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Annex - Do I need Planning permission of just the building regulations part?
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# 1
mrsjanejane
Old 26-01-2009, 7:08 PM
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Default Annex - Do I need Planning permission of just the building regulations part?

I have a single garage that is detached from the property. It is to the side of the property and in the back garden. Hopefully that makes sense. The front of the garage is in line with the back of the house as there is a drive to the side of the house. I thought that I would need planning permission as I want to convert the single brick built garage in to a guest area/ games room. I want to add another 3x3 meters to the end, so it is just taking space up in my garden and it will have a small ensuite. It will not be affecting anyone's view. My current garage has a pitch roof but the extension part will have a flat roof. I will remove the garage door and brick it in with a normal street door and a separate window. To the back I will add another window for light and for another fire exit. A builder has contacted a chartered surveyor who said that I do not need planning permission, just the building regulations part that needs to be followed and I will get the certificate a few weeks after. Is this correct? as I do not want to build and then be told by the council that I needed planning permission.
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# 2
27col
Old 26-01-2009, 8:41 PM
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When I converted my double garage into a flat I needed building regs, but not planning. When I built a replacement garage in the front garden I needed planning, but not building regs. This was in 1992.
I can afford anything that I want.
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# 3
Gavin57
Old 26-01-2009, 8:51 PM
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Write to your local Planning office explaining what you want to do and they should write back confirming whether or not planning permission is required for the works. If the works are permitted development you will have a letter from the planning office confirming this. Should the works be queried at any later date should the property be put on the market or remorgaged etc. you will have it in writing that planning permission is not required.
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# 4
planning_officer
Old 27-01-2009, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin57 View Post
Write to your local Planning office explaining what you want to do and they should write back confirming whether or not planning permission is required for the works. If the works are permitted development you will have a letter from the planning office confirming this. Should the works be queried at any later date should the property be put on the market or remorgaged etc. you will have it in writing that planning permission is not required.
Although a letter is not legally binding in any way - if you want a formal determination you will need to apply for a certificate of lawfulness.
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# 5
mrsjanejane
Old 27-01-2009, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for the replies!

The builder that I am using for something else said that he spoke to this company who are council approved and said that it would be building regs. The compnay have not even seen it, the builder described it to the company. I just thought by adding an extension to the garage you woould need planning permission. I know that a builder in the past told me that if I built a back extension to my house, i could go out by 3 meters without having to get planning permission as long as it was a single storey. Maybe it is the same for building on a garage. I know that i can check with the council but the builder is keen to start and I said that I want to know everything is ok first.

Would the 3 meter rule apply to extending a garage to convert as well?
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# 6
mrsjanejane
Old 27-01-2009, 8:35 PM
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planning_officer

If I extend a garage by half its size, will I need planning permission for this or is this building regs too?
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# 7
RLH33
Old 27-01-2009, 8:55 PM
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To be honest it is very difficult to tell whether an extension to a garage would need planning permission without seeing plans or a site location plan. Although the new regs have meant that extending domestic buildings can be done more without planning permission it still depends on many different things.

If I were you I would ring up your local Council, or look on the website, and ask them how you find out if planning permission is needed for what you want to do. They will probably either send you a questionnaire to fill in, like my authority does, or ask you to write in with details including dimensions of the extension. They will then write back to confirm if permission is needed or not.

Planning Officer is correct when he says this letter would not be legally binding and the only true and legal way would be to submit an application for a certificate of lawful development. However this is a bit like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut and although the correct way we receive very little of these applications.

If you were later challenged or queried as to why you didn't apply for permission your letter from the Council confirming planning permission is not needed (if it isn't) will count for something and shows that you have at least tried to find out if permission is needed rather than just building it.

I would be a bit wary of taking advice from a Council approved builder - what are they approved for? Some are only approved for highway works. Plus whilst they may be approved by the Council to carry out domestic extensions etc that does not make them Planning Officers - the new regs are difficult for us to interpret and we deal with them every day.

Why do you want an en-suite - are you intending to convert it into a 'granny' annexe? If not then be very wary of calling it an 'annexe' instead refer to it as a games room if that is what you actually intend using it for. Some 'granny' annexes, which are basically self contained units i.e. have a bathroom, kitchen, bedroom etc are not considered to be ancillary to the dwelling and would need planning permission.
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# 8
mrsjanejane
Old 27-01-2009, 9:33 PM
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Thanks RLH33,

I want the additional habital space so that family can stay over on visits and it will be a games room for the boys when they are slightly older. The ensuite will be for guest when they stay over. What would this be called if it is not a granny annex?

I found out that my sister who needed planning permission for her double extension had the same company in as the council use them for approving building regs and signing off the work. I will send you their front page website literature mius their name as they may help get across what I am trying to explain. I want to know that I am doing it legit and that the builder does not have a mate in the firm who acts on behalf of the company. Sounds silly but I can't afford to pay out money nd then find out some things were not in palce and have to remove it.

Really appreciate your advice!
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# 9
RLH33
Old 27-01-2009, 10:01 PM
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Hiya

I replied to your pm before seeing your updated post here. If this company can deal with drawing up the plans, getting the building regs and building the actual extension then that is good and if they are being recommended by your sister then even better. We deal with a few companies that also do this type of work, one is even run by an ex-building control inspector from our Council. If you are worried about it all being legit then make sure you get the paperwork from the builders showing that building regs have been applied for and at the end that it has been signed off.

However as I said in my pm if you want your mind to be put at rest regarding planning then get a letter from the Council. Just remember than planning is completely different from building regs - planning deals with its appearance, siting, design and materials whereas building regs deals with its construction to make sure it is safe and has all the relevant services.

I would just refer to the building as a games room, if questioned then you can explain the bathroom is needed for occasional guests but as you have no kitchen or anything in there then the Council will probably be happy that it is just a games room.
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