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Ask wingrovebuyer Your Own Question
wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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I have a Grade II 16c Cottage which was the former Undertaker/Builders.

Customer Question

I have a Grade II 16c Cottage which was the former Undertaker/Builders. We have converted our workshops and barn to ancillary accommodation (which is a separate 4 bedroom barn which we rent out at present). We have been refused by the local authority to change the use to separate dwelling (Freehold). All separate council tax, garage, garden, utilities etc. Is there a way for example as we wish to move into the Barn and sell the cottage. How can we do this? How can we release the money on one of the properties? Can we change the land to leasehold from freehold and sell? Can i change the barn to leasehold and retain the freehold. Would I then be able to sell the barn as a leasehold for 999 years?

Any help would be appreciated.

Many thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 4 years ago.

wingrovebuyer : Hello. I'm not clear on the set up here. Are you saying that the barn cannot be owned separately to the cottage, due to a planning restriction?
JACUSTOMER-kudkavod- : Yes. It is ancillary accomodation. Not a separate dwelling
wingrovebuyer : Thanks. I think the problem will be that your ability to dispose of the barn separately to the cottage is severely restricted. "Disposal" will likely include granting and selling a long lease. However, you need to check the exact wording of the particular restriction with the council. If it doesn't contain a restriction which could include granting a long lease, you could indeed sell the cottage or barn on a long lease. Indeed, what I think you're getting at is that if you sell a long lease and retain the freehold, then you haven't split up the freehold. However, I would suggest that a court would agree that this was a convenience simply to get around the planning restriction and so it might not work if the council challenged it. Accordingly, I suggest you get precise guidance from the council as to what the restriction restricts in terms of a "disposal" (ie does it include granting long leases) and secondly you need their confirmation of whether or not you simply need to keep the freehold as one unit.