Planning to develop your property? – The importance of planning permission and building regulations.

Planning to develop your property? – The importance of planning permission and building regulations.

As we move into February, it may be the case that this year you want to make some alterations, extensions or improvements to your property that you originally aimed to do in 2016 but never got round to.

The first thing to consider is whether your proposed development requires planning permission. For some simple residential developments, planning permission may not be needed as they could fall within the definition of a ‘permitted development’ as defined within the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015. However, certain conditions may still apply in order for a development to be ‘permitted’ and these should be checked carefully.

The second consideration is whether the development requires building regulations approval. Some examples of developments which require building regulations approval are:

  • Full replacement of windows and doors
  • Electrical installations
  • Construction of an attached garage
  • Roof mounted solar panels
  • Loft conversion

Failure to obtain planning permission and/or building regulations could result in a complaint being received from your Local Authority. A rather extreme example can be seen in the case of Surrey farmer Robert Fidler. Mr Fidler built a mock-Tudor castle on his land between 1999 and 2006, hidden behind a stack of hay bales, without the required planning permission. Following almost a decade of legal battles with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Mr Fiddler ultimately lost the case and last year began demolishing the castle following an order from the High Court.

Lack of planning permission and building regulations approval could also cause issues if you later decide to sell the property. The buyer’s solicitors will often raise enquiries about any developments that have been carried out at the property and will request the relevant planning permission approval notice and/or building regulations compliance certificate. Failure to provide this could lead to the buyer requesting an indemnity insurance policy, at your expense.

Hewitts have a team of experienced conveyancers across all four offices who can assist in buying and selling a property. Please contact one of our offices for more information and for a no obligation quote.

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