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missing planning permission

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  • missing planning permission

    I wondered if anybody out there could advise me. I've just discovered that the previous owners of my house added a balcony without seeking planning permission. The balcony was built around 1999. I'm wondering whether to seek retrospective planning permission but am concerned what would happen if the council turns down my application, as it would both be costly and reduce the enjoyment and value of the house if I had to remove it. Is there a time limit as regards when a council would enforce lacking planning permission?

    The matter has become urgent as my neighbour (terraced house) has just embarked on major extension work, some of it without planning permission and with significant impact in terms of lack of privacy and light on my property. Original plans were rejected by the council based on objections from me and the neighbour on the other side. They are now planning to go ahead nevertheless, indirectly indicating that I can't make a complaint as my balcony is not permitted either.

    I have heard about indemnity insurance - would such insurance secure me in any way in this matter?

    Thanks for your help

    Kind regards,

  • #2
    Re: missing planning permission

    Hi Kaso

    I believe, and this is something you'll need to verify, that if it's been 4 years since they made the changes without planning permission, then you're okay. It's a little like squatters rights. Don't be afraid to contact your local planning office.

    Hope this helps.
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    • #3
      Re: missing planning permission

      If the balcony can be seen from a highway then it will probably need planning persmission. Now, as no one has objected thus far you are likely to have your application approved.

      Yes you can take out insurance for things like this but it would be better to get the planning permission.
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      • #4
        Re: missing planning permission


        I do regret to say that your solicitors should have researched this before you bought.. or decided to buy the property. If they did not bring this to your attention then you can go after them.

        As above, if it has exisited for over 4 years with no complaints, then all ok.. however you will still need to prove that it has been there for 4 years plus?

        Best wishes

        TW Isadore