Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby lady louisa » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:43 pm

Hi All,

Could somebody point me in the direction of legislation / guidelines on minimum distances to boundaries please?

I am specifically looking for the separation distance of 11 metres from a proposed upstairs window to a rear boundary wall.
Is this set in stone? Has anybody any experience of a planning authority allowing less than 11 metres?

Thank you all in advance.

Lady Lou
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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby onq » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:30 pm

Hi Lady Louisa,

No its not set in stone AFAIK.

The old standard of 22M between directly opposing 1st floor windows was designed to give a degree of privacy for persons immediately outside the rear of their house, not halfway down the garden.

Town-house schemes in Dublin in the 1990's dropped this to 7 or 8 metres, but since them it may have risen again.

I have seen schemes with 9M back garden depths get permission and in some high density schemes you can achieve less than seven.

The trick here is to not have any windows facing towards the opposite house private area - think single sided rooms or high level windows or rooflights.

Mind you if you choose the latter high level option you'll need to balance off the need for privacy with the need for alternative escape routes.

Increasing the degree of fire safety with an upgraded alarm system or providing a protected fire escape route could be one possible solution.

Regards,

ONQ.
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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby StephenC » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:53 pm

Refer to your local city/county development plan in the section on design standards or development standards. That should give you some guidance as to what the Local Authority are likely to consider. A pre planning meeting with the Planner would also help.
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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby onq » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:56 pm

Also if you're willing to do some online legwork you could discover some application precedents locally and then search out the permission/refusal/Appeal results.

Sometimes there are "favoured sons" in the locality and things do or don't happen around them.

Good to know before the pre-planning just to see if you can get the planner to blush.

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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby lady louisa » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:31 pm

Hi Stephen and ONQ,

Thanks for the replies.

Good to hear that less than 11 has been achieved in certain instances.

The application in question is backing onto a green area, not onto houses, but the planner is still insisting on 11 metres. The green area is most unlikely to be used for housing in the future. We are currently at 9.5 metres and I really think that the planner is being most unreasonable. If we get a refusal the client is adamant that we are going to lodge an appeal with ABP. I personally agree.

I am currently trawling the LA planning website for precedent and am happy to report that I have two cases so far that were refused by the LA but the decision was overturned and granted by ABP.

Thanks for the feedback,

Regards,

LL
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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby wearnicehats » Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:13 pm

it's in the statute

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2001/en/ ... tml#sched2

refer to 6b

1. (a) Where the house has not been extended previously, the floor area of any such extension shall not exceed 40 square metres.

(b) Subject to paragraph (a), where the house is terraced or semi-detached, the floor area of any extension above ground level shall not exceed 12 square metres.

(c) Subject to paragraph (a), where the house is detached, the floor area of any extension above ground level shall not exceed 20 square metres.

2. (a) Where the house has been extended previously, the floor area of any such extension, taken together with the floor area of any previous extension or extensions constructed or erected after 1 October 1964, including those for which planning permission has been obtained, shall not exceed 40 square metres.

(b) Subject to paragraph (a), where the house is terraced or semi-detached and has been extended previously, the floor area of any extension above ground level taken together with the floor area of any previous extension or extensions above ground level constructed or erected after 1 October 1964, including those for which planning permission has been obtained, shall not exceed 12 square metres.

(c) Subject to paragraph (a), where the house is detached and has been extended previously, the floor area of any extension above ground level, taken together with the floor area of any previous extension or extensions above ground level constructed or erected after 1 October 1964, including those for which planning permission has been obtained, shall not exceed 20 square metres.

3. Any above ground floor extension shall be a distance of not less than 2 metres from any party boundary.

4. (a) Where the rear wall of the house does not include a gable, the height of the walls of any such extension shall not exceed the height of the rear wall of the house.

(b) Where the rear wall of the house includes a gable, the height of the walls of any such extension shall not exceed the height of the side walls of the house.

(c) The height of the highest part of the roof of any such extension shall not exceed, in the case of a flat roofed extension, the height of the eaves or parapet, as may be appropriate, or, in any other case, shall not exceed the height of the highest part of the roof of the dwelling.

5. The construction or erection of any such extension to the rear of the house shall not reduce the area of private open space, reserved exclusively for the use of the occupants of the house, to the rear of the house to less than 25 square metres.

6. (a) Any window proposed at ground level in any such extension shall not be less than 1 metre from the boundary it faces.

(b) Any window proposed above ground level in any such extension shall not be less than 11 metres from the boundary it faces.

(c) Where the house is detached and the floor area of the extension above ground level exceeds 12 square metres, any window proposed at above ground level shall not be less than 11 metres from the boundary it faces.

7. The roof of any extension shall not be used as a balcony or roof garden
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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby onq » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:45 pm

Lady Louisa,

For the sake of clarity I should clarify that when you asked -

"Has anybody any experience of a planning authority allowing less than 11 metres."

- I assumed you were referring to a situation where permission had been sought.

Wearnicehats outlines the situation in relation to exempted development.

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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby onq » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:59 pm

lady louisa wrote:Hi Stephen and ONQ,

Thanks for the replies.

Good to hear that less than 11 has been achieved in certain instances.

The application in question is backing onto a green area, not onto houses, but the planner is still insisting on 11 metres. The green area is most unlikely to be used for housing in the future. We are currently at 9.5 metres and I really think that the planner is being most unreasonable. If we get a refusal the client is adamant that we are going to lodge an appeal with ABP. I personally agree.

I am currently trawling the LA planning website for precedent and am happy to report that I have two cases so far that were refused by the LA but the decision was overturned and granted by ABP.

Thanks for the feedback,

Regards,

LL


Lady Louisa

I think you are taking a reasonable position, but for the planning officer the issue may rest on other matters in some local authorities.

A zoning that serves to protect and preserve residential amenity may allow arguments to be constructed to maintain a low density.
A piece of open space that is not zoned as "Open Space" or "Buffer Zone" some Development Plans will eventually be built on.

The planners job is not to erode the reasonable rights of future developers by allowing shorter rear gardens for you.
If the developer of hte adjoining land were to seek permission it might be your clients who would appeal this seeking 22m to be maintained.
This would put the onus on the follow on developer to accommodate the largesse in sought by you in getting the shorter back garden.

A 3 bedroom house may require a minimum of 60 sq.m. private open space [POS] to the rear.
If the plot was only say 5M wide it might not achieve this minimum standard.

And so on.

The issue of 11M is a guideline except for 1st floor exempted developments.
However, its there for a reason and there may be others as noted above.

Before you commit yourself and your clients to a course of action I'd ask around and try to get a reed on why this planner is so strict on maintaining the distance, taking on board the issues I've noted.
You could be dealing with a naive planning officer and this might need delicate handling.
Discovering precedent then can become a two edged sword, because the planner should have known about this.

Also is the 9M from the ground floor rearmost part or the 1st floor?
Apart from the POS issue above, only the first floor distance applies.
Of course dormers at 2nd floor could create an additional level of overlooking and therefore imposition on the rearwards site.

FWIW

ONQ.
Last edited by onq on Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby wearnicehats » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:02 pm

sorry perhaps I wasn't clear - I realise that this involves a planning application but the reason for posting that legislation is that many planners will consider the exempted development figures as being the minimum for unexempt development
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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby onq » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:04 pm

No need to apologise for that - it was a good call and shows where the limit is called up in legislation.

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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby wearnicehats » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:38 pm

just out of interest - is the land to the rear owned by the local authority to whom you're sumitting or by a private concern?

As ONQ has already said the 22metre separation is the unwritten norm (the new 2011-2017 DCC development plan notes it as the preferred dimension, whereas the 2005-2011 mooted 20m. I also seem to recall Wicklobw CC stipulating a minimum garden length of 11m) so the 11m imposed upon you would also be imposed upon any future development of the open land. As already stated to allow you to drop below 11 would impose an unfair penalty on the future use of the open space should the 22m be applied and this is relevant if the LA owns the open space as they'd be shooting themselves in the foot by allowing you less
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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby lady louisa » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:29 pm

Hi Wearnicehats and ONQ and thanks for the input.

I take on board all of your comments.

The Green Open Area to the rear is a GAA pitch owned by the GAA I would imagine ? It was the subject of a planning application a few years ago for the addition of changing rooms. In the Local Area Plan it is zoned Amenity and in the zoning matrix which outlines if something would be considered in the future "Housing" is "not permissable".

It is not an extension but an infill development where we are sub-dividing the garden and applying for a detached two-storey dwelling. The planner has already told me that the head planner (his boss) in this particular LA is anti infill development of this sort and that our chances of getting it are slim or none! We have already received a refusal and we have re-designed and are trying again.

Thanks again

LL
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Re: Guidelines on distances to boundaries

Postby pico » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:30 pm

Check the Development Plan for the appropriate LA, & see what is referred to for residential developments. For instance, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Development Plan refers to the aims,objectives and principles of the ‘Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas’ and the accompanying ‘Urban Design Manual – A Best Practice Guide’.

Section 7.4 of the Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas discusses privacy and security, and says:
" at the rear of dwellings, there should be adequate separation (traditionally about 22 m between 2-storey dwellings) between opposing first floor windows. However, such rules should be applied flexibly: the careful positioning and detailed design of opposing windows can prevent overlooking even with shorter back to-back distances.".

This is an example of what should be used in the design of the new dwelling and quoted to the local authority in the submission, and in any appeal, if required.

I am sure there are more examples if you spend some time researching.
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