retrospective planning permission on house extension?
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Thread: retrospective planning permission on house extension?

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    你好。请关灯! Dave Lev's Avatar
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    retrospective planning permission on house extension?

    Looking for advice on a planning permission issue on a house I just made an offer on. Figured somebody on YD would have a better insight into these matters than me (which wouldn't be difficult!).

    The house dates from around 1850. In the 1970's or 80's a single-storey extension was added to accommodate space for a kitchen and bathroom.

    There are two or three projects I have in mind that would require planning permission. Having never gone through that process, I telephoned a lady from the relevant council's planning department. During the conversation, she said she had the planning history of the property in front of her and that it showed only one entry - that of an application for a rear extension that was later withdrawn. At that time, I didn't shout out that the extension had been built (!) but rather moved the conversation on whilst I considered the implications in private.

    The extension isn't my favourite part of the property; one of the ideas I have in mind regarding the planning authorities is to replace it with a two-storey extension so as to get the bathroom upstairs. (If it makes any difference, the street has a slight variety of building styles but two-storey extensions are the norm.) Add to this that the roof of the existing extension needs to be replaced and that the interior (kitchen and bathroom) could do with being gutted and redone, the two-storey project looks an even better idea. However, I was hoping this could be deferred for a couple of years.

    I don't know if the extension would get retrospective planning permission. I don't feel that I can risk buying the property to then apply for planning of the two-storey project which then might not be granted.

    The vendors are a brother and sister who inherited the property from their mother. The brother and sister are themselves past retirement age - I don't think it likely that they will want to organise retrospective planning permission as a condition of the sale.

    I chose the house as a buy-to-let investment. I'm convinced it will suit my purpose very well. Because of it's age, the surveyor has found a lot of issues with the property - most of which were predicted. The problems the surveyor found which I didn't anticipate are no big deal; considering the price (but potential planning hassles aside), it still looks like a great deal to me.

    But...

    How much of a legal/planning minefield might I be I walking into..?

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    Team HPDW Cake Queen. Divingminxsy's Avatar
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    I am sure someone qualified will be along to give you the right answer but out of interest I bought a house which had an illegal loft conversion across the entire roof with big velux windows.

    The planning officer knocked on my door after I had bought it ( and had applied for different planning permission to convert an outbuilding ) and told me planning permission had not been sought by the previous occupants but as it had been there for over 2 years they were unable to prosecute me or the former owners.

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    Duvet Diver Simon A's Avatar
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    The easiest way to find out is to ring up the planning people and ask. You shouldn't need to give the address and AFAIK if it was done in the 80's there is nothing they can do about it now.

    Simon A

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    YDs Most Southerly Monkey Richard Mason's Avatar
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    I'd be getting some legal advice; I'd imagine that there could be some issues with statute of limitations if the council tried to enforce a retrospective planning application requirement on something built 30-40 years ago. I used to work in Local Govt in the UK but now do the same thing here in Tasmania and I know that our Planners would have a very hard time of it going back that far. You need to speak to a lawyer to find out what they can & can't do. If you find they can enforce a retrosoective planning application requirement, you need to find out if they will in your case, before you purchase, in which case, any expense incurred can be the subject of price negotiation between you and the vendors with respect to your potential out of pocket costs.

    Not knowing the situation, but if they put a bathroom/kitchen extension on in the 70s-80s, I'm assuming this to be an area of old terraced housing? Provision of basic amenities like this was often done with Local Govt assistance under an Improvements Grant as part of a Housing Action Area or Housing Improvement Area declaration, as an alternative to clearance. This would have been administered by the Environmental Health Housing Section or the Housing Dept at the Council and woud not have required Planning Approval, something a person (if new) in Planning wouldn't necessarily appreciate. I'd be checking with EH/Housing too, see what they've got.
    Doing It Richard

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    你好。请关灯! Dave Lev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Mason View Post
    Not knowing the situation, but if they put a bathroom/kitchen extension on in the 70s-80s, I'm assuming this to be an area of old terraced housing? Provision of basic amenities like this was often done with Local Govt assistance under an Improvements Grant as part of a Housing Action Area or Housing Improvement Area declaration, as an alternative to clearance.
    You might be on to something there! The surveyor's report mentioned the likelihood that the extension was built under a grant. You give me hope that the planning application was recorded as withdrawn for legitimate reasons.

    Naturally, the purchase is in the hands of a solicitor. She is good - have used her on two previous property purchases. I'll definitely make sure she hears the concern.

    Thanks to the three of you for easing my mind. My wife can't believe that I asked for this sort of advice on a diving forum - but I was confident in the YD massive!

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    YDs Most Southerly Monkey Richard Mason's Avatar
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    When I worked in that area, very briefly (well 3 months) as part of my EHO training in Tameside, we were administering dozens of these jobs every week, if they'd enforced T&CPA requirements for each one, the Planners would have been swamped.
    Doing It Richard

    I have a few faults but being wrong isn't one of them.

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    give me convenience Kev's Avatar
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    I have a mate who I think has quite some experience in such things. He is on the architecture side rather than the legal side. He is currently fitting the fire system to the Savoy I believe but I am sure he would try to help and be reasonable on fees. If you would like his details then PM me.

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    你好。请关灯! Dave Lev's Avatar
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    Thanks, Kev.

    Right now, I think it's the legal thing that needs to be tidied away. If/when I ever get to the planning of a 2-storey extension, I'm assuming I'll be needing a fairly local (Cornwall!) architect. I reckon my little 2-bed mid-terrace is in a slightly different league to the Savoy!

    But I'll remember the offer and get back to you when I get that far. Cheers!

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    give me convenience Kev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lev View Post
    Thanks, Kev.

    Right now, I think it's the legal thing that needs to be tidied away. If/when I ever get to the planning of a 2-storey extension, I'm assuming I'll be needing a fairly local (Cornwall!) architect. I reckon my little 2-bed mid-terrace is in a slightly different league to the Savoy!

    But I'll remember the offer and get back to you when I get that far. Cheers!
    No worries mate, if you think it is worth a conversation then just shout. He mostly does residential stuff.

    Best

    Kev

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    New Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Much obliged for your help
    I have the same intention

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