A policy preventing front extensions to homes has been stood by firmly by the councillors of Bradford.

The council’s Bradford Area Planning Panel refused an application presenting what such an extension would look like for 149 Rochester Street in Laisterdyke.

Bradford Council planning policies state that front extensions to homes are “unacceptable” unless they are in the form of a small porch.

Although in recent years there have been numerous cases of people building large front extensions to their homes – often terraced houses in inner city areas.

Recently, a government planning inspector has upheld three enforcement notices submitted by the Council against people who have illegally built front porches in surrounding streets.

The inspector said such extensions had a “significant detrimental impact” on the character of the area.

At Wednesday’s meeting members were told that the applicant of the Rochester Street application had been “misled” by builders who suggested they did not need planning permission for the extension.

After applicant, Tariq Mahmood, told the council the porch was needed because one of his children had an illness that was exacerbated by the cold back in September, members had deferred the decision.

On Wednesday, meeting members read a doctor’s note confirming a child at the house had a medical condition that would be helped by cold draughts being kept out of the house. However, members said this was still enough for the panel to overturn planning policy.

Members had been advised to refuse the plans due to the visual impact on the street. They were told that the applicant had been “misled” by the builder behind the extension.

Councillor Riaz Ahmed (Lib Dem, Bradford Moor) said: “I have sympathy for the family, but there is not much we can do here. We don’t want to set a precedent. It is with a heavy heart, but we have to refuse this.”

Chair Shabir Hussain: (Lab, Manningham) said: “I agree these types of houses don’t have much space for families, but there is not much else we can do. The applicants will just have to come back with a smaller porch.”

There have been six enforcement notices calling for residents by the Council, to remove illegally built front extensions.

Planning officer, Amin Ibraham told the committee that a number of households had appealed those notices, but government inspectors had sided with the council and dismissed three of those appeals in recent weeks, and the Council was working with residents to replace the large extensions with smaller, more acceptable porches.

Two appeal decisions relate to properties on Harewood Street. Deciding on one of those appeals, inspector Daniel Hartley had said: “Owing to its size and position it detracts from the distinctive characteristics of the area/the terrace. I conclude that the development has had a significantly detrimental impact upon the character and appearance of the area.”