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Converting Conservation Area detached to two semis......

(7 Posts)
RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Wed 30-Dec-15 14:33:42

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone can advise on the following please -

We bought an 1850s detached house just over a year ago. The neighbouring detached property was also built around the same time but originally there were two houses on the plot (we are number 1, they are 5 as number 3 was demolished at least 50 years ago) and theirs had a vast (51') garage extension added to the side on the site of former number 3 in 2002.

Five houses in the road - theirs, ours and three others - form a small conservation area and all five have Article 4(2) directions meaning their permitted development rights have been removed.

In the summer number 5 was sold and the buyer informed us it was their intention to convert the 51' garage to habitable space (kitchen) without altering the external appearance (garden side already has the huge windows) which we thought was a great idea.

Before completing on the purchase the buyer started chopping down trees and it transpired a) the EA let him have a key (house was vacant and sold at auction) b) he had not obtained permission from the council to remove trees in a conservation area hmm

Last week the neighbour announced his family are not settling in and plan to sell up. He said they might do a quick paint job - both his and our house have had little done (apart from his enormous garage!) since the 1980s - before selling, but he also, half-joking suggested they might look into splitting it into two semi-detached houses.

Yesterday he turned up on our doorstep with architect-drawn plans, that had been submitted to the council in the morning accompanying a planning application to extend (altering the roofline significantly) the house and split into two. He intends to alter the garage to accommodate cars from both houses. This will be adjacent to our house. I would imagine these were drawn up long before our conversation last week.

He told us he had asked the council whether he would get permission to demolish. They apparently said no.

The road has around 40 houses, most fairly large, but all detached. Some were built as recently as the 1980s, but others (mainly the five conservation area properties) are significantly older.

One house in the road (9 bedrooms, but not within the conservation area) has previously had planning approved for demolishing and replacing with 3 smaller detached houses. This has not yet sold.

I wondered whether anyone has any idea how likely it is this will be granted, especially as the house - whilst having the 4(2) - bears little resemblance to what it originally looked like.

Apologies for the essay blush.......

wowfudge Wed 30-Dec-15 14:56:34

Read the Council's policy on development in conservation areas and have an informal conversation with the Conservation and Planning officers would be my two penneth.

What happened over the cutting down of the trees?

If there were originally two dwellings on the site, is it going to be much different from how things were pre-2002?

DoreenLethal Wed 30-Dec-15 14:58:50

Speaking to the conservation officer.

DoreenLethal Wed 30-Dec-15 14:59:28

I recommend...

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Wed 30-Dec-15 15:20:35

Thanks mumsnetters, we will speak to someone at the planning dept over the next few days.

Regarding the appearance - looking at online plans from when the garage was added, pre 2002 there was an empty space there, ie, the site of the former house (no 3) had been incorporated into the garden of no 5.

Afaik, no 3 was demolished in the 1960s/1970s. No 3 was also detached so the two new semis formed by dividing no 5 will bear no resemblance to what was previously there.

The plan is to extend out at the back, alter the roofline to add bedrooms to the new no 3 which will be formed from the majority of the 51' garage (retaining part as a carport for four cars) and about a quarter of the original no 5.

wowfudge Wed 30-Dec-15 15:53:06

You should also look carefully at what will be considered bona fide objections to the planning application - should you decide to object you need to carefully frame your objections to fit. It sounds as though your neighbour was always intending to develop the site though.

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Wed 30-Dec-15 17:55:49

Yes, I agree wowfudge, I'm now convinced it was always his intention as their 'reasons' for not settling are a little less than believable hmm

Will definitely be using bone fide objections should we decide to take that route - need to peruse the plans fully first - and I'd really like to hear from anyone with experience of houses in Conservation Areas (and especially those with Article 4(2) directions) that have been granted permission to subdivide etc.

Thanks again for all replies flowers

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