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House purchase - lack of planning permission documents

(4 Posts)
madameweasel Mon 13-Feb-17 17:05:31

We're in the process of buying a house that has been extended. It has a two story extension to the side and a single story extension at the back. As far as we are aware, all the work was done at the same time, and we have seen a copy of the building regs sign off for the extensions. However, the only document about planning permission is the decision letter that says "Extension". There's no additional detail and no copy of the plans themselves. The vendor's solicitor insists that this is sufficient as the work was completed over ten years ago so any issues with something not being done according to the approved plans can't be enforced. We're taking the view that the building inspector would have checked that everything was done according to the planning consent granted, so there isn't a problem, but our solicitor appears to be getting in a flap about it due to the lack of detail.
Is our solicitor getting unnecessarily upset about this? Or have I missed something and should we be worried about the lack of paperwork?

Seeline Mon 13-Feb-17 17:10:35

Have you been in touch with the Council concerned. Whilst the plans might not be on their web site they should have copies of them in their records. You can purchase a copy.

I wouldn't rely on the Building Inspector checking the work against planning application drawings.

As it is physical work (rather than a change of use) it will be exempt from enforcement action after 4 years, as long as you can prove that it has been there for 4 years. that is not the same thing as having planning permission though.

madameweasel Mon 13-Feb-17 17:19:36

I've looked on the council website and all they have there is the same permission letter we've seen. I'll obviously have to contact them and see what other documents they have. Thanks.

VeritysWatchTower Mon 13-Feb-17 18:08:11

They should have full details at the council, the application, the site report and the decision document.

The council will copy these for a small fee, any building regs docs are much more expensive. We were quoted £25 for those as they are classed as legal documents! So we just had the planning docs and the building regs sign off documents copied.

If I were buying the house you mention I would contact the council myself and ask to come in to see the documents they hold. Don't forget to take some cash.

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