Planning Portal

PPS 7 (Addendum): Residential Extensions and Alterations
Policy EXT 1

Policy EXT 1 Residential Extensions and Alterations
Planning permission will be granted for a proposal to extend or alter a residential property where all of the following criteria are met:
  • the scale, massing, design and external materials of the proposal are sympathetic with the built form and appearance of the existing property and will not detract from the appearance and character of the surrounding area;
  • the proposal does not unduly affect the privacy or amenity of neighbouring residents;
  • the proposal will not cause the unacceptable loss of, or damage to, trees or other landscape features which contribute significantly to local environmental quality; and
  • sufficient space remains within the curtilage of the property for recreational and domestic purposes including the parking and manoeuvring of vehicles.
The guidance set out in Annex A will be taken into account when assessing proposals against the above criteria.

Justification and Amplification

2.1 The Department wishes to encourage the highest standard of design for all development, including proposals for residential extensions and alterations. Good design will help promote sustainable development and improve the quality of the existing environment. It should also afford appropriate protection of residential amenity.
2.2 A proposal to extend or alter a residential property can have a significant impact on the character and appearance of the local environment. The main causes of harm arise where an extension is poorly designed, over-sized or badly sited or where inappropriate alterations are proposed. Even small-scale changes can, by virtue of their cumulative impact over a period of time, significantly erode the character of a street, village or rural setting. An extension or alteration can also affect the privacy and amenities enjoyed by neighbouring households, with issues such as dominance, privacy and loss of light often arising.
2.3 Applications for house extensions and alterations therefore raise detailed, site specific issues and each case will be assessed on its individual merits. The acceptability of proposals will depend on the particular circumstances on the site and its surroundings and decisions will be informed by the guidance provided in Annex A.
2.4 The overall aim is to encourage high quality design solutions. The design approach, which is most commonly followed, is for extensions and alterations to tie in with the style, design and materials of the existing property. However the Department does not wish to stifle or dismiss an innovative, contemporary design solution and this will be acceptable where the proposal complements the host property and respects its wider surroundings.
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