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  • FIRST POST
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 15th May 17, 6:21 PM
    • 29Posts
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    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 4
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 17th May 17, 9:50 PM
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    davidmcn
    We'd need to see the rest of the deed to be sure (in particular, how it defines "Council"), but I think we are almost certainly talking about the council wearing its property-owner hat, rather than its planning authority hat. So on the face of it their consent is needed to anything (including things which happen to be permitted development under planning law). They could be asked for retrospective consent (probably a formality, but may delay things). Or it could be covered with an indemnity policy. Which is probably the minimum you should be asking for, so you can wave it at awkward buyers/lenders in the future.

    Whether it should have had planning permission is a separate question.
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 17th May 17, 9:51 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    slightlychilled
    What more information could you need ? I've quoted the covenant word for word. I've given you the owner of the covenant and the original landowner which are one and the same person i.e. the local council - defined as "Local metropolitan council". What else is missing ?
    Last edited by slightlychilled; 17-05-2017 at 9:58 PM.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 17th May 17, 10:03 PM
    • 625 Posts
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    EachPenny
    I should know planning and building control better than a solicitor does.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    That's easily achieved when you are dealing with the average solicitor Get them onto Local Government law, policy & strategy, highways and drainage they are totally lost
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 17th May 17, 10:09 PM
    • 625 Posts
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    EachPenny
    What more information could you need ? I've quoted the covenant word for word. I've given you the owner of the covenant and the original landowner which are one and the same person i.e. the local council - defined as "Local metropolitan council". What else is missing ?
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    Sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but you are displaying the 'unchilled' attitude again.

    You need legal advice from a solicitor. If you aren't happy with the one you've got you need to get another.

    People are offering you good advice, but instead of thanking them you just snap back with demands. I reckon so far you have had the equivalent of the best part of 3k of free legal advice - which doesn't count for anything if there is something important you haven't told us. And on the evidence so far there is probably a lot more to this story that we don't yet know.

    Please, go and see your solicitor and stop asking questions you cannot get answers to from online strangers.

    We can suggest the things you need to ask, we cannot give you the answer you need.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 17th May 17, 10:17 PM
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    davidmcn
    What more information could you need ? I've quoted the covenant word for word. I've given you the owner of the covenant and the original landowner which are one and the same person i.e. the local council - defined as "Local metropolitan council". What else is missing ?
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    Because I haven't seen the rest of the deed, I don't know what else might be missing. The bit you quoted included "Council", and words in deeds with initial capitals are often defined terms, either in the preamble or elsewhere in the deed.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 17th May 17, 10:24 PM
    • 23,167 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    What more information could you need ? I've quoted the covenant word for word. I've given you the owner of the covenant and the original landowner which are one and the same person i.e. the local council - defined as "Local metropolitan council". What else is missing ?
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    I think that's enough now. Your solicitor has all the information and the benefit of not trying to provide professional advice from a forum post. You might want to read your own OP again as it provided almost no information at all.

    We've done a pretty good job in eeking out the information that we have, given where we are now.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 17-05-2017 at 10:28 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 17th May 17, 10:25 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    slightlychilled
    Because I haven't seen the rest of the deed, I don't know what else might be missing. The bit you quoted included "Council", and words in deeds with initial capitals are often defined terms, either in the preamble or elsewhere in the deed.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    Council is defined as "CITY OF XXX METROPOLITAN COUNCIL"
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 17th May 17, 10:29 PM
    • 23,167 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    I wish I'd not gotten involved.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 17th May 17, 10:30 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    slightlychilled
    Sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but you are displaying the 'unchilled' attitude again.

    You need legal advice from a solicitor. If you aren't happy with the one you've got you need to get another.

    People are offering you good advice, but instead of thanking them you just snap back with demands. I reckon so far you have had the equivalent of the best part of 3k of free legal advice - which doesn't count for anything if there is something important you haven't told us. And on the evidence so far there is probably a lot more to this story that we don't yet know.

    Please, go and see your solicitor and stop asking questions you cannot get answers to from online strangers.

    We can suggest the things you need to ask, we cannot give you the answer you need.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    Some posters have tried to help but not you. You have some agenda known only to yourself so kindly don't reply anymore.
    I appreciate regulars on this forum use phrases and terminology that is obvious to each other, but to someone like me who has no knowledge of these things, it is very confusing.

    I have gleaned so far that I need, 2 indemnity policies, one for council (covenant) consent and one for planning permission.The worst case scenario is that the council demolishes the garage and the indemnity policy reverts the area to garden and reimburses for loss in re-sale value.
    Can it get any worse that that ?
    If that is the worst that can happen, I have no issues with that.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 17th May 17, 10:41 PM
    • 625 Posts
    • 375 Thanks
    EachPenny
    Some posters have tried to help but not you. You have some agenda known only to yourself so kindly don't reply anymore.
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    It is a public forum we are all allowed to post where we like. Posting is also for the benefit of other people who might read this thread in future and may be misled by bad or inappropriate advice. The first piece of advice is to give as much information as you can and listen to what people are saying.

    My only 'agenda' is to help people. I know that the best way to help people sometimes is to tell them to seek professional advice rather than taking the advice from strangers with unknown motives and unknown credentials. Even if they are advising with good intentions, none of us know everything.

    You think I have not helped? Perhaps you class me in the same way as your solicitor you are so rude about?

    If you show your solicitor the things I've posted and ask her is this helpful I think I can predict her reply. You say yourself you have no knowledge of this subject, so how on earth can you judge the value of the help I've given? As far as I am concerned it doesn't matter. The people who understand and appreciate good advice when they see it are the ones whose opinion I value.

    On than note I'll say goodnight to Doozergirl and Davidmcn and wish you all the very best with your purchase.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 17th May 17, 10:52 PM
    • 625 Posts
    • 375 Thanks
    EachPenny
    Because I haven't seen the rest of the deed, I don't know what else might be missing. The bit you quoted included "Council", and words in deeds with initial capitals are often defined terms, either in the preamble or elsewhere in the deed.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    P.s. davidmcn, when I see the word "Council" I start looking more closely, in Local Government it can have a specific meaning. People often assume 'authority' and 'borough' mean the same thing and 'council' is often used as a shorthand for both. The precise term used in a preamble etc may give a clue as to the best strategy to adopt. You seem to have a legal knowledge so I thought that might come in useful for you one day. Apologies if I'm teaching my granny etc.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 17th May 17, 11:08 PM
    • 23,167 Posts
    • 65,090 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    Some posters have tried to help but not you. You have some agenda known only to yourself so kindly don't reply anymore.
    I appreciate regulars on this forum use phrases and terminology that is obvious to each other, but to someone like me who has no knowledge of these things, it is very confusing.

    I have gleaned so far that I need, 2 indemnity policies, one for council (covenant) consent and one for planning permission.The worst case scenario is that the council demolishes the garage and the indemnity policy reverts the area to garden and reimburses for loss in re-sale value.
    Can it get any worse that that ?
    If that is the worst that can happen, I have no issues with that.
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    The comments to each Penny are unjustified.

    Your worst case scenario will never happen, so it isn't the worst case scenario. I can't fathom how this view hasn't changed from the beginning of the thread.

    Everyone that has posted has tried to help and Each Penny has picked up on something that others didn't.

    I appreciate it might be confusing, but it might be less so if you studied links provided etc. to help with what is primarily an issue that pops up here on a daily basis. The problem isn't the advice.

    It is ultimately your responsibility to understand what you are getting into.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 17-05-2017 at 11:12 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 17th May 17, 11:23 PM
    • 625 Posts
    • 375 Thanks
    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.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Hi lincroft1710. I meant to reply to your post earlier but got distracted by something else. On reflection I felt the way I worded my post was rather harsh on you and for that I apologise.

    However, the point I was making remains valid. We have no idea whether the OP's vendor is telling the truth when they say it was built by a previous owner, or indeed that the vendor has even claimed such a thing. My guess, which I'm probably not alone in, is that the date range 1982-2009 relates to the previous ownership.

    As davidmcn tried to explore, but was 'snapped at', this date range is of no help when trying to give advice. If the OP couldn't narrow it down to say 2005-2009 then how confident can we be that it wasn't built 2009-2014? And then we are into the range of less than 4 years ago.

    There is also the issue of 'substantial completion' and of subsequent modifications. A bloke in the pub might say "I built it 5 years ago" but not think it relevant that the roof wasn't finished until the following summer. Or perhaps the vendor might have changed the flat roof for a pitched one a couple of years ago, even though it was 'built' by the last owner. All of this is relevant to planning law - a precise history of the building needs to be established - with evidence if possible - before assuming that it is more than 4 years old and therefore ok.

    Planning departments don't have plans of buildings constructed without consent or under PD. But they do have documents that might show the non-existence of a building at a certain date and resources which allow them to identify approximately when changes or additions have been made. All of that can be done without leaving the desk... which is a good thing because most of them are too busy drinking tea and coffee to go prowling round the neighbourhood looking for unauthorised development

    I've seen many garages and extensions subject to planning enforcement, even whole blocks of flats. Maybe we just know about different areas of the country, or have access to different information?
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • slightlychilled
    • By slightlychilled 17th May 17, 11:46 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    slightlychilled
    "If the OP couldn't narrow it down to say 2005-2009 then how confident can we be that it wasn't built 2009-2014? And then we are into the range of less than 4 years ago."

    The garage was most defintely not built after 2009 as I stated.
    I really don't appreciate you accusing me of lying. What is wrong with you ? Why are you back here trying to confuse the issue yet again with unnecessary comments ?
    Last edited by slightlychilled; 18-05-2017 at 12:04 AM.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 17th May 17, 11:54 PM
    • 23,167 Posts
    • 65,090 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    Hi lincroft1710. I meant to reply to your post earlier but got distracted by something else. On reflection I felt the way I worded my post was rather harsh on you and for that I apologise.

    However, the point I was making remains valid. We have no idea whether the OP's vendor is telling the truth when they say it was built by a previous owner, or indeed that the vendor has even claimed such a thing. My guess, which I'm probably not alone in, is that the date range 1982-2009 relates to the previous ownership.

    As davidmcn tried to explore, but was 'snapped at', this date range is of no help when trying to give advice. If the OP couldn't narrow it down to say 2005-2009 then how confident can we be that it wasn't built 2009-2014? And then we are into the range of less than 4 years ago.

    There is also the issue of 'substantial completion' and of subsequent modifications. A bloke in the pub might say "I built it 5 years ago" but not think it relevant that the roof wasn't finished until the following summer. Or perhaps the vendor might have changed the flat roof for a pitched one a couple of years ago, even though it was 'built' by the last owner. All of this is relevant to planning law - a precise history of the building needs to be established - with evidence if possible - before assuming that it is more than 4 years old and therefore ok.

    Planning departments don't have plans of buildings constructed without consent or under PD. But they do have documents that might show the non-existence of a building at a certain date and resources which allow them to identify approximately when changes or additions have been made. All of that can be done without leaving the desk... which is a good thing because most of them are too busy drinking tea and coffee to go prowling round the neighbourhood looking for unauthorised development

    I've seen many garages and extensions subject to planning enforcement, even whole blocks of flats. Maybe we just know about different areas of the country, or have access to different information?
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    Google Earth is everybody's friend. It has backdated images. As does streetview.

    We don't need hearsay. It's quite easy to check back, especially just four years.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 18th May 17, 12:54 AM
    • 625 Posts
    • 375 Thanks
    EachPenny
    The garage was most defintely not built after 2009 as I stated.
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    If you have evidence of that it would have been useful to hear it in the early part of this thread. You are also still missing the point that it isn't just about when it was 'built'. It is about 'substantial completion' and also whether any modifications have been made subsequently.

    I really don't appreciate you accusing me of lying. What is wrong with you ? Why are you back here trying to confuse the issue yet again with unnecessary comments ?
    Originally posted by slightlychilled
    I was back to apologise to lincroft1710 and to explain to them, and anyone else interested, why going from "The current seller did not build it." to "It is most likely too late for the council to do anything about it" is a massive leap of faith, and not really justified. Especially from the perspective of someone intending to purchase a property who should be looking out for reasons not to buy, or to ensure appropriate indemnity, rather than justifying someone else's previous actions.

    I think as a result of the discussion we have now established that in fact the council almost certainly can do something about it, and is probably able to do it in perpetuity unless the covenant has a time limit on it. Whether the council decides to do something is an entirely different question, which nobody on here can answer. That's why you've been advised to seek professional help.

    Finally, I did not accuse you of lying.
    Last edited by EachPenny; 18-05-2017 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Formatting
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 18th May 17, 1:07 AM
    • 625 Posts
    • 375 Thanks
    EachPenny
    Google Earth is everybody's friend. It has backdated images. As does streetview.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    I disagree, it isn't the friend of unlawful developers

    Some authorities began using (and archiving) high quality digital aerial pictures from the mid-1990's. I remember using images of 50cm and sometimes even 30cm resolution as far back as 1997. Certainly good enough to spot the sudden appearance of a garage in someone's garden - unless it is under a tree.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 18th May 17, 6:20 AM
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    Doozergirl
    If you have evidence of that it would have been useful to hear it in the early part of this thread. You are also still missing the point that it isn't just about when it was 'built'. It is about 'substantial completion' and also whether any modifications have been made subsequently.



    I was back to apologise to lincroft1710 and to explain to them, and anyone else interested, why going from "The current seller did not build it." to "It is most likely too late for the council to do anything about it" is a massive leap of faith, and not really justified. Especially from the perspective of someone intending to purchase a property who should be looking out for reasons not to buy, or to ensure appropriate indemnity, rather than justifying someone else's previous actions.

    I think as a result of the discussion we have now established that in fact the council almost certainly can do something about it, and is probably able to do it in perpetuity unless the covenant has a time limit on it. Whether the council decides to do something is an entirely different question, which nobody on here can answer. That's why you've been advised to seek professional help.

    Finally, I did not accuse you of lying.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    You're splitting hairs.

    It is absolutely possible for most people to make an assessment to decide if something was 'definitely' built, completed or substantially altered before a date, especially where that date is recent and especially where it is a simple garage.

    We can and should give the OP the benefit of the doubt to decide for themselves if they are sure.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
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