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Advice on proposed development on greenbelt land

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  • Advice on proposed development on greenbelt land

    We have just found out that the land behind our house, which is greenbelt land is earmarked for development. We have only been in our property for 3 weeks and feel that the solicitor should have picked up on this and warned us, as if we had known, we would not have purchased.

    The plans are to build affordable housing which would overlook the rear of our property which is currently very private and the reason we bought the house in the first place.

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

  • #2
    Re: Advice on proposed development on greenbelt land

    Your solicitor should only have warned you of this if he/she should have found out about it. There are three main ways in which a solicitor can find out about possible development of neighbouring land -

    1: A specific enquiry of the local authority. The normal "local search" only relates to the property being bought and, for instance, to its being directly affected by nearby road, railway or traffic schemes. A normal local search does not cover the possibility of nearby property being developed in other ways. However, it is possible to raise a specific question, but it must be precise; eg: "Is there any outstanding planning application, or any planning permission granted in the last 5 years, for the development of any other property within 250 metres of the property being searched against?" Though this question used to be raised, in appropriate cases, in the past, normally it would only be raised if the buyer raised a particular concern - by, for instance, telling their solicitor that they were buying the property because of the lovely views at the back, as otherwise it involves an extra cost - and clients are very fee averse. In any event, these days there are commercial searches available (see item 2 below) and councils often refuse to answer such a question on this basis

    2: It is possible to carry out a "Plan Search", which, amongst other things, details recently-issued planning permissions in the area. This is not a routine search, however. It is my practice to ask clients if they want this search done (at extra coist). Most do not

    3: The property information supplied by the seller should include whether the seller has received any notices from (eg) the local council. These might include notice of the application for planning permission, if the council served such notice on the seller. If such a notice was served, and if the seller failed to disclose it, you may have a claim for misrepresentation against the seller

    I suggest you speak to your solicitor about what you have discovered and see what advice you get. However, please do not automatically assume that your solicitor has let you down. Find out the background first

    Good luck!
    This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum

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