Permission refused because of unsatisfactory garden space? Your solution may be a bespoke garden plan.

At Planning Direct, we’re always trying to find clever and cost-effective new solutions to common planning issues.

We were recently contacted by a homeowner in Suffolk for assistance with their refused planning application. The application was for the construction of a new bungalow within the large grounds of their existing bungalow. It was refused by their local council because the two bungalows would have “unsatisfactory” garden space.

First, we had a look at the architect’s plans. Although the gardens were not huge, they were certainly larger than many of the gardens you see in today’s new-build housing estates. They were also enclosed with mature hedges to provide green spaces with a high degree of privacy. Overall, we thought the gardens were pleasant and of more than adequate size.

Consider local policies and guidance

Next, we had a look at the local planning policies. Local policies that set strict minimum garden sizes are very rare and there were none in this area. Throughout Suffolk, however, there is Design Guidance for Residential Areas. Developers and decision-makers are both expected to follow this.

Suffolk’s design guidance contains some helpful advice on the design of domestic gardens. It confirms that a “one size fits all” approach is inappropriate, that a diverse range of garden sizes benefits any housing estate and that smaller houses will naturally have smaller gardens.

It also describes certain spaces and features that all gardens should be able to provide, no matter their size. These are:

  • Space for tree (and other) planting
  • Privacy
  • Daylight
  • Space for storage and bins
  • Space for hobbies, clothes drying and sitting out.
permission refused garden space

Suffolk Design Guide for Residential Areas contains advice on the design of domestic gardens

The Suffolk Design Guide for Residential Areas applies throughout Suffolk, including in Babergh, Mid Suffolk, East Suffolk, West Suffolk and Ipswich. You can access a copy here:

A plan can be worth a thousand words…

Returning to our client’s existing plans, these did appear to show gardens that would be large enough to accommodate all of the above features.

For the avoidance of any doubt, however, Planning Direct has prepared an additional hand-drawn garden plan. This includes (to scale) all of those features that the local guidance expects new gardens to provide space for. The bespoke plan shows two gardens that are functional, spacious and pleasant.

permission refused garden space
Bespoke garden plan aims to demonstrate “satisfactory” garden space

The bespoke garden plan will accompany an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against the council’s refusal of the application. Planning Direct is confident that the Inspector will agree – having regard to the detailed garden plan – that both houses have more than satisfactory garden space.

Because of its unique purpose, this plan is a little different to our standard garden plans which are tailored to the specific needs and desires of the site’s occupants and typically include more detail (e.g. on plant species, numbers and locations). When we say bespoke, we really mean it!

Click the button below to find out more about Planning Direct’s garden planning service.

Have you had permission refused because of unsatisfactory garden space? Or do you have another project that could benefit from a garden plan?

Our bespoke landscape plans are always tailored to meet your requirements and our initial advice is always free of charge. Contact us today to find out more.

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