Buggering Hell! I've broken planning permission - what will happen?

(3 Posts)
amidonefor Sat 27-Feb-16 12:03:35

We've just had an extension built on our semi-detached house.

There were no party wall issues or anything like that but because we wanted to build outwards by 4 metres we had to apply through Neighbour Consultation/Permitted development process.

All went fine - no objections - nothing - attached neighbour and other neighbour both have extensions but both slightly smaller and built a good while back.

Council approved everything and permission decision says 'Prior Approval Not Required'.

Council even randomly sent out a planning chap to have a look without any notice or appointment a couple of days after we submitted the application. He took a couple of photos of house and garden.
Nothing had been started at that stage.

We knocked down an old lean-to and replaced it with new proper extension.

All went fine - all is finished now.

I was reading through the Council papers yesterday and I see that I have to inform them when the work is completed - this is because the current limits on permitted development/neighbour consultation expire in 2019 - so basically we have to have finished the build by 2019 - all finished already.

When I put in the Application Form - which was sent to all the neighbours with the chance to object - I made a big mistake which I've only just noticed!

I gave the height at eaves of new extension as 2 metres and the overall height as 3 metres.
These were the dimensions on the form and approved by the Council.

This was because I knew the builder had said he would build to the same eaves height as the existing eaves and the overall height would be 1metre above the eaves - sloping apex roof to centre height of 3m.

Then I read the planning stuff and found that the heights should be measured from the external surrounding ground level!!!

I measured from inside our old lean-to!!! From on top of a raised floor!

This is my fault - not builder - I did forms - he had no input into this.

The eaves of the house connect to the eaves of extension and are all level and in line - however - the internal floor is much higher than the external ground level and addtionally, our back garden slopes downwards and so the height to the eaves from the outside ground level is probably at least 2.3 metres and the overall height then about 3.3 metres.

On my Decision Letter from the Council - it seems that one can generally apply for permission to build eaves up to 3 metres high and overall roof height of 4 metres (that's the general legislation on planning)

BUT the Decision Letter says You must carry out the works in accordance with the details approved by the Council
- namely 2 metres high at eaves and 3 metres overall height.

I know they may never find out - unless they send someone out to measure it.

None of the neighbours have said anything - I don't think anyone would know from looking and all our gardens are obscured by trees and bushes.

What will happen if the Council chap comes out again and says 'that looks higher than on the form? And measures it!!!

Will I have to rebuild it?

Sorry this is so long...

StuffandBother Sat 27-Feb-16 12:12:57

I'm sure you have a 10% leeway - I wouldn't worry to much

origamiwarrior Sat 27-Feb-16 12:26:21

from my town planner husband:

You really shouldn't worry about this. The LPA will not check up and if nobody has complained by now, it's unlikely they will. Worst case the LPA does find out and makes you apply for retrospective pp but I'm sure you would get it. In any event case law is to the effect that unauthorised breaches of planning permission cannot be enforced against after 4 years in the case of development (which yours is) or 10 years in the case of a change of use so long as the breach is not intentionally hidden from view. See the Fidler case. So, as long as nobody raises it before 4 years from the date of construction have elapsed, you'll be home and hosed and lawful again. Of course if you try to sell your house before 4 years have elapsed and you get a fussy buyer who spots it, they may raise it - but then you could always fund a cheap insurance policy to get around that.

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