- The guidelines are aimed at providing advice to householders and developers, considering house extensions, by highlighting clearly and simply, the criteria against which planning applications will be considered, thereby ensuring a consistent approach to all schemes.
- This advice has been prepared in part as a response to the design of some extensions that have been constructed in the past including, in particular, the impact that they have had upon neighbouring properties. Whilst the existence of such an extension in the vicinity of a proposal will be taken into account it will not automatically provide a precedent for the approval of a similar poor design in the future.
- These guidelines represent a significant change in planning house extensions in the County Borough of Neath Port Talbot.
- The main purpose of these guidelines is to direct applicants towards suitable and acceptable standards for all forms of household extensions, which provide the required space whilst at the same time protecting the amenities of adjoining properties.
- The principle behind these new guidelines is a recognition of the potentially conflicting demands of the desire of householders to extend their own properties and the protection of the standards of amenity enjoyed by neighbours.
The guidelines attempt to provide a balance between these two demands. In different types of property these different demands may be weighed differently.
- Thus in respect of older terraced properties there may be a need for additional accommodation to provide basic facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom.
- In terraced properties there will often be no alternative design solution available other than a rear extension. In newer properties, built with all modern facilities, the 'need' argument might be somewhat weaker. Typically, however, in respect of detached properties there are alternative design solutions available some of which will have a lesser impact upon neighbours than others.
- It should be recognised by householders that most houses have a limit beyond which they cannot reasonably be extended. Beyond that limit further extensions would represent an unacceptable over-development of the site.