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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10239
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have recently some decking following a similar design my 2

Customer Question

Hi, I have recently laid some decking following a similar design my 2 neighbours on my left have. Unfortunately part of the decking on the end which overhangs a jetty as we are by the river has raised the ground level by over 1 metre although the decking is flat and is the same level as the rest of the garden. I have been advised that I require planning permission so I will probably make an application tomorrow and put a halt to the current works as it is only 50 percent complete. My neighbour has asked me not to do this as he has a similar structure and did not obtain planning permission either having believed it was permitted development. His structure was built 6 years ago and as far as I am aware as it is over 4 years old he is allowed to keep it. Can you confirm if this is the case or not and also advise that if he is allowed to keep it then as mine is the same the council should approve my planning permission. Many thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

The enforcement period for outright planning permission is 4 years and for lack of building regulations 1 year. For change of use it is 10 years. Hence, this is out of time for enforcement by the local authority. What would normally happen is that he would be asked to provide an indemnity policy when he sells the property because that is the quickest cheapest and easiest way of dealing with it.

Alternatively, he can apply for a certificate of lawful use or retrospective planning permission. He may not get retrospective planning permission and the certificate of lawful use process is extremely convoluted.

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Best wishes.