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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Family’s planning bid rejected over higher roof on extension

A Harrington family has been refused retrospective planning permission to improve an extension, despite the work almost being complete.

Christine Dryden, 50, of West Gyhll Place, carried out the work for her brother Robert Dixon, 59, who was involved in a car crash 39 years ago which left him brain damaged.

Allerdale council’s development panel last week voted unanimously to refuse retrospective permission, despite a recommendation of approval from planning officers.

Mrs Dryden, who was unable to attend the meeting, said: “I was gutted when I found out the decision. I bought the house because of the extension next door. It was a little cottage but when I moved in it had a garage door on it.

“We have done this to give Robert some independence and me some respite.”

When Mrs Dryden decided to convert the building in 2006, she said she was told by Allerdale council that she did not need planning permission.

The work, costing £26,000, was delayed because of financial issues but when these were sorted she thought there would still be no need for planning permission.

The peak of the roof has remained at the same height but its slope was altered so that it is 31 inches higher at one end.

Following a complaint about the development by a neighbour, Mrs Dryden was told that she would need to apply for planning permission and that any further work would be at her own risk.

The neighbour, Mrs Kirkwood, said she had originally been told that the roof would only be raised by six inches and said the height of the roof now blocked out light to her kitchen and had increased utility bills because lights were on all the time.

But Mrs Dryden said that the previous view out of her neighbour’s kitchen window was on to a tin roof and that they had cut down trees in their garden to try to compensate for the loss of light.

Planning manager Kevin Kerrigan said that while the original conversion work did not need planning permission, the increase in roof height did require consent.

He said that although the outbuilding had a clear impact on the neighbouring property this had to be set against the fact that the outbuilding was already there.

Permission was rejected by the panel on the grounds that it was an unneighbourly development and caused adverse impact to the residential amenity.

An enforcement notice will be served, but Mrs Dryden said she planned to appeal.

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