Oxford Gardens Conservation Area – proposed extensions in Latimer Road

RBKC is currently consulting on proposals to extend the boundary of the the Oxford Gardens/St Quintin Conservation Area to include certain sections of Latimer Road.

The Conservation Area was originally designated in 1975. The boundary was extended in 2002 to take in Brewster Gardens and Bracewell Road.

The consultation page on the RBKC website is at https://planningconsult.rbkc.gov.uk/OGSQCA/consultationHome

For owners of all types of property than can be perceived pros and cons as a result of location within a conservation area. For houses, there is evidence of increased values (provided that conservation policies are adequately enforced by the local authority). The downside can be increased controls and restrictions on alterations, particularly on roofs, installation of rooflights, rear dormers, frontages or parts of the property where changes are seen as causing harm to the heritage of the area.

The interrelationships between national Permitted Development Rights, Article 4 Directions (which withdraw such rights in specified streets) is complicated. Add to this conservation policies in the RBKC Local Plan and in the StQW Neighbourhood Plan and research is needed to check what rules may apply.

The StQW Neighbourhood Plan at Annex A (page 73) seeks to explain these interrelationships. But Government has changed national Permitted Development Rights since we drew up the Plan.

We have asked the Council’s conservation staff to give us a summary of the current position, on the effects of a property finding itself in a newly designated part of a Conservation Area. We hope that this will be of help to those considering how to respond to the current Latimer Road consultation. This guidance is below:

You are not able to have the large – up to 8 m deep and 4 m high – rear extensions but otherwise the normal pd rights for enlargement, improvement or other alteration apply with the exceptions of cladding of any part of the exterior of the house with stone, artificial stone, pebble dash, render, timber, plastic or tiles; where the enlarged part of the house would extend beyond a wall forming a side elevation of the original house; or where the enlarged part of the house would have more than a single storey and extend beyond the rear wall of the original house; or where any total enlargement (that is the enlarged part together with any existing enlargement of the original house to which it will be joined) would exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage (excluding the ground area of the original house) or the height of the part of the house enlarged, improved or altered would exceed the height of the highest part of the roof of the existing house. 

It is not possible in a conservation area to take advantage of the recent changes allowing additional storeys to houses.

Normal pd rights apply relating to creation of ancillary outhouses, pools, enclosures etc. for enjoyment of the dwellinghouse, with the single restriction that in land within the curtilage of a house in a conservation area development is not permitted if any part of the building, enclosure, pool or container would be situated on land between a wall forming a side elevation of the house and the boundary of the curtilage of the house.

Normal pd rights apply in relation to the installation, alteration or replacement of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe on a dwellinghouse except on roof slopes fronting a highway or on the principal or side elevation of the house.  Similarly, normal pd rights apply for installing microwave antennae (satellite dishes) except on a chimney, wall or roof slope which faces onto and is visible from a highway or on a building of over 15 m high.

However, provided there is no relevant Article 4 Direction normal permitted development rights apply in conservation areas in relation to additions or alterations to roofs; erection of porches; provision of hard surfaces; Exterior painting; and provision of electrical outlets electric upstands for charging vehicles; the erection, construction, maintenance, improvement or alteration of a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure; and creation of a means of access to a highway.

In more general planning terms, the Council has a legal duty to preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area, meaning that the effects of any development on this will have to be given careful consideration and weight in planning decisions. 

The StQW Neighbourhood Plan gives other information on RBKC policies of which houseowners often seem unaware. It also explains which streets are covered by Article 4 Directions removing certain national Permitted Development Rights. Planning permission may be needed to change front boundary walls or install a bike and bin store of any size. Paving over front gardens with impermeable surfaces is a potential breach of planning controls. So if in doubt, best to contact the Conservation team at RBKC.