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Bricks and Brass • View topic - Conservation Area - No Planning Permission

Conservation Area - No Planning Permission

Forum for discussing period houses.

Conservation Area - No Planning Permission

Postby Karen63 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:15 pm

Hi,

A while since I posted here, but we are on the move again, so I could do with some advice :)

We are in the process of buying a 250 year old terrace house in a Conservation Area. My husband has fallen head over heels with the house but I have had reservations from the beginning.

The rear of the property has been extended (we originally thought), to include a rear hallway, with office/study above, and a garden room leading off the rear hallway. We have recently been led to believe from the vendors that these rooms were actually converted over 20 years ago from the original cow sheds/dairy. Additionally, there is a loft conversion with two velux windows to the rear only, again converted some 20 years ago.

We have now been informed by our solicitor that there is in fact no planning permission or building regs for any of the work/alterations. The vendors have lived in the property for 7 years and cannot seem to shed any more light/paperwork on the matter. Surely this must have been an issue during their own conveyancing of the property?

We have been advised to take out an indemnity insurance on the property, which of course we will be, but I am still concerned and the vendors lack of information has made me even more suspicious about the property.

Incidently, the house in in the middle of a row of terraces, the majority of which have similar extensions and velux windows to the rear.

Thanks for any replies.

Karen
Karen63
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Postby tim smedley » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:58 pm

Karen
We do not live in a conservation area but have a similar issue - extended without permission or regs.
We haggled on price and took this into account and the deal was done. Three years later and we are now thinking about improving the extension and it is a nightmare - where do you start, who agrees what, how do you get certificates for the bits you have improved without falling foul of the bits that are clearly wrong etc etc.
If you have a Conservation Area on top of all of this I recommend you delay the purchase until you have definitive opinions/costs as I am beginning to wish I had done this!
Hope this helps. Tim
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Location: Friern Barnet, London

Postby Karen63 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:47 pm

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your reply.

We don't have any intention of changing the external appearance to the 'so called' extension, whether it is original to the property or not. As far as the interior goes, apart from decor, there is only a downstairs cloakroom that would need replacing, eventually.

I cannot even begin to tell you the problems this is causing. My husband cannot see any issues as we are taking out the indemnity insurance and nothing will make him change his mind on purchasing the house. But as the house is in a conservation area we will always need planning permission, with window replacement, tree removal etc.....this concerns me, as will this open up a can of worms with the planning department?

I wonder if anyone knows what their powers are, bearing in mind the alterations were carried out over 20 years ago? It also worries me about resale.

Additionally, we have been advised by our solicitor that the indemnity is ineffective if we alert the planning department to the alterations.

Karen
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Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 8:53 am


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