building and construction guide
   |   Home   |   Contact us    |   Link exchange   |    Article   |  information resources, UK, building a home, building an extension, exempt structures, planning permission, planning approval, building control advice, building guide, what can you build without planning, one stop shop for all building advice. Locating building information, home improvement advice, planning and building control advice with other building information on the web. UK information resources directory for building houses, extensions, conversions, internal alterations, obtaining local authority consents, planning approval, building regulations approval, listed building consent, exempt structures, exempt buildings, permitted development with all other aspects of building on the web.



business opportunities
home businesses
extra income
pension planning
making money
saving on tax

affiliate marketing
web site traffic

property investing
property refurbishment
buying overseas property
moving house
home letting
buy to let
home improvements

home electricals

cheap telephone calls
mobile phones
freephone numbers
cheap utilities


health and fitness
the great outdoors
party time

new car
car insurance
car hire



other sponsors

marriage divorce separation
planning permission
motorcycle training
architectural services
cheap utilities
work from home
plan 4-group directory
roof inspection surveys
find a builder web sites
ophthalmic engineers
gentlemen escorts
telecom plus distributor
fun casino
malibu beach
bar sargantana
learn to dance salsa
plan 4 divorce
plan 4 cancer


Planning Permission Tips UK - Illegal Building Works - Is there an Upside?

By Martin Meaks

Many times throughout the year we are called in to assist people who have got into trouble by completing building works without Council permission. This can be either Planning or Building Regulations - often both. Guess when this 'illegal' building works is usually exposed - Right at the time when the home owner is under the most pressure and exposure to other abortive fees - you guessed it - WHEN THEY ARE ABOUT TO MOVE HOME!

I am amazed at the blinkered approach most homeowners have to completing building works without the required council consent. They just bury their heads in the sand and think that it will not be exposed - HOW WRONG MOST HOMEOWNERS ARE.

They seem to forget that most purchasers surveyors just love it when they are able to expose any illegal building works that may assist the purchaser in pulling out of the sale (strange I here you say) - you see they get paid for their survey report irrespective of the homes condition and by exposing illegal building works they obtain a 'get out of jail free card' - in other words, the purchaser is likely to pull out of the sale and not rely on the contents of the survey and thereby the surveyor reduces their exposure to negligent claims from the purchaser when some other form of defect may be discovered later on.

Not only this, but illegal building works also exposes the homeowner to clever purchasers who then use this aspect to literally blackmail the homeowner into accepting a vastly reduced offer price. If you have already invested in reciprocal professional fees, moving costs and other commitments you suddenly become what the trade calls a 'motivated purchaser' and likely to accept a far lower offer due to your personal commitments and desires.

You are then faced with a panic - to resolve the situation by applying for retrospective consents which will have a financial cost and loss of time implication thereby at high risk of losing your current purchaser.

HOWEVER, all that said - we do need to place a little perspective on the situation for some balance. Firstly it is perhaps a bit unfair to call the works 'illegal'. A better term would be 'un-approved' - remember this is not criminal legislation we are dealing with.

Also, there is a time element that affects the seriousness of the breach of control. Generally speaking, if the works have been completed for 4 years or longer then the Planning Department cannot normally insist on a retrospective permission or require the works to be removed. Building Control on the other hand have a shorter period for compliance which is normally two years. After this time (and provided the works are not an obvious risk to health and safety) they can only normally make a note within your property file. They are normally unable to insist that the works are retrospectively approved after this time.

As a guide, if you fall into this category, the longer the un-approved works have been in place, the easier it is for surveyors and purchasers to accept the works 'as is' without too much detriment to the properties value. The reason for this is clear - someone has to take a view that the works are not going to be removed or fall apart after a period of time.

Most people are surprised to find that both the Planning Department and the Building Control Department have formal applications to regularise the un-approved building works. The risk for the homeowner is how much more works are required to the property to make it comply. Often building works have to be demolished and reinstalled to the approved standard.

Therefore, any homeowner fully aware that they have completed un-approved building works and soon to move home should now put into action a 'regularisation plan' to avoid the 'eleventh hour' panic described above. Seeking early professional advice and guidance from a professional Building Designer or surveyor should be your first port of call rather than approaching the council direct.

Our 'Maximum Build Planning Guide' explains further the issues involved when installing un-approved building works.

Our 'Maximum Build Planning Guide' explains further the issues involved when extending or developing a property for planning permission.

DISCLAIMER - Please note that all articles on this web site does not constitute professional advice. All articles are intended to provide a general view of many topical subjects from a variety of sources. We are not responsible for the content or any sponsored links that you may choose to visit from this web site. We suggest you to consult a solicitor and your doctor for advice relevant to you own situation before making any important decisions.  The author is not an expert in any given field. By printing, downloading, or using you agree to our full terms. Below is a summary of some of the terms. If you do not agree to the full terms, do not use the information. We are only publishers of this material, not authors. Information may have errors or be outdated. Some information is from historical sources or represents opinions of the author. It is for research purposes only. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages. We are not liable for any consequential, incidental, indirect, or special damages. You indemnify us for claims caused by you.


|  © Plan4 Group 2005