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Very pissed off with planning regulations.

(28 Posts)
Rooners Thu 27-Feb-14 11:02:10

I've just found out that in order to replace the front door, on the house we're about to buy, we need to apply for planning permission.

This would be fine BUT we are replacing what is a damaged, not original to the property, door, with an original, beautiful, glazed Victorian door which is not broken hmm

And we have to pay £200 to be told if we can do this.

I understand it is protocol but surely it should be to protect the building (conservation area, article 4) from people who want to put in UPVC or something?

I'm on their side FGS. angry

Just another expense to add to the list then. I might just leave it broken...

WithManyTots Thu 27-Feb-14 11:07:55

Have a look through the various planning documents in detail.
Sometimes, where these things that you can normally just do have been made subject to planning, the documents also say that the planning fee is also zero.

AngryFeet Thu 27-Feb-14 11:15:01

You have to apply but if planning permission is not needed they will refund the money.

Parliamo Thu 27-Feb-14 11:15:05

I'd be tempted to just do it and chance it. It's very unlikely anyone will complain, and even more unlikely anyone will try and enforce it if they did, and even if they do, you can get planning permission retrospectively. But that's just me, and I'm no expert.

Or I found out from the wisdom of mumsnet you can go to the local planning office for free pre planning advice. Maybe that would be helpful.

Rooners Thu 27-Feb-14 11:20:55

Have checked about pre planning advice and that in itself is £60 hmm

I will look for what you said, though, Withmanytots. Thankyou.

Angryfeet is that the case? I wish they had told me that if so - maybe it varies by authority?

Parliamo, I didn't know about retrospective permission either. I feel like I've been taken for a mug.

Perhaps I should ring back and ask about all these things.

Thanks everyone flowers

Rooners Thu 27-Feb-14 11:22:56

I was also worried about being prosecuted if I go ahead without permission?

feesh Thu 27-Feb-14 11:24:37

If it's Conservation Area, you can sometimes get grants for work which improves the external appearance of the house. We got one for doing the windows. Check the district/borough council website (look for Conservation Areas in the a-z)

struggling100 Thu 27-Feb-14 11:27:21

I would ring up and chat to the officers to check whether you need permission or not. But chances are you might well. You sound really clued up (and your new door sounds lovely), but I can see why they would want to have a look to check that what you're putting in is OK. Otherwise people could claim all kinds of things as a 'period' door (there's a shop down the road from me that sells 'antique' doors that are plain knackered and often hideous reproductions).

Article 4 regs are strict, but for a reason. You will benefit from a lovely area as a result.

iseenodust Thu 27-Feb-14 11:30:34

Our council runs free drop-in sessions for 'pre-application' advice/soundings, maybe yours does so too?

Rooners Thu 27-Feb-14 11:39:38

Thankyou so much everyone. I rang again and asked about everything mentioned.

There's no refund and if it were a house, we wouldn't have to pay - but because it's a flat (maisonette - only we use the front door) it's in the government rules that no otherwise permitted changes are allowed.

So we are stuck with the fee.

He did mention that if we did it anyway and no one reported us, we would be immune to prosecution/intervention after 4 years. That means we can't go for the prior owners for putting in the piece of shit door that's there now! grin

But I wouldn't want to anyway. Discussed door colours with him and apparently we can't be told in advance which are acceptable, unless we pay for the pre planning advice.

And if we try twice and get it wrong we have to pay again.


PigletJohn Thu 27-Feb-14 11:42:21

I suppose that if you decide to move into a conservation area, you accept that the householders, including you, have to abide by the rules.

Isn't that the whole point?

mrsminiverscharlady Thu 27-Feb-14 11:52:26

I feel your pain. We had to jump through hoops to get permission to render over the hideous 1960s pebbledash on our house and paint it a nice cream instead of the vile peachy colour the previous owners had chosen.

Meanwhile a few doors up they painted their house bright green (you can actually see it reflected in the surface of the road on a sunny day!) and the council did sweet fa.

mrsminiverscharlady Thu 27-Feb-14 11:54:54

And actually our village isn't very picturesque but the busybodies in the area campaigned for conservation status because they thought it would increase house prices!

Rooners Thu 27-Feb-14 12:11:53

MrsMiniver sad That's pants.


'Isn't that the whole point?'

No. The whole point is to conserve the buildings in the area because they are so lovely and of such a nice construction and design.

The fact that the government/council sees my putting in an original, beautiful door in keeping with the original design of the building as something I should pay to do would seem to go directly against that.

I can see why they need to police it. Really I can. But to charge people who want to put in something original, to replace something broken and NOT original is really cutting off their nose to spite their face.

I could always leave the non original broken one there which looks unsightly and does nothing for the character of the street but hey - why do that when I could pay several hundred to put in something that improves it?

Rooners Thu 27-Feb-14 12:14:19

Oh and they explained that if there was an existing UPVC door there, and I wanted to change it like for like, there would be no's because my 'new' door is materially different to what is there, ie it contains glazed panels, instead of being dolid wood top and bottom.

Not sure if I would still have to pay a fee as it's a flat.

Rooners Thu 27-Feb-14 12:14:39

*solid wood

noddyholder Thu 27-Feb-14 12:36:15

It is so frustrating. Over the last 15 yrs renovating houses I have had wrangles with planners and got nowhere and have also done work without and no one ever asked!

Rooners Thu 27-Feb-14 12:38:08

Tempting just to go for it Noddy. I think that's what the chap was suggesting, without being allowed to say it iyswim.

HauntedNoddyCar Thu 27-Feb-14 12:42:00

I'd query the fee. We had to get full pp to do anything to the exterior of our house because of planning constraints. It was very convoluted but it turned out that they weren't allowed to charge us because we were placed in that position by the council's action.

We had to get full drawings done but the pp was full and granted easily.

PigletJohn Thu 27-Feb-14 12:44:18

I think the point of a conservation area is to control people who are doing things which in their opinion look better; but might in the opinion of others not be.

Your neighbour might think that green roof tiles and plastic windows look great, but if she moves into a conservation area she loses the right to do whatever she wants.

I am not arguing over the merits of your choice of door. I am saying that moving to a conservation area, or buying a listed house, imposes limits on you. That's the point of it.

Rooners Thu 27-Feb-14 12:58:00

I know John. I do understand that. But taking it a step further, and looking at WHY they have to control things, leads me to the conclusion that it is actually in order to protect the character of a building.

And as such, a householder doing things to protect the character of a building shouldn't (imho) be chargeable. But I guess the process of applying to do it will carry a charge as at that stage they don't know what you are going to propose.

They seem to make exceptions in other areas so not entirely sure why this situation hasn't been considered.

Pooka Thu 27-Feb-14 12:59:59

In my area, if an article 4 direction has removed pd rights then a planning fee is not required. Same as if a permission removed right to build a shed for example, a fee would be waived.

Pooka Thu 27-Feb-14 13:00:51

Ah - just seen your update, re the flat rather than house issue.

noddyholder Thu 27-Feb-14 14:02:51

If you had just gone ahead and done it I doubt you would be prosecuted for a door and 'not knowing'. When you sell in this situation I have found that they either don't ask or require an indemnity policy. What sort of doors do the neighbours have? Does your new door blend with those.

TrevaronGirl Thu 27-Feb-14 14:11:01

"a householder doing things to protect the character of a building" is going to be subjective so I think it is right that the LA has a say in the matter. I do believe however that they should be given the option to waive a fee in your case though.

I hate to mention this and add to your pain but the new door will be subject to building regulation approval as well...

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