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Archictects and their understanding of planning permission

(4 Posts)
Bearwantsmore Sun 07-Oct-12 20:33:56

Actually it's not quite planning permission... but I wondered if there was anyone who knows about this sort of thing!

Our flat is part of a council block and so we are leaseholders and the local authority are our freeholders (i.e. our landlord). We want to do some internal restructuring and engaged an architect who drew up plans which we then submitted to the freeholder to apply for a Licence for Alteration.

After much to-ing and fro-ing, the council have finally refused permission. It seems that a key element of our proposal is against their policy and that is that.

What I am frustrated about is that it was our architect who advised us to include this element and she came up with the proposal and drew up the plans. My question is, am I wrong to expect her to have known about the council policy (or at least researched it in advance). We've incurred quite a few costs so far which we could have avoided if we'd known our plans were likely to be refused... or we could have at least waited. Anyway, I'm just interested in what any MN architects (or anyone who had used one!) think about this - was I expecting too much?

tricot39 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:13:52

If it is an obscure unpublished policy why would you expect her to know about it? As owner of the property there is an argument which says that you should have made yourself aware of limitations and briefed your architect accordingly..... Sorry yabu.

Bearwantsmore Sun 07-Oct-12 22:19:48

Tricot, I'm sure you are right! It's just a frustrating situation so felt the need to vent! But your right, we should gave looked into it ourselves too. I suppose she led me to believe there would be no issues, and told me she'd worked on properties with the council as freeholder before. You're right about the obscure policy though - if it was published somewhere then that would've been great, but no. Grrr. So maybe I'll direct my frustrations at the council instead!

tricot39 Mon 08-Oct-12 06:32:28

Yes sorry i didnt sound very sympathetic there did i? It does sound horribly frustrating. Have you considered gently lobbying your local councillors? As elected representatives they can be more approachable as well as being able to get council officers to be more helpful too. Charm by the bucket might be your best weapon?

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