D&M Planning has been successful in obtaining planning permission by virtue of arguing that the permitted development fall back would be more harmful to the openness and character of the countryside and landscape than a two-storey rear extension.

Located within Countryside beyond the Green Belt, the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an Area of Great Landscape Value, in approving the proposal the Council said:

‘Officers note the three single storey extensions to the rear of the dwelling, which have been granted consent under a Certificate of Lawfulness. The current application, which proposes a two storey rear extension, would amount to an increase of 22 square metres, which is slightly less habitable floor space than that already granted under permitted development at 26 square metres. Officers acknowledge that the proposed extension, given its two storey form, would have greater height and bulk, however, it would be more compact than the three separate single storey extensions, which could be implemented under permitted development. Furthermore, the proposed extension would infill an area to the rear of the dwelling, which adjoins an existing two storey gable projection and, as such, would be viewed within the context of the existing house. The proposed extension is not considered to be materially more harmful than the permitted development extensions already approved and moreover, would relate better to the form and massing of the existing dwelling than the fall back position. Given the careful consideration of the fall back position, it is considered that although the proposed extensions would have an impact on the intrinsic character of the Countryside beyond the Green Belt, this impact would not be materially more harmful than if the extensions the subject of the Certificate of Lawfulness were to be built.’