Land rear of 70-72 Bath Road, Harefield (17/00658/FUL)

Although I took an initial look in 2015, I was instructed in 2017 to apply for planning permission for a single bungalow on a challenging backland site.  Not least so, because an Appeal for a similar proposal had been dismissed in 1991.

However, the character of the area had changed since that time and a favourable pre-application response to the client via Malcolm Stevens of Metroscape, encouraged the client to instruct me to co-ordinate the submission of a full planning application.

With a narrow, long access point and sloping site, various matters had to be overcome, including the commissioning of Sophie Rogers of SJM Ecology to prepare a phase 1 habitat survey of this now overgrown site.  Careful positioning of the dwelling footprint also had to be considered to accord with the council’s recommended window to window separation distances, whilst achieving on-site turning and not impinging on a legal right of way enjoyed by a neighbouring property.

Ultimately, the council planning officers wanted the inter-relationship of properties improved, such that each occupiers’ privacy might be safeguarded.

This entailed a novel design solution of partially terracing the site and using a summer-house to create a ‘no vision’ zone to achieve the desired privacy, all demonstrated with sectional drawings prepared by Malcolm Stevens of Metroscape and informed by a full topographical survey.

Given complicated land parcels comprising the site, it was considered necessary to issue ownership Certificate ‘C’ and place an advert in the local paper to ensure the application was correctly made and thereby any favourable decision not open to later challenge.

Despite waiting some time to see the council re-notify amendments to neighbours, whose concerns were addressed in further correspondence with the council, planning permission was obtained, giving the client confidence to realise an option to purchase the site.


The council had been persuaded that matters of concern to the 1991 Planning Inspector, were either materially different now or had been satisfactorily addressed by the bespoke design solution.

Testimonial from client:

“ACHIEVE Town Planning and Urban Design Ltd provided the ultimate solution to my planning nightmare. With their expert advice and guidance they obtained planning on a very difficult site that tested all aspects of the planning process. Steve Lawrence (Director for Achieve) used his vast experience and knowledge of planning and architecture to provide a first class professional service and project information that could satisfy the requirements of the Council planners. It was a great pleasure to have worked with ACHIEVE and I would have no hesitation in using their services again or recommending them to others.' Many thanks for your efforts and hopefully we will be working together soon.”