We are applying to Bradford Metropolitan Council to extend our ex local authority 1950’s brick semi with a 2 storey side extension and single storey rear extension. The single storey rear extension will be stepped in 350mm from our neighbour’s boundary and we were hoping for a 4m depth.

All had been okay’d in principle and was due to be put forward for approval this week but the planner has come back apologising for the oversight of the council’s adopted ‘Householder Supplementary Planning Document 2012’ which states;

Single Storey Extensions: Where a rear extension or conservatory is located close to a boundary with a neighbouring property: l Single storey extensions to terraced or semi-detached houses should not normally exceed 3 metres* in depth

It seems they only disregard this guidance when alleviating an overcrowding issue which in our case would not apply.

Do you think it is worth pursuing the 4m we would like or settle for the 3.35m my architect proposes negotiating (based on 3m plus 350mm compensation for step in from neighbours boundary). Part of me thinks its only just over half a meter but then I think about the practical use of the room and the fact that we will have to live with whatever we agree to for a very long time!

Is there any point mentioning that we are building the extension with a view to accommodating my elderly grandmother who is 91, blind and reliant on mobility aids to get around so adequate space to maneouvre is essential? The council have already indicated they will allow us level access to the patio from the extensions (side and rear) for this reason.

I would be very grateful for any advice – we are being pushed for a decision urgently but I think this is important to get this right.

Alyson Smith

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