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Listed buildings consent - how do I know if a previous owner was granted it!

(8 Posts)
Splodgeinc Thu 25-May-17 00:04:38


Help please oh wise mums-netters. We are looking a buying a modest 1760s grade two listed cottage. Having never owned anything older than 1930 previously this is a change! I'm trying to do everything right but it's a lot to learn. We have got a full structural survey and so far it all looks sound.

The issue I am getting stuck on is that the property has had a lot of work done on it in the 1970's - part of it that was a barn attached to the cottage was incoperated into the cottage. I have no reason to suspect that this was done without full planning and listed buildings consent but The guy we're buying off doesn't have any documentation to prove this.

He has lived their for 13 years and thinks we're being OTT by asking as he feels that clearly it must have been granted as otherwise Someone would have noticed by now, and our solicitor doesn't seem to think this is an issue. I have looked online on the councils webpage but it only gives applications going back 10 years. The listing on historic England is no help as it is very vague.

Am I being overly cautious to want to see the consents for this work as it's over 40 years ago?

Can I approach the council myself to ask for the historic records or do I have to own the house first? I rather like the current owner and don't want to land him with a big bill if no consent was given but I don't want to give myself a big bill either!

I have read that insurance can be take. Out against this but I don't really understand how that works.

Any help appreciated!

Thank you

TheDrsDocMartens Thu 25-May-17 06:15:23

Check when the property was listed. A lot were done in the 1970s so work may have been done before then. That's what happened with our house

BarchesterFlowers Thu 25-May-17 06:28:36

We sold a 300 year old listed house last year that was three houses at one point and the buyers solicitor wanted copies of planning and listed building consents for lots of work done in the 60s. It wasn't available, listed in 73.

Our solicitor seemed to convince them it wasn't necessary - they didn't buy the indemnity cover. Councils won't be enforcing ancient planning issues anytime soon so that won't become an issue and so if it is ok structurally I don't think there can be too much to worry about other than having to convince the next buyer of the same thing when you sell.

DancingLedge Thu 25-May-17 08:49:02

Why do you think this matters?

DancingLedge Thu 25-May-17 08:51:03

Yes, you can approach the council - anyone can ask to see the full planning file for any building.

chopchopchop Thu 25-May-17 08:58:11

As TheDrsDoc says, if the work was done before the building was listed, then there's no issue as no listed building consent was needed.

If you find that the building was listed earlier (ours was listed in 1947) then I'd ring up and speak to the listed buildings officer. We had exactly the same issue - tons of really significant structural works done without permission, and he was able to reassure me that they wouldn't seek to have any of it reversed.

Seeline Thu 25-May-17 08:58:11

the Doctors - is correct to say check when it was Listed. Any works carried out before then would not have required LBC (although the usual planning rules would have applied).

The Council will have records associated with a property including copies of applications made under both Planning and Listed Building legislation - most only have full details of more recent applications online. Many will have a full planning history on line, without the full details (ie plans, reports, correspondence etc) so it may be worth checking the Council website again to check they are not in a different 'area' of the site.

To see the full planning history of a property will take the Council a while to gather all the files (and there may be a charge) so ring up to find out what the procedure is rather than just turning up.

The only other thing to do - if the property has had works in the last 10 years. Look at the case on the Council web site. The full planning history may be attached as a document associated with the application, or if you can find a copy of the delegated report/committee report, the full planning history is usually listed within that document.

Splodgeinc Thu 25-May-17 10:21:10

Thank you for the help.

Dancingledge - I'm concered (hopefully unnecessarily) because if the works were done without listed buildings consent we could become liable to fix them if the conservation officer ever found out (which he could do if we ever applied for permission to do any works ourselves - which we will do as I would like to paint the front door a different colour)

Was initially listed in 1975 which could be before the works but listing was revised in 1987 so after the works were done, which makes me feel less worried.

Seeline - thank you for that, v.helpful. Current owner had a satellite dish erected and there is a linked application. I can't view the whole thing as it apparently is not stored on-line but I can see the title (which appears to describe the works done) and that it was "granted with conditions".

I will probably ask the council for the full file (more for my interest in the buildings history than anything else) but it looks like we should be in the clear.

Thank you all!

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