Guidelines for Extensions to Buildings
The obvious functional aspects such as
structural stability and general housing
standards are covered by the application
for building warrant and are taken to
be a separate consideration. Advice on
these matters can he obtained from the
Building Control Section. An extension
may also affect road servicing by restricting
vehicle manoeuvring space or the need
to form a new access. An extension can
also affect the neighhouring house and
gardens in terms of potential loss of
sunlight, daylight and privacy. A window
in the side of an extension for example
or even a new window on an existing wall
can cause problems of overlooking.
and location of side and rear extensions
The overall shape, size and position of
side and rear extensions should not dominate
the existing house. They should harmonise
with the original appearance which should
be taken as the starting point for any
future changes. There are two alternative
methods of achieving this aim: either
the extension is integrated with the house.
Or alternatively the extension is made
to appear as an obvious addition which
is subordinated to the main structure.
care must be taken in the selection of
external materials which should normally
match those already found on an existing
house. The aim will be to integrate the
extension with the original house keeping
the number of materials used to a minimum.
In the case of many older houses the existing
materials will have changed colour and
texture due to age and weathering and
may be unobtainable and as a result it
may not be possible to achieve a perfect
match. To overcome this problem it may
be necessary to use substitute materials
and when considering a side extension
it will be advisable to set the extension
back behind the face of the existing building.
general the following factors could be
said to contribute to a well designed
A new extension harmonises with the original
appearance of the house.
(b) It has a pitched roof compatible with
the existing roof.
(c) The colour and shape of roof materials
and ridge tiles match existing.
(d) Eaves line up with those of the main
(e) The type and proportions of new windows
echo those in the original house.
(f) New windows positioned to conform
to the existing symmetry.
(g) Extension set back behind the front
(h) Materials and detailing match those
already found on the house.
following factors could be said to contribute
to an unsightly extension.
The extension ignores the style, character
and appearance of the original house.
(b) It has a flat roof which clashes with
the existing pitch roof and gable.
(c) There is a clumsy junction between
the old and the new roofs.
(d) It has inappropriate windows which
differ in shape, in alignment, and materials
from the existing.
(e) The new materials for walls and roofs
of the extension are unattractive and
incompatible with the existing house.
In order to achieve the airn of harmonising
an extension to an existing house it will
be required to use a pitched roof. The
eaves of two storey side and rear extensions
should also line up with those of the
existing house and the pitch of the roof
should also be similar. The colour and
shape of new tiles and slates should match
those of the existing roof, this is particularly
important when the new roof connects directly
into the existing.
Windows and doors are important features
and an inappropriate choice can easily
spoil an otherwise satisfactory design.
In most cases it is worth trying to use
the same kind of window throughout, with
the proportional sizes of new window openings
in general echoing those of the main house.
The positioning of windows on the extensions
should conform with existing symmetry
and new lintel and sill heights should
line up with those around existing openings.
The internal divisions (mullions and transoms)
within the window can completely alter
the effect of the overall proportions.
Ensure that new windows reflect the style
and details of the existing windows.
It is rarely desirable to add dormers
to the front of the house, but where necessary
they must have a pitched roof and materials
to both the roof and the sides of dormer
windows should match those existing on
the roof. Try to ensure that the dormers
relate to the shape, position, design
and size of the existing doors and windows
and ensure that the construction of dormer
windows and other roof extensions do not
dominate the original house. This will
require any new dormer to have a clear
area of roof around its perimeter and
to be kept as small as possible.
Fences and Walls
Boundary walls, where existing, should
always be retained and not reduced in
height. Where a stone wall requires repair
or replacement the stone should match
the original as closely as possible although
in some cases a substitute material may
be acceptable. Where possible cast iron
works such as boundary and staircase railings
should be retained and all gates and railings
preferably painted black.
Trees growing within conservations areas
are subject to special procedures and
you are advised to contact your local
council for advise if you are considering
felling or pruning any trees.
Fronts and Shop Signs
It is the aim of District Council policy
that the character of the area is preserved
and enhanced and it is important that
shop fronts and shop signs should harmonise
with and enhance the character both of
the general scene and the individual buildings
which contain them. The District Council
have already prepared a leaflet on shop
frontage design which can be obtained
from the Planning and Development Department.
It is preferable that pipework or wiring
for gas. T.V., etc. should be run up rear
elevations wherever this is practical.
T.V. aerials should be located in the
roof space of buildings and satellite
dishes should only be located on hidden
elevations. Tn the case of satellite dishes
planning permission will be required in
specific circumstances and the advice
of the District Council's planning officers
should be sought before the installation
of a satellite dish.
Applications for new development will
be assessed against both the District
Council's stated policies and the design
criteria which has been set out in this
leaflet. The District Council recognises
it is possible to design a building which
is architecturally good and uncompromisingly
modern and which, by contrast, may add
to the character of an area. It has however
to be recognised that this is a difficult
exercise which is only rarely successful.
It is often best particularly when considering
domestic buildings to follow a traditional
approach. This involves studying the materials,
proportions and detailing of surrounding
buildings and using these elements in
a traditional way, thus producing a building
which blends easily with the existing
character of an area.
improvements, renovation works to listed
buildings and other projects within the
conservation area may attract grant assistance.
A factsheet on the range of grants available
can be obtained from your local Planning
and Development Department. If you have
any queries concerning any of the points
or details raised in the leaflet, you
are advised to contact the Environment
Section of the Department of Planning
and Development for advice and assistance.