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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.
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.
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?
hi the landlord is Hammersmith & fulham council.
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.
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?
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...
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:
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.
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.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
i am aware that the council will charge to build on the side return, and i am aware of the cost,
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.
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 ..
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?
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..
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.
its not the internal works that worry me,
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
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
in the original planning the side extension would have gone
meant the side entrance would have gone
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
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,
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.
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.
Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
yes i am happy thanks very much