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    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 15th May 17, 6:21 PM
    • 41Posts
    • 13Thanks
    slightlychilled
    Missing planning permission
    • #1
    • 15th May 17, 6:21 PM
    Missing planning permission 15th May 17 at 6:21 PM
    It has come to light that the property I am in the middle of purchasing, has no planning permission for the detached garage on the grounds. The current seller did not build it. I am hearing mutterings of "indemnity insurance" that the vendor can take to protect me.I'm not sure how far reaching this is and my solicitor is frankly rubbish but I can't change her. If I was to ever sell the property would this "indemnity insurance" protect my buyer ? I don't want this forever hanging over my head.
    I personally am tempted to accept the indemnity insurance as a temporary measure but request the seller obtains retrospective planning permission. Is this a reasonable demand or have I misunderstood the situation? Could I ask for a reduction in sale price ?
Page 2
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 15th May 17, 10:32 PM
    • 2,937 Posts
    • 5,348 Thanks
    EachPenny
    Why do you say my tone is "unchilled" ?
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    Starting posts with "Yes I can tell the difference, I was merely answering your question factually." and "Well which is it ?" is hardly friendly, and the odd 'thanks' here and there might be appreciated by the various people trying to help you here.

    It states,
    Development becomes immune from enforcement if no action is taken:
    • Within 4 years of substantial completion for a breach of planning control consisting of operational development;
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    Which isn't the same as "In any event the council can't take any action as the garage is well over 4 years old"

    RLH33 would hopefully advise you that when it comes to planning it is wise never to make assumptions, and always read the small print.

    Before deciding you are in the clear because the garage looks "well over 4 years old" you need to establish if the council have already taken any enforcement action the vendor might have forgotten to tell you about, plus establish the substantial completion date, preferably with some kind of evidence to support it.

    You've seen the garage and know what it looks like. lincroft1710 said "It is most likely too late for the council to do anything about it" without having a clue how old it was. That's the kind of assumption which causes people to have planning problems.

    The advice you've been getting also only relates to planning - councils do more than just planning, there are other reasons why they could require you to remove the garage and if you want a proper answer to your original question then you need better advice than 'its over 4 years old so no problem'.

    You've also now raised the issue of a covenant - who is it in favour of?
    Last edited by EachPenny; 15-05-2017 at 10:35 PM. Reason: Formatting
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 15th May 17, 10:40 PM
    • 23,969 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    Detached garages are classed as outbuildings and usually fall under Permitted Development rights.

    This is the guidance. You should be able to establish whether it is PD from it:
    https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/43/outbuildings

    But as everyone else says, enforcement cannot be taken after 4 years (unless in a designated area) even if did need PP at the time. Unless it's a listed building or suchlike, this is likely to be a non-issue.

    A covenant in the deeds is totally unrelated to obtaining planning permission. The planning office do not care what is in a covenant - that is your own issue to deal with. Different indemnities are available for covenants. Covenants can only be enforced by the party named in the deeds. What is the liklihood of the owner of your covenant coming out of the woodwork - and are you sure it covers garages? Older ones usually only cover additional dwellings. Is it a Barratt type estate?
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 15-05-2017 at 10:42 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 15th May 17, 11:03 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    slightlychilled
    A covenant in the deeds is totally unrelated to obtaining planning permission. The planning office do not care what is in a covenant - that is your own issue to deal with. Different indemnities are available for covenants. Covenants can only be enforced by the party named in the deeds. What is the liklihood of the owner of your covenant coming out of the woodwork - and are you sure it covers garages? Older ones usually only cover additional dwellings. Is it a Barratt type estate?

    I'm lost, if the covenant states that planning permission must be obtained for any outbuildings how can that be unrelated ? The owner of the covenant is the council and no, it's not a Barratt estate.
    Anyway seems everyone is agreed that the 4 year cut-off has passed and the garage is OK.

    Thanks to all who contributed useful advice.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 16th May 17, 12:12 AM
    • 23,969 Posts
    • 66,532 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    A covenant in the deeds is totally unrelated to obtaining planning permission. The planning office do not care what is in a covenant - that is your own issue to deal with. Different indemnities are available for covenants. Covenants can only be enforced by the party named in the deeds. What is the liklihood of the owner of your covenant coming out of the woodwork - and are you sure it covers garages? Older ones usually only cover additional dwellings. Is it a Barratt type estate?

    I'm lost, if the covenant states that planning permission must be obtained for any outbuildings how can that be unrelated ? The owner of the covenant is the council and no, it's not a Barratt estate.
    Anyway seems everyone is agreed that the 4 year cut-off has passed and the garage is OK.

    Thanks to all who contributed useful advice.
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    You could interpret that as needing planning permission 'if it needs' planning permission. PD is itself a form of planning permission afforded to most houses.

    You can't force the council to give you something you don't need. I could have a covenant saying that I have to live in my house with George Clooney but it doesn't mean he has to agree with it.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 16th May 17, 8:30 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    slightlychilled
    I just don't want this subject to be ever mentioned again if or when I sell the house, I want to put it to bed now. I'm thinking along the lines of suggesting to my solicitor that my seller takes indemnity insurance as a temporary measure to meet the exchange deadlines, with the proviso the garage is added to all legal documents asap at his cost. How does that sound ?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 16th May 17, 9:02 AM
    • 6,127 Posts
    • 5,874 Thanks
    davidmcn
    I'm thinking along the lines of suggesting to my solicitor that my seller takes indemnity insurance as a temporary measure to meet the exchange deadlines, with the proviso the garage is added to all legal documents asap at his cost.
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    What do you mean by "added to all legal documents"?
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 16th May 17, 9:12 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    slightlychilled
    What do you mean by "added to all legal documents"?
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    If only I knew. I didn't expect to have to be chasing stuff I assumed my solicitor would do. I have a pile of papers, land registry, various searches etc etc and none of them have the garage marked or mentioned on any plans or drawings. I think it should be there as other houses in the vicinity have outbuildings and such marked on the plans and diagrams.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 16th May 17, 9:16 AM
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    davidmcn
    If only I knew. I didn't expect to have to be chasing stuff I assumed my solicitor would do. I have a pile of papers, land registry, various searches etc etc and none of them have the garage marked or mentioned on any plans or drawings. I think it should be there as other houses in the vicinity have outbuildings and such marked on the plans and diagrams.
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    You own the land, whatever is built on it. Whether the plans show that the Ordnance Survey have updated all outbuildings etc doesn't make any difference from a legal point of view, what matters is whether the outline shows the correct boundaries of the land.
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 16th May 17, 9:27 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    slightlychilled
    You own the land, whatever is built on it. Whether the plans show that the Ordnance Survey have updated all outbuildings etc doesn't make any difference from a legal point of view, what matters is whether the outline shows the correct boundaries of the land.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    Hmm.... I find it extraordinary that council planning offices don't have accurate details of structures on any land. I would have thought it could make a huge difference to future planning permissions. Forgive my ignorance but does this mean that all buildings erected under "permitted development" are not documented anywhere ?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 16th May 17, 9:32 AM
    • 6,127 Posts
    • 5,874 Thanks
    davidmcn
    Hmm.... I find it extraordinary that council planning offices don't have accurate details of structures on any land. I would have thought it could make a huge difference to future planning permissions. Forgive my ignorance but does this mean that all buildings erected under "permitted development" are not documented anywhere ?
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    The whole point of permitted development is that you don't need to contact the planners to ask for permission. So no, they're not likely to have details of things erected under permitted development, or even of things erected which should have had planning consent but didn't apply for it.
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 16th May 17, 9:42 AM
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    • 13 Thanks
    slightlychilled
    The whole point of permitted development is that you don't need to contact the planners to ask for permission. So no, they're not likely to have details of things erected under permitted development, or even of things erected which should have had planning consent but didn't apply for it.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    I guess my concerns are unfounded and I'll just leave it to the solicitor to do as she sees fit. I can't help feeling uneasy, I feel as though I'm buying something that has no legal right to be sold to me.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 16th May 17, 10:18 AM
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    Doozergirl
    I guess my concerns are unfounded and I'll just leave it to the solicitor to do as she sees fit. I can't help feeling uneasy, I feel as though I'm buying something that has no legal right to be sold to me.
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    Then, in the nicest way, you need to tell the little voice in your head to pipe down.

    When people apply for future planning permission after using PD, they have to provide drawings of what exists and the planners do a site visit. They assess against what exists at the time. The whole purpose of PD is to cut down on paperwork. There is no potential issue with future planning.

    Have a read of the permitted development guidance, you should really should be able to assess whether it is PD and that should put that niggling feeling to rest, especially combined with the guidance on enforcement. Fact is, you will never be able to prevent a future buyer's solicitor from raising things unnecessarily. You just need a decent solicitor and the facts to be able to bat those things straight back.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 16th May 17, 10:38 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    slightlychilled
    Then, in the nicest way, you need to tell the little voice in your head to pipe down.

    When people apply for future planning permission after using PD, they have to provide drawings of what exists and the planners do a site visit. They assess against what exists at the time. The whole purpose of PD is to cut down on paperwork. There is no potential issue with future planning.

    Have a read of the permitted development guidance, you should really should be able to assess whether it is PD and that should put that niggling feeling to rest, especially combined with the guidance on enforcement. Fact is, you will never be able to prevent a future buyer's solicitor from raising things unnecessarily. You just need a decent solicitor and the facts to be able to bat those things straight back.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    I'm calming down a bit thanks I had no idea that permitted development superceded any covenants. I assumed that covenants always had to be adhered to and that was why they were there in the first place.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 16th May 17, 3:50 PM
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    lincroft1710

    lincroft1710 said "It is most likely too late for the council to do anything about it" without having a clue how old it was. That's the kind of assumption which causes people to have planning problems.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    The OP had stated in his first post that the garage had been erected by a previous owner, not the person he was buying from. Therefore there was a good chance the garage would be more than 4 years old. Hence I said "most likely" not "definitely".

    Over the years I have seen countless garages and extensions without pp, none have ever been the subject of a subsequent planning enforcement.
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 17th May 17, 1:54 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    slightlychilled
    Whilst I'm waiting for my useless solicitor to get back to me, can someone run me through the practicalities of an indemnity policy.
    1. What exactly does the seller do and what does he give me ?
    2. I assume he gives me a piece of paper ?, do I pass this on to my seller if I ever resell or do I have to get a new policy myself ?
    3. I assume the policy covers all the costs in demolishing the garage ?
    4. Does it also cover the loss in re-sale value of the property ?
    5. How is the loss in re-sale value calculated, does a detached garage have a standard value for purposes of insurance ?
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 17th May 17, 2:19 PM
    • 1,243 Posts
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    Surrey_EA
    Whilst I'm waiting for my useless solicitor to get back to me, can someone run me through the practicalities of an indemnity policy.
    1. What exactly does the seller do and what does he give me ?
    2. I assume he gives me a piece of paper ?, do I pass this on to my seller if I ever resell or do I have to get a new policy myself ?
    3. I assume the policy covers all the costs in demolishing the garage ?
    4. Does it also cover the loss in re-sale value of the property ?
    5. How is the loss in re-sale value calculated, does a detached garage have a standard value for purposes of insurance ?
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    They're really a total waste of time, and something of a con. I wish I had set up a company providing indemnity insurance 20 years ago, I would now be rich beyond my wildest dreams.

    I have never ever heard of someone claiming on an indemnity policy. I'm sure it has happened, once, or perhaps twice, and there will now be someone along to post that they know of such an occurrence, but my word it is a rare thing.

    However, in this litigious world where nobody seems to be willing to take accountability for anything they have become a get out of jail free card to keep mortgage lenders happy, and make the solicitor feel they have covered themselves.

    I can say with almost complete certainty that the garage will never need to be demolished as a result of not having planning, and so it is not worth worrying about how a lack of garage may affect the property value.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 17th May 17, 2:23 PM
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    lincroft1710
    They're really a total waste of time, and something of a con. I wish I had set up a company providing indemnity insurance 20 years ago, I would now be rich beyond my wildest dreams.

    I have never ever heard of someone claiming on an indemnity policy. I'm sure it has happened, once, or perhaps twice, and there will now be someone along to post that they know of such an occurrence, but my word it is a rare thing.

    However, in this litigious world where nobody seems to be willing to take accountability for anything they have become a get out of jail free card to keep mortgage lenders happy, and make the solicitor feel they have covered themselves.

    I can say with almost complete certainty that the garage will never need to be demolished as a result of not having planning, and so it is not worth worrying about how a lack of garage may affect the property value.
    Originally posted by Surrey_EA
    I agree wholeheartedly
    • n217970
    • By n217970 17th May 17, 3:04 PM
    • 220 Posts
    • 155 Thanks
    n217970
    They're really a total waste of time, and something of a con. I wish I had set up a company providing indemnity insurance 20 years ago, I would now be rich beyond my wildest dreams.
    Originally posted by Surrey_EA
    From a sellers point of view they are fantastic. Don't bother getting building regs approval for anything, pay £35 for a policy to make it all go away.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 17th May 17, 3:59 PM
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    lincroft1710
    From a sellers point of view they are fantastic. Don't bother getting building regs approval for anything, pay £35 for a policy to make it all go away.
    Originally posted by n217970
    Not obtaining building regs approval is more likely to result in potential buyers losing interest. At least those sensible enough to read these threads.
    Last edited by lincroft1710; 17-05-2017 at 4:02 PM.
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 17th May 17, 5:23 PM
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    slightlychilled
    Please tell me there is a distinction between ignoring buliding regulations and crossing a grey line in permitted development.
    Going back to my original questions, I would still like to know whether an indemnity policy is for the life of the garage or just for me as a buyer ?
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