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    • baisui
    • By baisui 12th Jun 17, 10:15 PM
    • 10Posts
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    baisui
    permitted use issue
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:15 PM
    permitted use issue 12th Jun 17 at 10:15 PM
    Hi -- would be very grateful for any advice on the following situation...

    A planning search shows that a house I'm trying to buy was given permission to change permitted use to 'Katie House'(!) in 1993 -- the planning document explains that means 3 separate bedsits plus a communal lounge, it was some kind of social/halfway house.

    The current owner bought in 2014 and changed it back to a single residence.

    My solicitor has asked for evidence of change of permitted use, the vendor says that's not necessary because the 1993 permission was specifically granted to a named person.

    The vendor's conclusion is that the use would automatically revert to being a residence, since there is no one around who has permission to operate it as a 'Katie House'.

    Any thoughts? Is this something that could be covered by indemnity insurance?

    TIA
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Jun 17, 10:26 PM
    • 40,543 Posts
    • 46,375 Thanks
    G_M
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:26 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:26 PM
    What do

    a) your solicitor, and
    b) the council say?

    You have asked them, yes?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 12th Jun 17, 10:28 PM
    • 5,604 Posts
    • 5,381 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:28 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:28 PM
    the vendor says that's not necessary because the 1993 permission was specifically granted to a named person.
    Originally posted by baisui
    Does your solicitor agree? Is that what the permission says i.e. as a condition it can only be operated by a named person? Every planning consent is granted to a named applicant, that doesn't mean they're personal in that sense - in fact it's pretty rare for a consent to be personal.
    • lwhiteman88
    • By lwhiteman88 12th Jun 17, 10:39 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    lwhiteman88
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:39 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:39 PM
    Does the planning decision notice not define the planning use class? Are you able to post a link to the application. I am quite intrigued/sceptical as I have never heard of this. Planners provide permission on the land and not to a particular person. Hence why I am intrigued.

    It sounds like it changed from a class C3 to C4 and has since been changed back to a C3 which wouldn't require permission.

    If you had time on your hand you/vendor could apply to the planning department for a 'certificate of lawful development - existing use' which would clarify that the existing use is lawful but that could take 8 weeks.
    • baisui
    • By baisui 12th Jun 17, 11:07 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    baisui
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:07 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:07 PM
    Thanks for the responses.

    My solicitor just sent me their response today without comment, I will speak to her tomorrow.

    I would post an image of the doc, but the forum won't let me post links/images.

    A summary:

    Council has granted permission for development in pursuance of S 91(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act.

    This permission to use premises as three flats with communal lounge and outreach facilities shall not be exercised by any person than [sic] Mr X.

    This permission is granted only having regard to the special circumstances of and case advanced by Mr X.
    • baisui
    • By baisui 12th Jun 17, 11:11 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    baisui
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:11 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:11 PM
    Does the planning decision notice not define the planning use class? Are you able to post a link to the application. I am quite intrigued/sceptical as I have never heard of this. Planners provide permission on the land and not to a particular person. Hence why I am intrigued.

    It sounds like it changed from a class C3 to C4 and has since been changed back to a C3 which wouldn't require permission.

    If you had time on your hand you/vendor could apply to the planning department for a 'certificate of lawful development - existing use' which would clarify that the existing use is lawful but that could take 8 weeks.
    Originally posted by lwhiteman88
    It doesn't mention anything about classes at all.

    Our solicitor initially asked theirs to provide a certificate as you suggested, but now time is pressing. They are buying and we're trying to get mortgage redemption fees back. We're due to exchange next week. That could be pushed back a little but not much before it ends up costing us a lot of money. So I'm just trying to work out my options in the first instance.
    • baisui
    • By baisui 12th Jun 17, 11:18 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    baisui
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:18 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:18 PM
    What do

    a) your solicitor, and
    b) the council say?

    You have asked them, yes?
    Originally posted by G_M
    Am a bit worried about approaching the council -- there is an indemnity policy for other issues: old attic conversion and extension without permissions -- don't want to invalidate the policy.
    • lwhiteman88
    • By lwhiteman88 13th Jun 17, 7:12 AM
    • 75 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    lwhiteman88
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:12 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:12 AM
    Thanks for the responses.

    My solicitor just sent me their response today without comment, I will speak to her tomorrow.

    I would post an image of the doc, but the forum won't let me post links/images.

    A summary:
    Originally posted by baisui
    I have never seen this before so I can really comment on the practicalities of this. If it is as it says then you would hope that your solicitor/lender can see it only relates to the person named. It seems that it could have been for a charity as it mentions outreach facilities.

    I think the best way to resolve this would be to speak to a planning consultant who could prepare a statement stating that the single swelling use you are proposing is lawful. They may caveat that a lawful certificate should be applied for but the letter may give enough weight to suit the solicitor/vendor.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 13th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
    • 23,551 Posts
    • 65,674 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 8:22 AM
    Having a certificate of lawful development doesn't mean that not having one makes it unlawful. Permitted development is permitted development with or without a piece of paper.

    I think the named planning permission is a bit of a red herring that is complicating matters.

    You can call the planning department and ask them if a house laid out as three bedsits with communal lounge can be converted to a single dwelling under PD rights. You don't need to name the house.

    If they confirm that it would be PD then no paperwork is needed. Sometimes solicitors go over the top and don't really know what they're asking for.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • lwhiteman88
    • By lwhiteman88 13th Jun 17, 9:51 AM
    • 75 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    lwhiteman88
    Having a certificate of lawful development doesn't mean that not having one makes it unlawful. Permitted development is permitted development with or without a piece of paper.

    I think the named planning permission is a bit of a red herring that is complicating matters.

    You can call the planning department and ask them if a house laid out as three bedsits with communal lounge can be converted to a single dwelling under PD rights. You don't need to name the house.

    If they confirm that it would be PD then no paperwork is needed. Sometimes solicitors go over the top and don't really know what they're asking for.
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Solicitors/vendors won't go by a phone call with a duty planning officer. There is a reason why we have lawful certificates and that's to have in writing that it conforms to the permitted development rights. I have seen hundreds of cases where people are advised/believe that what they are doing complies with permitted development only to apply for the certificate and being refused.

    I always advise my clients to obtain the certificate even if they are certain as you can never be until you have it in writing.
    • lwhiteman88
    • By lwhiteman88 13th Jun 17, 10:05 AM
    • 75 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    lwhiteman88
    Just wanted to add that this isn't a clearcase of changing from a C4 to C3. It appears it could be a 'suis generis' to C3 which could require planning permission.
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