Garage too high

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26hoggy
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Garage too high

Post by 26hoggy » Thu May 18, 2017 5:51 pm

Hi need some advice, I'm not a builder and I'm completely new at this so forgive my ignorance.

I'm having a large detached garage built at the bottom of my garden, we submitted planning permission for it to be 4 meters high (pitched roof) and it was granted.

Due to the steel I beam being a lot taller than expected it's now 100mm too tall, planning control have had complaints from the neighbours saying it's not being built to the plans and now want to come round and measure up next week.
My question is how lenient do you think they would be on a pitched roof that's 100mm too high?
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Re: Garage too high

Post by davyp1 » Thu May 18, 2017 6:18 pm

26hoggy wrote:Hi need some advice, I'm not a builder and I'm completely new at this so forgive my ignorance.

I'm having a large detached garage built at the bottom of my garden, we submitted planning permission for it to be 4 meters high (pitched roof) and it was granted.

Due to the steel I beam being a lot taller than expected it's now 100mm too tall, planning control have had complaints from the neighbours saying it's not being built to the plans and now want to come round and measure up next week.
My question is how lenient do you think they would be on a pitched roof that's 100mm too high?
:welcomeuhm:

Your question is a rather difficult one to answer, but I would like to ask some of my own which may give me a clearer picture!
  • Was a drawing for the Garage (showing the 4M height criteria) provided to your builder for him to quote against?
    How has your builder reacted when you informed him of the complaints and the forthcoming inspection?


I see the problem being your Builders problem not yours. His only let out being if he was not informed of the height restraint. As long as the Builder has had copies of all drawings/documentation etc. it is his responsibility to carry out the works in accordance with any restrictions mentioned.

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26hoggy
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Re: Garage too high

Post by 26hoggy » Thu May 18, 2017 7:12 pm

Hi thanks for the reply
The builder is a family member who is helping me build it (he has some experience and I'm the labourer)

The plans submitted didn't have a number on them saying it will be 4m high but had a drawing with a scale on it and it was accepted by the planning permission guys.

The other issue is the ground surrounding it isnt level so if they take a measurement from the ground on one side it's within spec but the other side it's too high.
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Re: Garage too high

Post by davyp1 » Thu May 18, 2017 7:30 pm

Thanks for that, I understand the situation better now.
You need to let the meeting happen, common sense prevailing you should have a good chance although it could go either way.
But let them do the talking. I would also assume that the Building Inspector made a number of visits; you could use the fact that he had not raised any height problem with you during construction.
Although I do wonder that if you had to try and meet them in some way, could you save a few CM's by perhaps changing the ridge tiles?
As a last ditch defence, you could offer to drop 20 tonnes of muck on the low side of the Garage.
Sorry that I have not been much help.

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Re: Garage too high

Post by cotswold builders » Thu May 18, 2017 7:33 pm

I don't think 4 inches higher is anything to worry about
26hoggy
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Re: Garage too high

Post by 26hoggy » Thu May 18, 2017 7:39 pm

Thanks again guys, I was thinking of putting some top soil round the edge to bring the ground level up.
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Re: Garage too high

Post by big-all » Thu May 18, 2017 7:52 pm

its from the natural ground level it covers so is there a high end it covers :dunno:
take the datum point from there
we are all ------------------still learning
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Re: Garage too high

Post by Notch1 » Thu May 18, 2017 9:36 pm

Height is a difficult issue, because no site is dead level. Much safer to be specific on planjing application drawings.

Im not sure the builder is at fault unless he was given a height and a datum point on the ground to measure from

Adjacent highest point, Is my understanding, which should cover you.

It is very easy to go wrong because heights on drawings are often noted from finished floor level, not ground level.




Article 1(3) of the Town and Country (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (as amended) provides the following definition of “height”:

“Unless the context otherwise requires, any reference in this Order to the height of a building or of plant or machinery shall be construed as a reference to its height when measured from ground level; and for the purposes of this paragraph "ground level" means the level of the surface of the ground immediately adjacent to the building or plant or machinery in question or, where the level of the surface of the ground on which it is situated or is to be situated is not uniform, the level of the highest part of the surface of the ground adjacent to it.”

Circular 9/95 (General Development Order Consolidation 1995), Section II (The Permitted Development Order), paragraph 36 provides the following further advice:

“A definition of “ground level” is given in article 1(3). Measurements of height for the purposes of the Order are taken from the highest part of the adjoining land. The measurement should be taken from the “natural” ground level (see Journal of Planning and Environment Law, 1979, p. 491).”

In relation to this issue, the legal resource “The Planning Encyclopaedia” provides the following advice:

“Many of the tolerances of permitted development are defined in terms of height, and para. (3) provides a formula for assessing height. It was introduced in the Town and Country General Development (Amendment) Order 1981 (SI 1981/245) in response to difficulties, following Prengate Properties v Secretary of State for the Environment (1973) 25 P. & C.R. 311, in assessing what was the natural ground level from which to assess height when there was sloping land: see [1979] J.P.L. 491 [1979] J.P.L. 491, where the Secretary of State upheld his inspector's ruling that where a wall was erected on top of a patio area which was already raised some two feet above the ground, the measurement should be from the natural ground area rather than of the wall alone. The formula in the order gives the benefit of doubt to the developer: height may be measured from the highest part of the surface of the ground adjoining the building.”

In relation to this issue, the legal resource “DCP Notes” (section 4.3447) provides the following advice:

“Measuring building height above ground level:
In Part 1 Class E, as noted above, the height of a building must not exceed 4m. in the case of a ridged roof or 3 m. otherwise for it to be permitted development. Height is also a criterion in terms in Class A1(d). where extensions are within 2 m. of a boundary. The GPDO at Article 1(3) states that any reference to the height of a building (or of plant or machinery) shall be construed as a reference to its height when measured from ground level and that "ground level" means the level of the surface of the ground immediately adjacent to the building (or plant or machinery). However, the proviso is made that where the level of the surface of the ground is not uniform, the level of the highest part of the surface of the ground is to be taken. Although the Article does not specifically refer to "natural" ground level, Circular 9/95 para. 36 avers that this is the criterion to be used.”
26hoggy
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Re: Garage too high

Post by 26hoggy » Fri May 19, 2017 1:16 pm

OK think I understand that, so in reference to my situation
Because the height is within spec on one end of the garage I should be ok as measurements are taken from the highest point of the uneven "ground level"
And although it doesn't mention it I'd imagine it means natural ground level as oppose to someone dumping a load of dirt round the edge.
Hopefully this is what the inspector will go by and I should be ok
I'll let you guys know what happens on Thursday when the guy comes round.
Many thanks for the advice, it's given me a glimmer of hope
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Re: Garage too high

Post by Notch1 » Fri May 19, 2017 1:32 pm

Its an issue that crops up quite often and Ive don jobs where its been questioned so I now specify on planning drawings where the height is taken from to avoid any issues afterwards.

Do let us know what happens on Thursday, itll be interesting to see what the planning officer has to say.

Why do the neighbours think it isnt being built to the plans? have they been out at midnight with a tape measure and a torch :-)
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Re: Garage too high

Post by Handyman in Sussex » Fri May 19, 2017 3:23 pm

The other point in your favour is that most architects will put various get out clauses either on the drawings or in the notes along the line of:

"Dimensions to be verified on site"

"Figured dimensions to take preference over those scaled", Which in your case you have no figured dimension to give preference to so you can only scale them.

and -"DO NOT SCALE FROM DRAWINGS (except for planning purposes)" Which is a very loose term meaning that the builder can't scale to get a height to build to, but the planners can to get an idea of what you are building, all very approximate.

If you don't have a specific dimension anywhere on the drawings showing 4m and you can show that the section drawing is a cut through of the plan at a specific point (which it may show, look for the section number with a line on the plan), and you are within 4m from ground level at that point then I don't think they have any evidence to make a fuss over 100mm. There is too much room for error using a scale rule on a 1:50 or 1:100 drawing over 4m to argue about 100mm, coupled with the fact you have variation in ground levels and you are within 4m from the highest point, I don't think they will worry. But they need to visit so they can write to your neighbour to shut him up!

Is the rest of the build according to plans? I.e, is he complaining about something other than the height? As already said above there's no way he could tell if it's 100mm high or low without actually measuring it.

Good luck and :welcome:
26hoggy
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Re: Garage too high

Post by 26hoggy » Fri May 19, 2017 5:16 pm

The only difference other than height is a window on the plans has NOT been included in the actual build, but we spoke to the planners about this 6 weeks ago and they said it will be
a non material change
Cost £70 approx admin fee
Won't be a problem

The garage is quite big so I think a mixture of the neighbours not wanting to see something so huge at the bottom of the garden, coupled with a bit of jealousy as they are in the process of building a shed next to my garage may be why they have kicked off.
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Re: Garage too high

Post by Handyman in Sussex » Fri May 19, 2017 7:49 pm

It's the green eyed monster then.

If you had added a window that's not on the drawings that would definitely give them cause to complain, but to omit one is simply a minor change.
26hoggy
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Re: Garage too high

Post by 26hoggy » Sat May 20, 2017 9:05 am

I think I'm being unfair when I say it's jealousy, it's probably going to be mostly the size and ugliness as like I said it is huge. The drawings we sent to the council only have a scale so aren't that clear regards size so I don't think the neighbours appreciated just how big it was going to be.
I'll put it down to poor communication skills on my part and being (unintentionally) an inconsiderate neighbour.
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Re: Garage too high

Post by Notch1 » Sat May 20, 2017 9:32 am

Planning applications must adhere to precise specifications and these are the first thing that are checked when the application is made. Only when the application is validated does the planning process start, ie public consultation etc.

Your apllication and drawings must have met the criteria or they wouldnt have got further, so I dont think you should consider there has been poor communication in regards to your neighbours.

Drawings without measurements are checked carefully by scale and drawings must say for eg, scale 1 to 100 when printed at A3 to avoid confusion when submitting online.

Whilst planning decisions do take neighbour consultayion into account, there is a national planning policy framework which is used as a yardstick on which decisions are made. It works both ways, if you applied for something that was huge and didnt satisfy the planning policy it would get refused even if the neighbours said its fine.
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