Chris Tarrant


Our client’s house sits in a large plot with extensive grounds in a recognised Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The house is largely shielded from view by extensive woodland.

The house had been extended in the past and our client wanted a relatively simple two-storey rear extension that fitted between two existing wings and would barely be noticeable to anyone outside of the site. 

The Council has a planning policy that gives guidance as to the maximum amount that a dwelling should be extended by in certain circumstances. In this case the Council took a fairly intransigent attitude regarding this number and failed to acknowledge the lack of harm that would arise from the proposal.  The issue was the subject of appeal to the Secretary of State and to quote submitted appeal statement:

"Unfortunately it would appear in this instance that a set of “rules” is exactly what has led the Officer to determine the acceptability or not of the proposal, with considerable effort being made to discuss numbers and percentages and little being put into prescribing impact and harm which can only lead to the assumption that there was no harm to prescribe."

To compound the argument JCE undertook research dating back over 60 years and were able to demonstrate that the figures the Council had relied on were wrong.  A complex set of 3-D images were produced to illustrate our findings. 

Working closely with a Planning Barrister we were able to demonstrate that the Council had also given far too much weight to out of date policies and even elevated un-adopted policies above their legal status.

We were delighted when the Appeal Inspector agreed with every point we had made and granted planning permission commenting that the design of the proposed extension would actually result in an improvement to the house.

I have lived in my house for many years and over time, like most people, I have extended my home to accommodate my ever-growing family. Unfortunately, last year I found myself in a situation where the Council refused to grant planning permission even though I strongly believed there was no unreasonable impact arising as a result of my proposals.

Mark and the team at JCE came into their own fighting the appeal for me. They took the time to explain this complicated process to me and also discussed various options we might like to consider in moving ahead. They also brought the experience of a very qualified barrister on board to help with the appeal.

The end result was a very comprehensive and well thought out set of documents that showed all of the errors in the Council’s considerations and most importantly as far as I was concerned the fact that my extension would have no unreasonable impact on anybody. The Planning Inspector completely agreed with everything that the team had put forward and upheld the appeal, granting me planning permission.

Even after the appeal was decided Mark has stayed in touch to make sure I had all the information I needed so that my builder could get started. I’ve been delighted with the outcome and have no hesitation in saying I would use JCE for any other planning applications I might have in the future.
— Chris Tarrant