Setting a minimum sill height to cancel any potential impact on neighbours from side facing windows installed under Permitted Development

The introduction of Permitted Development (DP) allows structures to be created with minimum delay and is cost saving.

The distance of 10m minimum from any boundary of the curtilage for 1.5 - 2 storey extensions is sensible and the permission required from the planning authority for those less than 10m allows consideration  of  potential overshadowing and/or overlooking.  This is also sensible.

The vast majority of people do not wish their developments to overlook their neighbours or impact on their neighbours' privacy.  Unfortunately some developers who do not intend to remain for long in the property being developed or others unaware of the potential may cause this impact.

I understand at present all new windows (including Velux) being installed in existing walls or roofs and enlargements of windows (including existing dormers) already installed qualify for Permitted Development status.

This Pemitted Development status for new or enlarged windows when applied to walls or roofs facing neighbours on either side of the development will potentially impact on privacy which would be protected by modifying the Pemitted Development of new or enlarged windows by including a condition stipulating that the minimum sill height (lowest edge) should be 2.0m above floor level.




Why the contribution is important

Impact on privacy is included as a material planning consideration for Council planning and overlooking is included by the Scottish Government as a potential impact when extending a dwellinghouse.

The primary purposes of new or enlarged windows is to allow more light and/or ventilation both of which will be enhanced if the window is higher rather than lower.

I have discussed this matter at length with various people and have not discovered anyone who would want to impact on the privacy of a neighbour.  

by Lexmacd on January 31, 2016 at 09:01PM

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  • Posted by Gala1337 February 01, 2016 at 11:05

    I think that cill height is a matter for Building Control rather than planning.
  • Posted by Lexmacd February 04, 2016 at 19:51

    As I understand it Building Control (which does not appear to be involved with Permitted Development) are more interested in good and safe practice concerning all developments.

    Impact from developments on privacy and overlooking are quite correctly considered material planning matters in both Council and Government literature. Unrestricted overlooking from Permitted Development cannot be considered neighbour friendly and a minimum sill height above floor level should be set.
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