Buying without planning permission or building certificate?

Buying without planning permission or building certificate?

by Readers Question

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16:43 PM, 27th July 2020, About 4 years ago 12

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Hi All – I am in the middle of buying a house and the solicitors’ checks came back with a note that there are no documents (planning permission or building certificates) for the following:
1) conversion of the old side garage into a bathroom and utility room (the side extension)
2) Rear conservatory

Both were done back in 2004.

The seller’s solicitors have said that they can provide an indemnity policy, but I am not too convinced on this policy having done some research about what it actually covers (I.e not that much!).

I would prefer if the sellers got regularisation/retrospective approval from the council, but they are reluctant due to it potentially taking long and also the risk that the council says they need to be knocked down.

To add to this, my plan in terms of development for the property was to build a second storey on the side (subject to planning permissions). However, if I apply for this at some stage in the future, i’m not sure If the council would then look at the lack of documents for the current ground floor side extension and subsequently reject my application.

So I guess my questions are:
1) Would you push for regularisation instead of indemnity?
2) in either the case of regularisation or indemnity, am I right in thinking that my application for a second storey would make them look at the lack of docs in place, and therefore more likely for rejection? If so, I assume this risk of rejection would be lowered if we obtained regularisation instead of an indemnity?

Appreciate any help, views and advice!


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21:45 PM, 29th July 2020, About 4 years ago

Hi yes there are four and ten year rules on planning issues providing there was no covenants and no planning conditions form earlier permissions. Further yes far as I know Building Control is only one year!
To me these are ridiculous rules that encourage doggey work. Think of free risks form non compliant works etc.
My point is you are buying a building that someone has "cut corners on" to save money. what else did they cut corners on. The value of these non consented works should be reviewed. Check more than the foundations !

Ed Tuff

8:15 AM, 31st July 2020, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 28/07/2020 - 11:18
You’re actually referring to the old rules there; these were superseded in 2016 IIRC. A conservatory no longer has to have any specific proportion of translucent material in roof or walls. This explains why many are now swapping their polycarbonate roofs for solid roofs.

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