I am currently renovating/extending a property in a conservation area in london and as part of the approved plans the architect provided a street scene and the external views etc. the planning permission was approved.

when it came to completing the construction set, we noticed the survey from the architect was not 100% accurate so we went for full plans approval with building control. this was signed off fine and we submitted multiply structural designs and scaled drawings that were all approved.

however, the net result is the house is over 20cms taller than approved plans, but match to constuction set..+/- normal cm or 2 tolerances.. it was a consequence of following the build design exactly from architect (following approved roof pitch etc) so roof height was higher as he’d had width measurements incorrect on his survey.

the building in itself looks in scale and exactly like plans. its more like the plans were 1:51 say rather than 1:50, however my wife is concerned as we are now marginally higher than the neighbours (we are detached and on the high point of the road so always was slightly higher)

where do we stand? do council have right to make us change the roof even though we’ve built exactly to the building control approved set? building control have inspected all along and have been very happy. we only noticed the discrepancy between plans and construction set recently.

we are in an area where neighbours may complain.. even though its to the spec approved.

any advice would be much appreciated.

  • Jeremy Murfitt


    From what I can glean the building has been constructed fully in accordance with the plans but the base heights were out were out by 20cm. You also confirm that the Building Regulations Team are happy with the building. I think you may need to separate the two, i.e. planning and building regulations. The later will cover the detail, safety, quality of construction so whether the building is 20 cm higher is likely to be of less importance to them. Planners though will be looking at your building in the context of how it fits in with the locality, adjoining properties etc.

    In the context of a new building the height variance as a % of the overall building height must be quite small, in fact very small, maybe less than 1%? You then say it looks right, it is in proportion and I would guess that nobody would even notice. Standing in the street anyone would be hard pressed to identify a height variance. Personally I wouldn’t worry about it. Planners do have the job of ensuring that development is carries out in accordance with approved drawings but they are fairly pragmatic.

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