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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10537
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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If Planning is required of use

Resolved Question:

If Planning is required for change of use
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I took on a pub which was known as a hotelin the past. It has 6 bedrooms upstairs. To check the position I asked the Council if I needed planning permission to use the bedrooms for B&B. After some debate they said it did as it was change of use from Pub downstairs, residential upstairs to mixed use with the B&B.
So i applied and and got planning permission
I have now established that previous landlords were taking paying guests. I don't think the Council were aware of it.
The Fire Officer called prior to my involvement and said the fire alarm and fire doors needed to be fitted if there were to be paying guests
Questions are
1. Do I need Building control clearance for B&B use.
2. It definitely has been used as B&B all though not compliant
3. Were the previous landlords doing anything illegal with letting, in ignorance, non compliant bedrooms in the past.
4. At the moment I cannot get them to state what they have been doing in case of consequences
5. Are there any consequences if they do sign a statement to say what has happened in the past because I want to use this to prove to the Council that there is no c hange of use and no Building Regs necessary.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. At the outset, you need to realise that the previous owners have a potential liability to enforcement if they state they were using the upper floor for bed and breakfast without planning permission. I know the issue is debateable, but as you have now applied and got planning permission, this essentially underscores the idea that the Council considered planning permission was necessary. From your own point of view, proper planning permission must be shown if you want to sell the premises in future as a pub with bed and breakfast. So, from your point of view, it is much preferable if you have a solid planning permission in place. You are better off relying upon the planning permission you got, as it makes the place sale-able in the future. So, whilst there will be an initial cost in complying with the planning permission, you will recoup these monies should you ever sell the premises.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
2. To deal with your questions, the following are the answers (1) Yes, (2) Non compliant or illegal use doesn't count for planning purposes (3) Yes, proper planning was needed (4) They would be unwise to state they had an illegal use as this might give rise to prosecution (5) Yes, potential enforcement proceedings.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The point though is thei pub is known as hotel and was a hotel an old coaching inn. As such successive landlords have just continued to use it for paying guests. Over time with there being no checks the requirements have not been complied with regards fire.
So if I put in fire alarm and fire doors and get a fire certificate will that be adequate or will I need full blown building Regs to include sound and insulation etc
The Council did say I needed planning because they didn't know what was happening.
It is the sound proofing and insulation that is the killer
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The fire officer on his visit said that on his records it was a hotel and he would confirm it. But now is say once doors and Alarms are fitted it's back to building control.
Basically neither Building Control nor the fire officer new what was happening on the ground except now key essentials fire doors and Alarms not in place
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So to summarise from the above the two questions
1. If landlords over the past 20 years or 10 at least were taking guests unbeknown to them non compliant and not told so before. Is it not sufficient to put fire doors and hard wire alarm to make it complaint without need for Building Regs
2. If I have to go down the road of building Regs and sound proof and insulation.
Can start letting the bedrooms after alarms and doors fitted and do the sound and insulation one bed at a time whilst letting rest
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
3. I regret to say that you will have to make the building compliant with Building regulations. HOwever, this does not have to be done immediately, Once you have the fire doors and the fire alarms fitted, then you can start letting the rooms to guests. so the answers to your questions are (1) No (2) Yes.
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