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Converting an outbuilding

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  • Converting an outbuilding

    My partner and I are considering buying a 3 bed semi detached property in Lancashire. We have viewed the house and it requires some modernisation (the current owners haven't looked after it asthetically at all). Structurally we are yet to clarify and are taking a builder friend with us to a 2nd viewing for some advice before we shell out for a survey.

    The appeal of this property is that it has an enormous 2 storey outbuilding in the back garden. Apparently it used to be a house but looks more like it used to be a stable or something to me due to the large double doors. Again it requires alot of work.

    A couple of questions really... firstly is there any way of finding out whether or not a building of this nature has previously had planning permission approved or denied? We would like to do something constructive with it as opposed to using it as some sort of dumping ground (as it is currently!)

    Secondly, in terms of investment, what would you say would be the best use for the building? We've considered turning it into a cattery or splitting it into a couple of flats - would either of these be considered more or less appealing than the other in terms of selling the property on in the future?

    Thanks in advance for any advice that anyone can give me - aplogies if any of this sounds a bit vague, this will be our first project!

  • #2
    Re: Converting an outbuilding

    Check with the planners if they will allow conversion into say a separate dwelling. Often they will not especially if it is the country. That would probably yield the most profit. If not then perhaps you could run a modest business from the outbuilding. You are usually allowed to run a business from your home (again you need to check with the Planning Authority) but it has to be incidental to the main use, your home.

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    • #3
      Re: Converting an outbuilding

      Thanks for the reply Tony! I was beginning to give up hope of getting any response...

      The house isn't in the country, it's just a regular street with a biggish garden and a big outbuilding.

      We went for a second viewing over the weekend and took a builder (family friend) with us to scope out how much it'd potentially cost to do the sort of thing we want to. Just waiting on his estimates!

      Is it feasible to contact the Planning Authority to scope out the potential prior to putting in an offer? Obviously the outcome of such an enquiry would probably sway us one way or another.

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      • #4
        Re: Converting an outbuilding

        I think it would be a good idea for you to contact the local planning office about this 'building' before you pay out for a survey. I'm surprised that it's 2 storey rather than single as it's in the back garden.

        As well as discussing potential uses with them, you can find out if it had planning permission/building regs certificate.

        By the way, who told you that it used to be a house?

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        • #5
          Re: Converting an outbuilding

          Thanks for the input Kaz!

          It's the current owners that have told us the outbuilding was orignally a house and that it had been disused and the current semi detached house (which is obviosuly the one thats up for sale) was built in 1911. Not sure how accurate this is though as it has a tall double doorway that as stated in my original post makes it look more like a stable...

          I've sent an email to my local council so hopefully it will get passed on to the relevant person/department for further advice.

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          • #6
            Re: Converting an outbuilding

            I would definitely go with the flats idea and scrap the cattery. You will make much more on your investment.

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            • #7
              Re: Converting an outbuilding

              If there is evidence it was used as a dwelling then you may be entitled to retention

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