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R (on the application of HEATH & HAMPSTEAD SOCIETY) v (1) ALEX VLACHOS (2) THALIS VLACHOS (3) CAMDEN LONDON BOROUGH COUNCIL

On the proper construction of Planning Policy Guidance 2, para 3.6 a local authority could not reasonably have concluded that a proposed new building more than twice as large as the original in terms of floor space, volume and footprint was not “materially larger”.

1 April 2008

The appellants appealed against a decision quashing planning permission for the demolition of a house and erection of a new one on land designated as metropolitan open land. The house was on a site adjacent to Hampstead Heath. The house was a 1950s house of two storeys with a pitched roof. The proposed new house would be larger than the existing house, although no higher because much of the increase would be below ground level. Depending on how the calculations were done, there would be a three-fold increase in floor space, about a four-fold increase in built volume and between a two and a two-and-a-half times increase in its footprint. The relevant local authority policy in relation to metropolitan open land provided that permission would only be granted for appropriate development, including the replacement of existing dwellings, subject to para 3.6 of Planning Policy Guidance 2 which required the replacement dwelling to be not materially larger than the dwelling it replaced. The ...

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