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Building regs but no proof of planning permission

(16 Posts)
Middleoftheroad Thu 12-Jan-17 16:50:57

We are two weeks away from completion. However, while the property (which has been massively extended) does have a building regs certificate the solicitor has highlighted that no planning permission evidence is available and that the vendor's soilcitor is checking on whether planning permission was required.

A covenant states that plannning permission must be requested for any erection of any building.

Do I need to be concerned (sorry, I am totally clueless here)

wowfudge Thu 12-Jan-17 17:03:05

Ask your solicitor. When was the work carried out and who has the benefit of the covenant?

AuntiePenguin Thu 12-Jan-17 17:04:51

Yes, ultimately if it needed planning permission but they didn't get it, the council can require the extension be demolished. So the risk would be you pay for the house, pay for the extension to be demolished, then end up with a smaller house.

Talk to your lawyer, but don't proceed until you're sure the extension was allowed.

monkeyfacegrace Thu 12-Jan-17 17:06:57

How long has the extension been up? I thought after 4 years nobody could touch it.

Ginorchoc Thu 12-Jan-17 17:08:00

If it doesn't have permission that'll be an issue unless other it's unchallenged over I think 10 years (do check) a retrospective application would be required if neighbours have similar that would set a presedence. Permitted development rights changed in 2015 so not all extensions require planning permission now. Good luck.

Latenightreader Thu 12-Jan-17 17:12:30

When I bought my house I was warned that the conservatory didn't have planning permission. The vendor said it didn't need it because it was replacing an existing structure, but it was a grey area. I wasn't too worried because it was just at the end of the time when a planning department can object - just a couple of months off I think. It was fine. How long ago was the extension built?

You can request that the vendor takes out a particular type of insurance against this. I can't remember what it was called. My solicitor recommended this and I asked, but because of the time frame wasn't too concerned when they refused. For something like this I would insist.

I also sit on my council's planning committee. I know that our department is pretty hot on investigating and acting on things built without permission, but not all are so efficient. Personally I wouldn't risk it without the insurance, unless you can have an unequivocal assurance that no permission was needed - it does depend in part on the size of property, grounds and neighbours.

SouthPole Thu 12-Jan-17 17:13:59

Not requiring planning doesn't necessarily mean that Building Regs aren't needed. So it could be that Planning wasn't needed here but your solicitor will ensure that if they say it wasn't they provide evidence as to why that's the case, as it will come up again when you sell.

It would be odd that they got BRA but not planning but there's nowt as queer as folk.

Likely enforcement period has passed. But there's always the option of getting an indemnity policy to placate your lender and any future purchaser.

Ask your solicitor to take you through what this all means. That's why they are there.

Cherylene Thu 12-Jan-17 17:16:16

We bought a house with permitted development rights removed that had a conservatory. IIRC, the vendor's solicitor got retrospective planning permission sorted before the completion.

SocksRock Thu 12-Jan-17 17:18:11

If it's been there more than 4 years with no objections lodged you can apply for a certificate of lawful development, which is basically retrospective planing permission.

Middleoftheroad Thu 12-Jan-17 17:46:25

Thanks - I am impressed with your knowledge!

The extension (a dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms and loft) they basically doubled a three bed semi was built 10 years ago I believe.

I think if it was a conservatory alone for example I wouldn't be concerned.

wowfudge Thu 12-Jan-17 17:59:40

The issue isn't planning permission as far as the council is concerned though - it's the covenant. So some sort of proof that the extension comes under permitted development or has a certificate of lawfulness is the requirement.

Middleoftheroad Thu 12-Jan-17 18:20:37

Yes wowfudge, it's the fact that the covenant specifically states no building erected without PP.

Also, I have just found out the house has two charging orders on it. I gather these will be cleared with the sale. Should I just take this as read and not worry? Sorry, digressing slightly.

Unescorted Thu 12-Jan-17 18:34:15

A covenant is difficult - it depends on the wording. If it is a personal covenant then it will not be enforecable once the property is sold - this is not always as straight forward as Jo Blogs promises never to put up an extention because it will block the light of the vendor.
If a covenant "runs with the land" it does not fall away when the property is sold.
A covenant may not be enforceable if the reason for it has fallen away - eg you must allow access for people retrieving their footballs from a planned playing fied site and therefore you cannot build on the land (this is a real one). Because the football fields were never done & the land now has houses on the covenant could not be enforced even though it ran with the land.

Make your solicitor ork for their money and get them to take a veiw.

Unescorted Thu 12-Jan-17 18:36:25

The insurance is called indemnity insurance. It should be paid by the vendor and insures the buyer against loss if the covenant is enforced.

SouthPole Thu 12-Jan-17 20:47:56

You can also get breach of Restrictive Covenant Indemnity Insurance to cover you if you suffer any loss as a result of the breach.

Paid by the vendor and possibly topped up when you sell, but otherwise a one off payment.

Middleoftheroad Fri 13-Jan-17 06:47:17

Thanks - that's helpful. will get onto the solicitor.

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