan 18 at 3:22 PM
    I have a strange patch of my garden that is unused due to it being a slope. The slope is gentle, about 14 foot wide, and doesn't level out. My neighbour's garden then starts at this higher level.
    I really want to make use of it with a patio and planting, but I've been told I would need planning permission if I wanted to raise it to the top height (about 4ft in all). There is currently a low wall which retains the earth, I'd just want to raise it 4ft and fill in and add some steps.
    My v. experienced gardener is shocked that I'd need planning permission and says just to go ahead and do it. If I did it without planning and someone complained, would there be any fines, or would I just have to submit planning documents as normal?
    I'd thought about digging it out to level it, but then would need to retain the neighbour's garden
    Am trying to save money where possible, because not only would I need planning (about £400) but also architect drawings for the application to show the slope gradients etc.
    Has anyone else raised the level of their garden and not bothered with planning permission?
Page 1
    • Debbie Savard
    • By Debbie Savard 5th Jan 18, 3:54 PM
    • 175 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    Debbie Savard
    • #2
    • 5th Jan 18, 3:54 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Jan 18, 3:54 PM
    Can you provide a link to a picture to help us understand the layout.

    Raising the garden level more than 30cm (esp for seating/patio) and/or the impact of run-off/drainage could require PP and, separately, the retaining wall sounds like a Party Wall as defined in the Party Wall Act.

    Just bashing on could create quite a lot of bother!
    Last edited by Debbie Savard; 05-01-2018 at 4:07 PM.
    • andrewf75
    • By andrewf75 5th Jan 18, 4:50 PM
    • 8,102 Posts
    • 13,708 Thanks
    andrewf75
    • #3
    • 5th Jan 18, 4:50 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Jan 18, 4:50 PM
    Who told you that you need permission?
    If your neighbour is OK with it (can’t see why they wouldn’t be) then I’d be tempted to just go ahead. Presumably there is then a fence or something between you and your neighbour?
    • jimmy230
    • By jimmy230 6th Jan 18, 7:14 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    jimmy230
    • #4
    • 6th Jan 18, 7:14 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Jan 18, 7:14 AM
    I'd agree that you would need planning permission - not for the patio itself but for the construction of the retaining wall and the earthworks needed to create the patio.

    If you carry out the work without planning permission, the Council could (if they find out) take enforcement action against you. They could serve you with an enforcement notice (which you can appeal on various grounds) requiring the patio to be removed and the land put back to its original state.

    Whether the Council finds out about the works is likely to depend on who will be aware of the works and whether they report you to the Council.

    The works will become lawful and immune from enforcement action after 4 years (assuming there is no planning condition or obligation affecting the layout of the garden). The 4 year period runs from the date the works are completed. If you go ahead without permission, I would document the works carefully (photos etc.) so that you can demonstrate the date they become lawful.
    Last edited by jimmy230; 06-01-2018 at 8:23 AM.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 6th Jan 18, 8:58 AM
    • 23,982 Posts
    • 90,194 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #5
    • 6th Jan 18, 8:58 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Jan 18, 8:58 AM
    Has anyone else raised the level of their garden and not bothered with planning permission?
    Originally posted by MarissaK
    Millions of us.

    Only you know your neighbour and if what you propose would affect them to a significant degree. If there is little chance of a complaint, I'd be inclined to just go ahead.

    The 0.3m rule is there to prevent people with decking etc overlooking their neighbours in a thoughtless manner, given that the height of fencing between them is supposed not to exceed 2m.

    As usual, it is the circumstances which dictate a course of action. I would argue that if you are not altering the height of the land at the boundary of your plot with the neighbour, there will be little impact on them and nothing to complain about.

    As andrew says, in 4 years all this will be academic, but the principle of not upsetting neighbours is a good one. I managed to hide a 42' x 24' polytunnel from my neighbours by siting it carefully. The fact that it has PP is much less important IMO.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 6th Jan 18, 2:07 PM
    • 2,692 Posts
    • 3,026 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    • #6
    • 6th Jan 18, 2:07 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Jan 18, 2:07 PM
    Given that the neighbour's house is higher up and looks down onto your garden I reckon there's not a huge chance they'll object. Your terraced garden area and patio aren't going to be looking down into their house windows or garden.

    Have a chat with them, see what vibe you get off them.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 6th Jan 18, 3:46 PM
    • 4,161 Posts
    • 3,121 Thanks
    sheramber
    • #7
    • 6th Jan 18, 3:46 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Jan 18, 3:46 PM
    Do you mean you want to increase the wall to 8 ft- existing 4ft increased by 4 ft?

    Garden fences and walls can be no higher than 2 metres without planning permission.( I metre high adjoining a road or footpath.) so an 8ft wall would need planning permission.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 6th Jan 18, 5:10 PM
    • 23,982 Posts
    • 90,194 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #8
    • 6th Jan 18, 5:10 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Jan 18, 5:10 PM
    Do you mean you want to increase the wall to 8 ft- existing 4ft increased by 4 ft?

    Garden fences and walls can be no higher than 2 metres without planning permission.( I metre high adjoining a road or footpath.) so an 8ft wall would need planning permission.
    Originally posted by sheramber
    I don't think the OP meant that....at least I hope not, because an 8 foot retaining wall would need careful engineering, never mind planning permission!

    It would cost a fortune and there's another question in what it would be infilled with and how the sides would be retained.

    But all we have to go on is that the garden slopes upwards away from the house and is 14' wide.

    OP a picture is worth 1000 words, as is a photo. Either take a photo of your plan, or one of the garden, or both, get it hosted on img BB and then post as a broken link, because MSE wont allow you clickable links yet. One of us will fix it.

    https://imgbb.com/
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Bimbly
    • By Bimbly 6th Jan 18, 9:14 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    Bimbly
    • #9
    • 6th Jan 18, 9:14 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Jan 18, 9:14 PM
    I did some work on my house within permitted development, but someone complained and the council wrote to me and said I needed to apply for planning permission -- it turned out there was a clause no one knew about which meant I needed to apply for the permission.

    Anyway, I applied retrospectively and it all went through smoothly.

    My point is, if you don't apply and it turns out you should, there is no penalty as such to apply retrospectively. There is the slight danger, however, that it could be turned down.

    There is also something -- I discovered after the fact -- called a Lawful Development Certificate. If you think your scheme doesn't require planning permission, you can apply for one of these through the council. It will prove that you can go ahead with the work and sleep easy (or say you will need to apply for PP).

    You can also ring Building Control at the council for general advice. They are usually helpful.
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