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Would having an indemnity policy mean we could get planning?

(13 Posts)
loveka Sun 12-Nov-17 12:37:18

We are currently buying a house. It has an attached barn that needs converting for us to live in the house. It would need planning permission, but we wouldn't be changing it externally so thought it would be easy to get permission. If unconverted it will eventually fall down. It was built in 1650.

We have just been sent the origional conveyance. It has a restrictive covenant that says we cannot alter any part of the property! The solicitor has suggested we buy an indemnity policy.

Do the council take the indemnity into account when looking at planning though?

Humptynumpty02 Sun 12-Nov-17 14:06:53

Not sure what the indemnity insurance has to do with a restrictive covenant? The restrictive covenant is pretty clear, you won't get planning permission to do a thing so you're better off spending your energy talking to your local planning department and finding out whether you can apply to have the restrictive covenant removed then if successful you can apply for planning permission for any alterations as required.

namechangedtoday15 Sun 12-Nov-17 14:12:05

Your solicitor should be advising on this.The restrictive covenant is usually for the benefit of the land owner / named person or their successors in title (although that may be the council) and they'd be the people entitled to enforce any breach of that.

loveka Sun 12-Nov-17 14:14:30

The indemnity insurance protects us against the person who added the restrictive covenant enforcing it I think?

It was there to stop the character of the houses changing. But it was applied nearly 60 years ago.

loveka Sun 12-Nov-17 14:17:02

The solicitor has advised us. But he doesnt know how it would impact on planning.

It is just crazy that it might mean we can't convert a barn. It benefits no one for the barn to just sit there doing nothing.

thenewaveragebear1983 Sun 12-Nov-17 14:23:15

It could be that the restrictions on developing the barn have kept the price of the property down. If you, or the vendors, could get the covenant lifted and get planning permission, the value of the property would also probably increase as you have a 'developable' plot. I would have thought that the sellers might have tried this already?

MonkeyJumping Sun 12-Nov-17 14:27:06

The indemnity insurance protects you if somebody enforces the restrictive covenant, either by getting an injunction preventing you developing or forcing you to reinstate the building or by getting damages from you for the breach.

Insurance is the normal way to deal with these kind of restrictive covenants - they are actually pretty hard to enforce anyway but you should get the insurance to protect yourself.

The planning department is unlikely to even know the covenant exists and won't care about it. The planning process is totally separate.

Note3 Sun 12-Nov-17 14:30:31

Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong but the way it was explained to us was if we get an indemnity policy it is void if we approach the council regarding what the policy covers. I guess that's why they're so cheap, chances of council discovering something amiss and therefore needing a claim are very slim. If you approach council about covenant and it doesn't go as you hope then you may also not be covered by indemnity

loveka Sun 12-Nov-17 14:31:53

Thanks, Monkey, that's what I thought.

I am guessing we should pay for the indemnity policy?

The vendor has already broken the restrictive covenant, (unwittingly as she didn't know it existed ) as she rents out part of the house as a holiday cottage. The covenant states the house should be 'a private dwelling house'.

loveka Sun 12-Nov-17 14:33:13

Note, in my case the council have not applied the covenant.

artisancraftbeer Sun 12-Nov-17 14:34:46

I think the policy note is talking about is an indemnity against not having building reg approval or similar.

The restrictive covenant and the indemnity policy are both irrelevant for planning. If planning is fundamental, have a pre-application chat with one of the planning officers (you’re likely to have to pay for this) and see whether they think it’s doable in principle.

Note3 Sun 12-Nov-17 14:38:27

Ah yes sounds like a different issue to what we had. Thanks for clearing up. Hope you get yours resolved and can proceed with purchase

MyKingdomForBrie Sun 12-Nov-17 14:43:28

What monkey said, I used to work in this area. For such an old cov the policy shouldn’t be much.

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