Big Dormer Roof Conversions

The large loft conversions as shown do not comply with Planning rules and guidelines because of their visual impact and dominance which is out of keeping with the rest of the area .  They by-passed the  normal Planning Procedures as they were built under government Permitted Development. They are attractive to property owners as they provide extra rooms to rent out.  They are unattractive eyesores to neighbouring residents  who have to look at them every day.  In addition to their appearance, the increased numbers of residents bring increased vehicle ownership, causing problems with parking and damage to grass verges.
A similar loft conversion was Refused last year when it was  put forward under the normal planning procedures.  A similar but larger conversion  was recently applied for which ACER opposed and was REFUSED , both due to appearance and also parking.  The details are as follows:

Planning Application 192998

Loft Conversion and Rear Dormer Window with conversion to Gable End Roof–at 5 Byron Road

Objection from ACER, The Whitegates Residents Association

The large rear dormer and gable end roof conversion would be an eyesore and will cause unacceptable overlooking.

ACER wishes to bring the following points to your attention:

  1. A conversion of loft space on this extended property, to include a large dormer in line with the rear of the property, effectively adds a third storey to the house.  The windows as depicted would have clear overlooking into previously private areas of neighbouring gardens and would therefore be un-neighbourly.  The dominance due to bulk and overlooking of this large dormer with gable end would impact the rear gardens of neighbours and would be contrary to the National Planning Policy 2019, Policies CP1 and CP3 of the Core Strategy 2010 and R23 of the Borough Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document 2012.
  • The addition of a very large dormer and conversion from a sloping hipped roof to vertical gable end, completely changes the appearance of the roof and certainly does not blend in with the roof in the way a small dormer would.  It therefore appears incongruous and out of place and not in keeping with the character of the area.
  • The vertical gable end of this roof conversion detracts from the street scene of Byron Road with an undesirable terracing effect that is contrary to paragraph 130 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019, Policies CP1(1) and CP3(a) and (f) of the Core Strategy 2010 and the Borough Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document 2012.
  • If the dormer was reduced in size this would reduce the field of regard as far as overlooking is concerned as well as blending in with the existing roof, provided the hip end was retained.  The negative impact of such a large dormer as proposed can be seen in the example below. Please note that the proposed dormer is 50% wider than the example shown in the picture.
20180721_160601 (1).jpg
  • . The Application does not comply with Wokingham Borough Council criteria as follows:
    • The Strategic Policy CP3 of WBC states that …’development must be appropriate i to the area in which it is located and must be of high quality design without detriment to the amenities of adjoining land uses and occupiers’
    • Furthermore, page 11 of WBC Borough Design Guide ‘, Section 2 ‘General Principles’ refers to  WBC Development Strategy policy CP3 and states that development has to be:-
      • Responding appropriately to existing character and identity of area
      • Relating well to neighbours

Clearly, this Application falls outside WBC’s set standards and should therefore be rejected.

In summary, the large dormer as proposed represents an over-scaled, excessively massive and bulky extension, resulting in an inappropriate design of roof form that will detract from the established character of the area. It would be dominating and not in keeping with the rhythm of sloping hipped roofs.  The rear windows on the third floor will facilitate overlooking into previously private areas of neighbouring gardens which is un-neighbourly and intrusive.  The proposals would not accord with Core Strategy Policies CP1 and CP3 and the advice contained within the Borough Design Guide.  This Application should therefore be refused.