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Any planning experts around - could do with some advice, pretty please.

(5 Posts)
DaisymooSteiner Tue 18-Aug-09 11:36:25

We're part way through an extension to the side of our house. The original part of our house has a sort of pebbledash render on the outside - it's a nasty grey colour and we really hate it. We'd planned to re-render the house and our quote included doing this. However when our planning permission came through it said that the extension must be made from identical materials to the original house. I spoke to our architect about whether we'd be allowed to re-render the original house and then do the extension to match - he didn't think that would be a problem.

I spoke to our planning officer last week and she's told us that we've got to re-apply for planning permission (which will cost another £150 and take 6-8 weeks) because a recent (Oct 08) change in plannign rules means that the change to the original part of the house needs planning permission.

I'm a bit confused by this - surely if the rules have changed the architect would be aware of this?

We do live in a conservation area which I know means the rules are quite stringent, but if it was to do with this then wouldn't we be applying for conservation area consent which as I understand it, is free to apply for?

This is all really frustrating because we've already got the scaffolding up to build the extensionand the plan was to do the rendering while it was up - if we have to wait for planning permission it's going to cost us extra to rent the scaffolding for longer.

What would happen if we did the rendering anyway and applied for retrospective planning permission - the planning officer indicated that she would view an application favourably as it would be an improvement on what's already there. Would that be a really stupid gamble on our part?

TIA, sorry it's really long.

GrendelsMum Tue 18-Aug-09 12:38:17

Hmm - you could try going back to planning and checking that it shouldn't be conservation consent rather than planning? You could nose around in the planning rules yourself to check to see whether it necessarily includes your situation.

My sister is a planning officer, and says that of course they can't encourage anyone to break the law, but they can try to indicate that they would be happy for something to be done, or happy for somethign to be done with retrospective planning permission.

You COULD try talking to the planning officer in a very guarded way about the problem, and seeing whether they indicate something like 'if someone were to have done this, I think we would consider their appliciation for restrospective pp favourably'

jeanjeannie Tue 18-Aug-09 12:49:58

Strange your architect didn't know hmm They were quite big rule changes - with some big implications. They actually freed up a lot of planning permissions.

With this in mind I'd personally pay up and go down the route stipulated by planning.

DP does a lot of work in conservation areas (currently having a mare of a time with knocking out a structual wall!!) and it's not worth falling out with them over anything. He's found that planning has been a lot harder recently in conservation areas where as it used to be just the listed buildings that were hard work!

I agree with Grendelsmum - definately talk to them first in person.

DaisymooSteiner Tue 18-Aug-09 13:10:42

Thanks both of you. Don't get me started on my architect - he did some weird things generally with the plans which have cost us time and money. I know neither the builder nor the structural engineer are very impressed with him.

I will talk to the planning officer again, but she does have a reputation for being extremely difficult to deal with and very picky. I'm not sure I have the balls for retrospective permission really!

GrendelsMum Tue 18-Aug-09 14:01:03

Why don't you talk to another planning officer? There should be plenty in the department!

But I think I would comb through the new regulations and look out to see if it's possible to argue that the change is Conservation, not Planning Permission.

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