The JRA takes a keen interest in planning matters affecting Jesmond. In particular we maintain our interest in restricting the number of family dwellings being converted into Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and generally register an objection where a change of use or increase in size is proposed. The council generally refuses new conversions to HMO’s and these decisions have been upheld when appeals have been lodged.
We provide advice on planning matters to residents where we can and will support residents when they object to proposed new developments, provided that they are objecting on genuine planning grounds. For example, it is not a genuine planning reason to object to a proposed development on the grounds that the applicant is an unsavoury character. Whilst residents are free to object for any reason the planning officers will only take objections on planning grounds into consideration. Whilst residents will often be concerned about the impact of a development on car parking recent planning decisions have shown that impact on car parking is not generally grounds for refusing an application.
A significant recent issue is the extension of permitted development rights that were brought in by the Coalition Government. These mean that if the proposed works meet certain criteria then planning permission is not required. In general, this has not affected Jesmond so much as permitted development rights are relatively restricted for terrace housing and in Conservation Areas. Permitted development rights allow quite big loft extensions on semi-detached houses and the size limits are fixed regardless of the size of the house. The permitted development right to convert offices into residential use has been used in Jesmond.
A planning restriction that it is useful to be aware of the is that you will need to apply for planning permission if you wish to erect or add to a fence, wall or gate if it would be over one metre high and next to a highway used by vehicles (or the footpath of such a highway); or over two metres high elsewhere. There may be further restrictions that apply to your particular property.
Information on planning matters in Newcastle upon Tyne can be found on the council website: www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/planning-building-and-development.
Another aspect of planning that affects many properties in Jesmond are tree protection orders (TPO’s). All trees in a Conservation area are automatically protected. Further information can be found on the council website: www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/planning-building-and-development/trees-wildlife-and-green-environment/tree-preservation.
This is not a definitive source of legal information. If in doubt contact your Local Planning Authority.