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  • FIRST POST
    • GoldenShadow
    • By GoldenShadow 20th Mar 17, 6:30 PM
    • 961Posts
    • 915Thanks
    GoldenShadow
    Property in Conservation Area - works done without permission
    • #1
    • 20th Mar 17, 6:30 PM
    Property in Conservation Area - works done without permission 20th Mar 17 at 6:30 PM
    Hi

    Property we are buying is in a conservation area. I gather permission is needed for things that would be permitted development in most properties.

    If, six years ago, the property in question was double glazed and permission was not sought, can this come back to bite us? Is this the kind of situation where indemnity insurance is helpful? I've seen that mentioned on here before but not sure if it is applicable in this how if scenario. Can it be quite expensive?

    Am slightly concerned what else the vendors may have done that may have needed permission...

    Thanks
    Mortgage in 2015: £189,229.51 £188,835.58 £188,460.14 £188,083.21 £188,857.06 £187,286.99
    £186,887.30 £186,505.39 ££186,103.10 £185,718.70
    £185,185.73
    Mortgage Free: October 2040
Page 1
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 20th Mar 17, 11:32 PM
    • 2,460 Posts
    • 3,107 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:32 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:32 PM
    Depends on the type of conservation area and the local council.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 20th Mar 17, 11:39 PM
    • 5,273 Posts
    • 4,942 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:39 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 11:39 PM
    If, six years ago, the property in question was double glazed and permission was not sought, can this come back to bite us?
    Originally posted by GoldenShadow
    Potentially, yes, if only because annoying buyers/lenders are going to start demanding paperwork from you. And are you sure it was six years ago?

    Is this the kind of situation where indemnity insurance is helpful?
    Yes.

    Can it be quite expensive?
    Pretty cheap for this sort of thing. And the cost ought to be the seller's problem anyway.

    Am slightly concerned what else the vendors may have done that may have needed permission...
    Well, are there any clues?
    • GoldenShadow
    • By GoldenShadow 21st Mar 17, 6:08 AM
    • 961 Posts
    • 915 Thanks
    GoldenShadow
    • #4
    • 21st Mar 17, 6:08 AM
    • #4
    • 21st Mar 17, 6:08 AM
    Sellers said 'it was freezing first winter so we thought can never do this again and got the windows done before the next one' which makes it six years assuming that's the truth.

    There is an article in place in the conservation area as I was in touch with the council about a potential change we'd consider making, so in actual fact I don't think indemnity insurance would work now I've done more googling, I've already flagged the issue I think. Didn't realise at the time.

    Estate agent isn't around for a few days now so I can't get info from sellers.

    I hope not re other clues but I didn't think the windows were an issue until I fell into that one. The vendors talked about having spoken to the council about another change so I didn't expect them to have failed to consult them re windows...
    Mortgage in 2015: £189,229.51 £188,835.58 £188,460.14 £188,083.21 £188,857.06 £187,286.99
    £186,887.30 £186,505.39 ££186,103.10 £185,718.70
    £185,185.73
    Mortgage Free: October 2040
    • nicmyles
    • By nicmyles 21st Mar 17, 9:55 AM
    • 72 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    nicmyles
    • #5
    • 21st Mar 17, 9:55 AM
    • #5
    • 21st Mar 17, 9:55 AM
    The thing is that, realistically, the council will never notice if you put double glazing in so I can understand why they wouldn't have bothered to ask permission. The only people likely to complain would be a local conservation society or somesuch and they probably wouldn't notice either. For any larger change, you're best off going through the normal channels.

    If you've brought the breach to the council's attention, you've possibly created a problem for your vendor which they may not be best pleased about.
    • benjus
    • By benjus 21st Mar 17, 10:45 AM
    • 4,824 Posts
    • 2,887 Thanks
    benjus
    • #6
    • 21st Mar 17, 10:45 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Mar 17, 10:45 AM
    It won't be possible to get an indemnity insurance policy if anyone has informed the council that this work has been done.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
    • Gers
    • By Gers 21st Mar 17, 11:15 AM
    • 5,439 Posts
    • 31,093 Thanks
    Gers
    • #7
    • 21st Mar 17, 11:15 AM
    • #7
    • 21st Mar 17, 11:15 AM
    I've got friends who are currently battling Historic Scotland about Everest double glazing installed more than 20 years ago! HS are insisting that they be changed. Dukes are up!
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 21st Mar 17, 11:20 AM
    • 5,273 Posts
    • 4,942 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #8
    • 21st Mar 17, 11:20 AM
    • #8
    • 21st Mar 17, 11:20 AM
    I've got friends who are currently battling Historic Scotland about Everest double glazing installed more than 20 years ago! HS are insisting that they be changed.
    Originally posted by Gers
    That'll be a listed building though, rather than merely one in a Conservation Area?
    • GoldenShadow
    • By GoldenShadow 21st Mar 17, 12:21 PM
    • 961 Posts
    • 915 Thanks
    GoldenShadow
    • #9
    • 21st Mar 17, 12:21 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Mar 17, 12:21 PM
    Made me chuckle re my vendors might not be happy. You can't expect to sell a period house in a conservation area and for the buyers parting with a large amount of cash not to investigate quite what those restrictions entail. Their agent told me they had got permission for the works so I enquired about further possible changes which is when I've been told no one at the property has applied for permission to do anything since the 80's.
    Mortgage in 2015: £189,229.51 £188,835.58 £188,460.14 £188,083.21 £188,857.06 £187,286.99
    £186,887.30 £186,505.39 ££186,103.10 £185,718.70
    £185,185.73
    Mortgage Free: October 2040
    • nicmyles
    • By nicmyles 21st Mar 17, 1:11 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    nicmyles
    Their agent told me they had got permission for the works so I enquired about further possible changes which is when I've been told no one at the property has applied for permission to do anything since the 80's.
    Well, if that's all you did then it won't have caused them any problems - unless you mentioned that they'd changed the windows? If you did, why would you have needed to mention that to find out what the restrictions were?

    Look at it this way: if someone came round to your house and said: "Hi, I'd like to enter into a significant business transaction with you that entails patience and trust on both sides. By the way, I've dobbed you into the council for a minor conservation breach. Now, about my offer..."

    You'd tell them to do one, wouldn't you?
    Last edited by nicmyles; 21-03-2017 at 1:13 PM.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 21st Mar 17, 1:30 PM
    • 2,460 Posts
    • 3,107 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    We have an article 4 directive on our conservation area. The article 4 directive means that you have to get planning permission for any changes that affect the front of the house. However the council turn a blind eye a lot of the time and people have put in double glazing. We have secondary glazing at the front. You can't really copy the wooden window design in modern glazing and we like the look of the house with the original windows. The directive also means that you need planning permission to make changes to the drive or colour the house is painted so depending on how strict your local council is will depend on whether they will allow the double glazing to stay. It also depends on when the directive started so if the date is after the double glazing then you can't change that but if it is before then the previous owners have broken the rules about getting planning permission. It depends on what the rules are about how long ago changes can be made without planning permission under the rules on conservation areas with directives.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 21st Mar 17, 1:32 PM
    • 5,439 Posts
    • 31,093 Thanks
    Gers
    That'll be a listed building though, rather than merely one in a Conservation Area?
    Originally posted by davidmcn

    Yes.

    More than 10 characters
    • Boler1985
    • By Boler1985 21st Mar 17, 2:05 PM
    • 132 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    Boler1985
    People who install PVC-u windows in lieu of the original timber sashes without planning permission when it's required deserve to be thrown under the bus.

    However I'm going through my own personal window nightmare in a conservation area because muggins me decided to do the right thing and apply for permissions and incompetent council planning staff don't understand what a CLD is and how to apply section 55 of the T&CPA 1990.

    My advice would always be to change with like for like without telling the council. Can always ask for forgiveness after the fact.
    Last edited by Boler1985; 21-03-2017 at 2:10 PM.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 21st Mar 17, 3:30 PM
    • 5,439 Posts
    • 31,093 Thanks
    Gers
    That'll be a listed building though, rather than merely one in a Conservation Area?
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    In my previous house, both listed and in a Conservation area, we couldn't replace the Georgian sash windows at all. We had to have secondary glazing instead which actually worked really well. It meant that all the draughts and noise were kept out but we could open the secondary glazing to have the draughts on warm / hot days!

    Here I now live in a listed building and have installed wooden sash windows with double glazing as replacements for the old ones. Not as noise free as UPVC ones would be but that's the deal, and the noise is only from bulls, cows, flocks of geese, upset sheep and the odd rumble of tractors. Nothing to disturb.
    • Boler1985
    • By Boler1985 22nd Mar 17, 2:23 AM
    • 132 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    Boler1985
    In my previous house, both listed and in a Conservation area, we couldn't replace the Georgian sash windows at all.
    Originally posted by Gers
    This is similar to my dispute with the council. By law no planning authority can stop you from replacing windows that do not materially affect the external appearance of the building.

    However there is no statuary definition of "material change" but unfortunately there are extremely snitty, overzealous planning officials that like to be as unreasonable as possible and interpret any change from single to double glazing as a material change.
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