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Garage conversion

(22 Posts)
Redhound Wed 20-Jul-16 15:28:55

Long shot but I am investigating converting a garage into an annexe. However, the planning portal doesn't really help as to whether pp is required. It is a property in an AONB with, I suspect, permitted development rights removed, but there would be no alteration at all to the exterior of the garage; it already has enough windows and doors. It would purely be interior work as far as I can tell. If I contact the council I will have to pay so I wondered if anyone else has experience of this? Thanks

Redhound Wed 20-Jul-16 15:30:03

Meant to add I know it will need building regs and wondered whether there is anyway to check whether permitted development rights have been removed without contacting the council? Thanks

ILikeToClean Wed 20-Jul-16 16:06:07

Not sure if this helps but we've recently had our garage converted and when we applied for building regs the council then asked us if we'd applied for pp as we would need it. We therefore had to go through that process! So maybe if you apply for BR the council will then look at your deeds and let you know. Most garages don't - we were just unlucky!

OhNoNotMyBaby Wed 20-Jul-16 16:11:38

You need to contact the council. I don't understand why you're worried about paying? If you need PP and don't get it, they could make you tear it down. And PP doesn't cost much anyway - a couple of hundred?

I didn't need it - but then I'm not in an AONB. But as you say, if there are no outward alterations I don't see why you would need it....

Redhound Wed 20-Jul-16 17:15:39

Thanks IIikeToClean- glad yours worked out in the end!
OhNoNot- maybe a couple of hundred isnt a lot to you, but it is to me and a to lot of other people! Of course I wont build it without being sure, I was just asking if there was anywhere else I could find out or get a good idea!!

Borogoves Wed 20-Jul-16 22:57:09

We wanted to convert our garage but had no permitted development rights. I submitted an enquiry to the council which cost about £50. They confirmed that we couldn't do it under permitted development and told me that we would be unlikely to be granted planning permission as their policy is that a four bedroom house requires three parking spaces. Converting the garage would mean we had lost a parking space (even though car has never been in the garage) If you have a look on your council's website there may be a link for a householder's enquiry form and you can find out what their policy is.

Redhound Thu 21-Jul-16 08:27:47

Thats useful Boro many thanks

TollgateDebs Thu 21-Jul-16 16:32:58

We live in an AONB and the annex was done many years ago, prior to us moving in. However, it is rated separately for Council Tax, even though it is not totally separate (see new laws on tax) and has always been used as a Granny Annex, so has a Council Tax exemption. Glad now that it shares utilities and cannot be sold as a separate entity as the tax implication is a frightener.

Redhound Thu 21-Jul-16 17:29:27

Oh good grief thats something I didnt know thank you! As the article says, I thought the govt was trying to encourage Granny Annexes :/
If mine was converted it would share a bathroom in the main part of the house so should be safe from stamp duty hits but I will investigate council tax implications further thanks again.

ChunkyHare Thu 21-Jul-16 17:59:55

You'll get stung by the parking issue so you need to consider it.

We converted a double garage into a playroom for the children but our drive can take 4 cars easily so it was granted for planning (permitted development rights had been removed) and we had building regs too. We are not in an AONB though. Just modern housing estate.

There was no way we could park a car in the garage, far too narrow but they have to consider you removing the possibility of the car parking.

We viewed a house with an "illegal" garage conversion. They had put a stud and plasterboard wall at the front which allowed a small amount of storage from the front for the up and over garage door area. But it could easily be removed if there were problems selling it.

If this is a place you plan on staying for some time this is a possibility.

My garage conversion had the doors removed and windows put in so completely obvious grin

Redhound Thu 21-Jul-16 22:39:27

Thats interesting Chunky!
I wouldnt have parking issues as rural, so tons of space. I am just loathe to get the council involved at an early stage if I can avoid it. You would think there would be some way to find out whether a property had permitted development rights without speaking to an officer but I guess they get money out of it that way.. I like the sound of the illegal conversion but would worry whether there would be insurance implications..
Oh so many problems! Thank you..

OhNoNotMyBaby Fri 22-Jul-16 08:24:33

"I like the sound of the illegal conversion...." really? wow.

I understand why you didn't like my previous comment about pp costing only a couple of hundred £ should you need it. I naively thought you were going to the conversion properly and legally - and in the context of converting a garage, and knowing everything was safe and legal, a couple of hundred £ is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

My conversion cost thousands - and it was worth every penny. I had to pay for building regs, for an electrician's certification, for new circuit breakers etc etc. But I know I can sell my house if I want to, that my insurance is valid if anything should happen - and that my family is in a safe building.

Councils are not out to 'get' you. Their officers are there to help you. But hey, if you want to go ahead with a ramshackle, illegal, uninsurable, unsaleable conversion, go ahead. it's a free country.

OliviaBenson Fri 22-Jul-16 08:42:51

And following the pp, be prepared to actually devalue your house if you do.

You are likely to need planning permission if in an AONB and creating a new residential unit. It's not to say you won't get consent, but you will have to pay to get permission and then building regulations.

Redhound Fri 22-Jul-16 09:40:36

Nice selective quoting OhNo! I wouldnt go ahead with anything dodgy or ramshackle I am just interested in options and others opinions. Though if I am not going to sell or the illegal conversion can be easily removed then its not going to devalue my home is it!? I am stickler for safety and have recently had 2x electrical safety certificates done, so you are incorrect with your judgey comments.
And sorry but sometimes the authorities are 'out to get you', and/or your money. I have been a victim before so lucky you if you havent!
Olivia thanks for your comments, I think it could effectively be just a room rather than an annexe so maybe that would be OK. Might just stick to a shepherds hut it sounds less hassle!

Sunnyshores Sun 24-Jul-16 10:31:05

putting the councils formal 'forms' into them costs money, but we've experience of 3 different councils and asking questions by email or telephone has never been a problem.

I understand you dont want to pay any money at this early stage, but not asking questions or trying to anonomously (sorry sp) get answers will come back and bite you - best service we ever got was paying I think £30 for a planners visit and a chat about specific possibilities.

Redhound Sun 24-Jul-16 17:45:33

Thanks I was only asking whether it was possible to find out elsewhere.
My council wont answer queries over the 'phone or email without payment.

Borogoves Sun 24-Jul-16 20:05:39

Yes, that's what my council's like. They won't discuss anything over the phone or via email unless you submit the official householder's enquiry form and they charge you for that.

hangingoutthewashing Mon 25-Jul-16 10:01:26

Try finding an independent planning advisor , I develop property and use my planner all the time for both formal advice and planning to informal ' running an idea by him ' he is up to the speed with all new current legislation and a goldmine of info and ideas .

ChunkyHare Mon 25-Jul-16 11:13:54

Can you look on your council website and see if any properties near to you have been allowed to convert the garage?

And I used the term "Illegal" upthread to mean they didn't go through planning and could take down the stud wall and remove the floor.

As someone who lives in an ex show home that is exactly what they did to my double garage, removed the wallpapered plasterboard from the walls and took up the floating floor. Hardly bloody rocket science.

I converted the front part of my garages and retained a 6ft deep store room across the back because that is where the boiler is located and where the door to the back garden is. I too spent thousands with planning permission, building regs and electrical certificates.

You could easily just convert the back of a garage with no exterior alterations. I know lots of people who live on a new build estate where a lot of them can access their garage from the kitchen and have made the back section of the garage into a sort of utility room.

I would think in an AONB that all permitted development rights would have been removed. This is the same on my estate which is 17-20 years old so it does mean that any planning application here was free! Worth checking if that is the same for you.

Redhound Mon 25-Jul-16 18:46:24

More great advice which I shall follow up, Many thanks indeed!

Kaisha02 Tue 02-Aug-16 18:50:00

Our council offers free pre-planning advice to householders who aren't sure if they need pp. We are in an AONB and conservation area.

We enquired about converting our large garage attached to the house into a separate store room and dining room.

We weren't sure if pp was needed for this so we enquired down the free advice route.

The store room would keep the double garage doors at the front and would have a single door access into the dining room.
The dining room would flow into the kitchen and be properly insulated etc. We would remove half of the wall between the new dining room (was garage) and kitchen to create an open plan space.

We were advised as long as the exterior appearance doesn't change we wouldn't require pp. We would need building reg approval though.

Redhound Tue 02-Aug-16 23:38:37

Lovely thank you Kaisha I will put some feelers out, are you going ahead with the conversion and do you have a rough figure for the work? Thanks

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