How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
35043042
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

I received full planning permission in 2008 to build a side

Resolved Question:

I received full planning permission in 2008 to build a side extension for my ground floor flat, this included putting in bi fold doors at the rear of the property,and they would then open into part of the new side extension at the back.

I started some of the work in 2008,digging some of the foundations, I also knocked out the wall at the rear of the property in readiness for the extension,and the bi fold doors which would have gone in here.
I also removed the entrance to the garden which was situated at the side wall of the property at the rear,as this wall was being prepped to come down..

However due to the economic climate back then i decided to stop the work,which meant making good of the work we had done, so I put in smaller french doors at the rear of the property and made good the brick work surrounding it, and instead of replacing the entrance at the side of the garden I bricked it up with matching brick,as I would use the french doors to enter the garden.
the plan was always to start the project again,when things looked better in the economy.
I also did major internal works removed load bearing walls and created a second bedroom building regs have passed off all the internal works done.

I am now selling the property and have a buyer and the searches/Questions have started.

The council are Hammersmith &Fulham, and they are the freeholders, I did not get permission from them to start the works, (I thought it was only P.P &B.C rqd)
as the freeholders.
I am now applying in retrospect for a license from them and a redrawing of the floor plans etc, so all can go off to the solicitors, as the current floor plans are for the layout of the flat before the internal works were done.

As I have started the works is my planning permission still valid and would this pass over on to the new buyers ? as they are buying the property solely because of the potential to develop the side extension.

Also where do I stand with the change of the floor plan ?( I am not concerned about what I have done internally as B.C have passed all that work,) its the bricking up of the original garden entrance (which would have gone anyway) and also the putting in of smaller french doors as opposed to the original bigger bi fold doors ?

Will the freeholder say I have to reapply for planning ?
Or would my original planning still cover these works ?

Regards
Danny
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Do you know the identity of the landlord for the flat please? As you will be aware, this is the individual to whom you likely pay ground rent or at least to him ground rent should be paid.

Joshua :

there is likely to be a condition in your lease which reads along the lines that you may not make any additions or alterations without consent of the landlord. Do you know the wording of such a condition?

Customer:

hi the landlord is Hammersmith & fulham council.

Customer:

with reference to the lease,yes permission must be sort fromthe council to build on the side return.I think in the lease it says something like no buildings maybe erected etc, so it does prohibit, but the council have confirmed that consent would not be withheld but it comes at a cost.

Joshua :

thank you. I appreciate you may not know the answer to this off the top of your head however do you know whether the condition says no alterations etc without the landlords consent or does it just say no alterations etc Period?

Customer:

I think it is more along the lines of no alterations without the landlords consent as my solicitor and the buyers solicitor both have pointed out the the council need to give permission to build on the side return...

Joshua :

thank you. As you will be aware, having permissions will contain a time limit for limitation which is usually four years from the date it is granted. If it is not used within this time period, it expires. you can prevent planning permission expiring by commencing work I carrying out what is known as a material operation. immaterial operation will typically include any of the following:




  1. Any work of construction in the course of the erection or demolition of a building.




  2. The digging of a trench to contain foundations, or part of the foundations of a building.




  3. The laying of any underground main or pipe to the foundations, or part of the foundations, of a building or to any such trench as is mentioned in paragraph 2 above


Joshua :

providing you can identify that you have carried out some form of material operation in respect of the planning permission, then it will not expire and any future buyer can benefit from it.

Joshua :

providing your lease includes a provision that states that you must not carry out any alterations or additions etc without the consent of the landlord then whether or not it appears in the lease, statute implies a condition that such consent of the landlord should not unreasonably be withheld. In addition, the landlord may not charge a premium for granting consent but is limited to charging reasonable fees for administrative costs in connection with granting consent. If you are making changes to the structure of the building, such fees could include the appointment of a surveyor to advise the council.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

i am aware that the council will charge to build on the side return, and i am aware of the cost,

Joshua :

if you are seeking to build on land which is not already demised to you and your lease them councillors entitled to claim a premium for that additional land be added to your demise. From what you say, these aspects in any event have been addressed between you and the Council and a figure has been agreed.

Customer:

Sorry the land is demised to myself this is not what my concerns are could you please read through my question again please and note my concerns ..

Joshua :

as you grateful if we can just clarify your concerns so I can make sure I'm addressing all of them. You ask about whether you're planning permission is still valid which I believe I have addressed above but please let me know if you have any follow-up questions in this respect. you are concerned about the changing of the floor plan. Is this the remaining concern you refer to which we have not dealt with to date?

Customer:

Yes the floor plans is my concern....because even though planning permission was granted for the side return and bi fold doors....... I put in smaller french doors and bricked up the original garden entrance, even though this original garden entrance would have gone once the extension was in anyway..

Joshua :

Thanks. You do not normally need planning permission for internal alterations so these should not be impacted by planning permission. from what you say, you have started to dig some foundations and this is sufficient to prevent the existing planning permission from expiring. It will be up to your buyer to implement the planning permission comply with the various conditions therein to the council's satisfaction and unless the buyers are seeking to makes of standard deviations from the planning permission you obtained, I cannot see that there would be a need to obtain a new permission by virtue of your internal works.

Customer:

its not the internal works that worry me,

Joshua :

It may be that the council will require a side entrance to be reinstated if this was part of the original planning permission but this is an issue for your buyers rather than you and even if it is an issue, I would presume the buyers could deal with such minor alterations by applying to the council for a nonmaterial amendment to the existing permission

Joshua :

in respect of the smaller bifold doors at the rear of the property, to the extent that different specifications were provided for in the original planning permission, again should the council have a concern in this respect an application for a nonmaterial amendment could be considered in this respect. again in practice this will largely be a consideration for your buyers rather than you

Customer:

in the original planning the side extension would have gone

Customer:

meant the side entrance would have gone

Joshua :

how you proceed in practice would I suggest be largely governed by the requirements of your buyers is you do not wish to make unnecessary work for yourself. Your buyers will have the opportunity to inspect the plans to the planning permission and likely have already examined in detail. It would be sensible to involve the buyers solicitor in connection with the retrospective license for the works from the landlord in order that the buyers can approve the provisions of the same. If the buyers are concerned depending upon the works they propose that the Council may be concerned with regards XXXXX XXXXX change in the side entrance then an approach to the council could be made for the planning officers if you on the matter. either the Council will be unconcerned, will require an application for a nonmaterial amendment or will be inclined to insist that the side entrance is reinstated. applying for a new planning permission would not be appropriate to consider in my view nor should it likely be required

Customer:

ok.. so possibly best case scenario may just mean me applying for a nonmaterial amendment for the bricking up of the entrance and the also for the change in the size of the doors,

Joshua :

In my view that is likely to be the worst case scenario in that the council may not even require an amendment application. If they did I would expect that it would be suitable for a NMA application.

Joshua :

The main thing is to make sure you involve the buyers heavily because ultimately they (with any luck) will be the ones doing all of this and therefore effected by it so there is no point proceeding in a way they are unhappy with. I cannot see any other likely major issues that should arise though as above.

Joshua :

Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

yes i am happy thanks very much

Joshua and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you