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  • Writer's pictureRobert McBride

Unlocking Backland Development

Envisioning an additional dwelling in your rear garden? You're not alone.

As housing demands surge, backland development – the creation of extra homes on existing residential plots – is gaining popularity. This article, enriched with 2023 insights, delves into the intricacies of securing planning permission for a separate house in your garden, offering a roadmap to overcome challenges and capitalize on the opportunities.

Decoding Backland Development:

Backland development involves building on land often concealed from main roads, such as the space behind a row of houses. These areas, usually part of larger gardens, benefit from accessible road links from the rear or side of a property. Infills, constructing homes on small plots between gardens, present another avenue.

Shifting Dynamics in Backland Development:

Historically scrutinized, backland and infill sites faced backlash yet gained protection. With the imperative for increased housing supply, recent policies, like the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), highlight their potential contributions. Utilizing garden space, especially when self-building, offers a streamlined process compared to acquiring new sites.

Current Landscape and Policy Impact:

The latest London Plan advocates higher suburban densities for housing needs, particularly in areas with a Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) of 3-6. However, local planning documents shape the specifics. Emphasis is placed on subservience to existing structures and considering heritage significance.

Can You Build in Your Garden? The Considerations:

Securing planning permission for backland development isn't a guaranteed feat. Location is pivotal, requiring direct road access, owned preferably, and compliance with local regulations. Nuanced policies stress maintaining character and appearance, addressing privacy concerns, and avoiding adverse impacts on neighboring development.

Site Typologies and Design Strategies:

Backland sites vary – from corner plots to land at the rear, side plot extensions, or internal plots within estates. Design considerations play a crucial role, necessitating alignment with local surroundings and adherence to planning considerations like space, access, privacy, and waste management.

Planning Hurdles and Local Politics:

Navigating local politics is integral. Involving neighbors from the outset, addressing concerns, and maintaining open communication can influence the planning process positively. A case study from Studio: MASS exemplifies overcoming objections through thorough research and comprehensive Design and Access Statements.

Studio: MASS, adept in design and planning, offers tailored support for backland development projects. Whether envisioning a simple extension or ambitious multi-building endeavors, Studio: MASS maximizes success chances.

For assistance, contact or call 0208 638 6727. Alternatively, press the Talk to US button above to book a free consultation.


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