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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12195
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I have been living in a barn conversion since 2008 which was

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I have been living in a barn conversion since 2008 which was granted 12 month holiday occupancy so have been in breach of conditions as have been here permanently have telephone,electric,council tax bills to prove this so applied for full resedential using "four year rule" planning officer in charge of case was agreeing with everything right up to 11th hour then phoned advising to withdraw application as his boss was going to refuse permission on the grounds that I wasn't totally illegal because of holiday occupancy is this possible as four year rule uses the words "in breach of conditions" whish I clearly am?
Thank you for your question.
Where a breach of planning control consists of a change of use of any building (which, for the purposes of the 1997 Act, includes part of a building) to 'use as a single dwellinghouse', section 124(2) provides that enforcement action may only be taken within 4 years of the date of the breach. This time limit applies both where the change to use as a single dwellinghouse involves development without planning permission, and where it involves a failure to comply with a condition or limitation to which a planning permission is subject.
Given that provision the local authority can't take enforcement action so an application for a certificate of lawfulness would be unnecessary.
Happy to discuss further.
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