Private Sitting-Out Areas

All houses should have a private sitting out area not overlooked by adjacent or opposite living rooms or sitting out areas. This area should extend at least 3 metres and be screened from adjacent properties by walls or fences above eye level from a potential vantage point.

An acceptable degree of privacy would be as for rear-facing living room windows, i.e. either an intervening above eye-level fence or other barrier and a rear separation between the backs of houses of at least 25 metres. Alternatively the design of the opposite house should be such that windows face in other directions. (With the same proviso as for rear-facing living room windows, i.e. that where the houses are at more than 30 degrees to one another the separation may reduce to 15 metres from the nearest corner)

Particular attention must be paid to the potential problem of overlooking from the living rooms of upper storey flats, which should be no closer than 35 metres to a private sitting-out area unless it is effectively screened from view. 

Sitting-out areas should be located so that they receive sunshine during at least part of the day. On north-facing rear elevations, care must be taken to avoid rear projections that result in permanent shade. In some cases it may be preferable to locate the sitting-out area elsewhere in the garden than against the rear of the dwelling, and if so it must be subject to the same privacy requirements. Private sitting-out areas should also be incorporated as part of the garden requirement for flats (see Garden Size).

Page updated: 9/02/2018

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