Backland Development & Tandem Planning

Backland development (often referred to as tandem development) refers to land set back behind existing properties often existing houses, utilising brownfield or garden land generally with limited street frontage.

While many developments, including outbuildings and annexes may comply with local planning policy, creating a self-contained use or separate planning unit on garden/ backland development as a tandem arrangement is often contrary to local planning policy.

As specialist planning consultants we have considerable experience and expertise in a wide range of backland development or tandem projects in garden land or brownfield plots. 


The issues with backland development

While some local authorities, particularly in cities including London may have pro-active policies to allow such tandem development; many authorities do not.

The main concerns are often access, noise and impact on neighbouring properties.

Our experience of backland development and tandem sites can guide you through this complex area of planning law.

Backland Development & Tandem Planning

The following case studies provide a small sample of the different types of backland development & tandem planning schemes we have been involved with.

Backland Development Self Build Home

Self build house on backland site, South Manchester

Planning permission had been sought on the backland site on three separate occasions, with two earlier planning appeals rejected. The proposals sought to develop a single new build dwelling on garden land to the rear of numerous dwellings in a suburban setting. The refused planning application was subject to strong neighbour objections and was unanimously refused by the planning committee on several grounds including the living conditions of the neighbouring properties, especially in relation to the increased vehicular and pedestrian activity. A further planning refusal reason was that emergency vehicles would be hindered in case of a fire at the property.

The subsequent grounds of appeal document methodically resolved each item of concern, specifically including third party additional material to support the issues and robustly justifying the proposals in planning policy and supplementary guidance terms.

The Local Planning Authority had also proposed, that should the appeal be allowed that several conditions be added, including the removal of permitted development rights. Our arguments, supported by the Planning Inspector concluded that these would not be “necessary or reasonable”.

The Planning Inspector concluded that the proposals would not be contrary to planning policy, would have no harm on neighbouring properties (amenity, noise and disturbance), and following us obtaining approval from the local fire department, that there was no issue in relation to emergency vehicles. As such the appeal was allowed, overturning the original refused planning permission.

Local Planning Authority: Trafford Council

see also: Backland & Tandem Plots; planning appeals; garden land; 

Speculative Residential Backland Development

Speculative residential development on garden and backland site, North Wales

A speculative residential development of 3 detached dwellings was proposed on a long thin site, fronting onto a main road, with a single storey dwelling to the front of the site and two 4 bed dwellings to the rear.

Following frustrated planning discussions, the planning application was recommended for refusal on several grounds including harming the character and the appearance of the area, failure to comply with supplementary planning guidance, overlooking distances, backland development and harming the amenity of neighbouring properties and ultimately the LPA refused planning permission.

In a carefully developed and robust argument, our case was put forward in relation to all of the above points, with the Planning Inspector agreeing with our interpretation of planning policies and crucially that they should not be rigidly applied.

Local Planning Authority: Flintshire County Council

see also: Speculative Residential Development; Backland & Tandem Development; Garden Land Developments; Small housing sites; Infill plots

Speculative Residential Backland Development

Speculative residential development on garden site, Cheshire


Local Planning Authority: Cheshire East Council

see also: Speculative Residential Development; Backland & Tandem Development; Garden Land Developments; Small housing sites;

Backland Development Lancashire

10,000 sq ft contemporary self build home on garden land, Preston


Local Planning Authority: Fylde Borough Council

see also: Backland & Tandem Plots; self build homes; garden land; 

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This page provides an introduction only and is not a definitive statement of the law and should therefore not be relied upon.
The information above relates to England only. Policies across the rest of the UK may differ.
Contact your Local Planning Authority for advice and confirmation before any works are carried out.