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property in front of her and that it showed only one entry - that of an application for a rear extension that was later withdrawn.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.
How much of a legal/planning minefield might I be I walking into..?