Appealing refusal of LDC for garage conversion

29 Nov 2021
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United Kingdom
Hi All,

I wanted to convert my internal garage to an habitable place and asked (in email) to my LPA if a planning permission is required. The council replied asking me to apply for a lawful development certificate instead.

I applied for this LDC and started the work as no permission was needed, the work was small and is at completion now.

My application was later refused stating below:
"This is because Condition 6 of the decision granting planning permission under which the property was developed states that 'parking accommodation' shall be permanently retained and not used for any other purpose than the parking of vehicles.' Article 3(4) of the Order provides that permitted development rights will not apply if they are 'contrary to any condition imposed by any planning permission granted ...."

"...As a lawful development certificate cannot be granted for the proposed development, an application for planning permission will be required.."

When I looked up the initial planning permission given 28 years ago (I purchased the house only 6 years ago) I realised that this is just half the statement and the full statement of Condition 6 is as below:
"No dwelling shall be occupied until the vehicle parking accommodation in accordance to the plans in relation to each development phase is available for occupants use. Thereafter this accommodation shall be permanently retained and not used for any other purpose than parking of vehicles for the occupants and visitors to the dwellings in that phase of development.".

The house already benefits from an off street parking driveway. Can this be appealed based on the fact that this condition was imposed only during the development phase which was over 26 years ago and does not imposes any further restriction after the development is over. The statement said " that phase of development.".

Please advise if it's worth appealing based on this fact? or should I apply for a full planning permission now retrospectively ? I wonder why my local council advised to go for LDC.

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The council appears to be correct in refusing an LDC, as the development is not permitted development and therefore unlawful. You need to apply for permission, and I can't see how you can successfully appeal the decision.

When you ask a council if permission is required, unless they have a specific service with service standards, they don't go around checking anything, and will just tell you to apply for an LDC if you want a formal decision. it's your responsibility to check whether your proposed works require permission of not, and the purpose of an LDC is for the council to confirm it.

If you choose to apply for permission, you need to check the councils policies regarding off-street parking. If yout proposal confirms to policy, then an application should normally be approved

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