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cert of lawfulness/planning regs on private road

(4 Posts)
marmitemad Tue 12-Aug-08 20:25:22

we have today received a letter from the council saying they have received complaints that a fence has been erected adjacent to a highway in excess of 1m.

we have lived in our bungalow on a private unadopted road for over 6 years (with no complaints) and fence had already been here some time when we moved in which means we can apparently apply for a certificate of lawfulness, anyone know what this entails?

do we need to involve a solictor or indeed should we be contacting our conveyancer to complain about them not doing their job properly when we bought the house?

I assume it is correct that planning regulations still apply to private unadopted roads?

have posted this in property as well but tia for any advice.

misi Tue 12-Aug-08 23:40:13

yes, planning laws apply to any land wheter private or not. I think this is that if you can show that the fence in excess of 1m has been there for 12 years or more, then it is deemed lawful by lack of complaint. but it depends also where the fence is and what it borders. if the fence is a privacy fence then it can be up to 1.8m or 2m in some cases. a privacy fence would be that which divides your private area eg back garden from other public areas. it also depends on the highway. if it abuts directly to a road then the owner of the road may be liable to erect a fence to protect your privacy and safety, if it abuts a public footpath, then is some circumstances, as long as there are no overhangs outward below 2m then that is fine too.

a solicitor can be expensive so I would go for your conveyancing solicitor first and also write a letter to the planning department for the relevant laws they are working to and then go from there

marmitemad Wed 13-Aug-08 08:51:53

misi,
thanks for your information.

we think the fence has been there at least 10 years and we have now found a letter from our conveyancer which says according to the previous owner that planning permission was not required for the fence whenever it ws installed.

fence is definately a privacy fence as we have only a max distance of 1m between our house front and the road and then two side of house gardens. there is a small plant border between the road and fence but no public footpath and we own the road for the frontage of our house

I am just feeling very cross about the injustice of it all as we reckon this is down to a highways officer who visited us recently to discuss the possibility of getting the road made up by a developer (who has been causing untold disruption and noise opposite for the past year) so the council would then adopt it. he was meant to be helping us out angry

dh is telling me to calm down but all I can see is £££££

misi Thu 14-Aug-08 23:54:32

definately contact the planning dept and ask what laws they are working to and ask for a copy of why they are now saying that PP is needed. do everything from now on in writing and not by phone as phone convo's can be denied whereas in black and white it cannot be. there are many sites too where you can find out about planning laws but be aware, planning restrictions can vary from authority to authority, so if you are in cornwall, don't take what a scottish site says as gospel as it won't be (different planning system).
planning can be required retrospectively for some things but not all things so make sure you are accurate in what you say and do as a precaution and get from the convyancer any and all writings from the previous owners (if they say PP was not neccessary, then they must have got it in writing from the council, otherwise if they haven't even though your sol should have checked, they may be liable for any costs if they have mislead you).
hope you get it sorted without cost and without much more hassle!!

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