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Detached garage conversion

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Jupiter01, 26 Apr 2021.

  1. Jupiter01

    Jupiter01

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    I am hoping you can advise me on the following situation please.
    I have a large double garage at the end of our garden. It has a road accessing the garage at the back of the garden. It is brick built with a gable style tiled roof. It also has a couple of windows. This garage has been in place for approximately 17 years.

    To help my brother with working from home and provide him with some additional space, we had some work done to this several years ago. This included a new sub main and consumer unit, mains powered smoke alarm. All walls were battened and insulated with loft insulation. The cement floor was also battened and insulated in the same way. It was then boarded and carpeted. It now has an ensuite, sofa and bed area - followed by his office desk. There are no partitions other than for the ensuite. This cost us 15k at the time y way of builder costs.

    It's a very pleasant space BUT I fear that it doesn't have any "permissions". I feel very naive asking this question but put it down to my blissful ignorance at the time. The garage had planning permission when it was first built but no extra steps have been taken since all of the above.

    Can you please advise on what would need to be done to make this all kosher? I am conscious that we have already spent a chunk of money and may now be putting all of that at risk. However, I also recognise that this probably isn't legitimate at the moment.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    The unanswered question is, "Is he living there?" If he is, even if part time regularly, the building should have had planning and building regs approvals. If 'yes', then to that extent, it's not legal. How several is several years ago?
     
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  4. Jupiter01

    Jupiter01

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    Yes, he is living there.
    I spoke with planning permission department today and fessed up. They stated that as long as nothing has changed externally, I don't require planning permission but I would require building regs approval. They suggested a "regularisation" process for building regs. Sound plausible?

    I have noted the name of the agent and the time we had this conversation.

    Thanks again
     
  5. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    I'm no expert, but that sounds like a result. Maybe ring Building Control and tell them that you have a building that planning is not interested in, but have told you needs regularisation. See what they say. I'm sure they will want to look at electrical, fire protection etc. Dunno what else.
     
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  6. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Tread carefully- you might end up with a council tax bill for the place & i somehow doubt you'd get a Cummings exemption for the past 6 years.
     
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  7. Jupiter01

    Jupiter01

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    I’d really appreciate your advice with this situation.
     
  8. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    First port of call will be Google, you need to find what conditions are required for the converted detached garage to be treated (legally) as part of the main dwelling for council tax purposes. Link here to Dover councils take on the subject https://www.dover.gov.uk/CouncilTax/Discounts-and-exemptions/Annexes-and-Council-Tax.aspx

    A swift read doesn't look promising, you may want to keep your head down. The council are out of time for any enforcement action unless there are severe structural issues, usual problem areas are if/when you come to sell the place and household insurance.
     
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  9. If there's no area partitioned off, and if the bed were to be replaced with a sofa-bed, would that count as "sleeping accomodation"?
     
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  11. Jupiter01

    Jupiter01

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    But I would feel more comfortable if it were legitimised as a building where one is able to sleep overnight as that happens on a regular basis.
     
  12. Just remember the old saying - it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. If you apply for regularisation and its denied youre hosed. If you do nothing then eventually the enforcement time limit kicks in. Nothing to stop you bringing the building up to spec though.
     
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  13. Jupiter01

    Jupiter01

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    Presumably that’s already elapsed as the building has been used in its current form for 6 years. But my best evidence for that is a tenancy agreement. Also I thought that only waives the need for planning - not building regs?
     
  14. AFAIK theres an even shorter time limit for building regs enforcement - look into it.
     
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  15. Jupiter01

    Jupiter01

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    I would be so grateful if someone can point me to this as I've not seen this anywhere in my research. I have come across the certificate of lawful development and that should cover the planning side of it but from everything I have read, it suggests that I still need building regs as else someone could be residing in a place which is potentially unsafe...
    My place isn't but I am making a point.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  16. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200128/building_control/38/building_regulations/3

    It's all here, you need do nothing. If it were me in your sitch, I would:

    Get all the electrics checked and brought up to today's regs. Get certs.
    Ditto if you have fixed bottled gas
    Get you bro out for a week and have the place well insulated; preferably to current standards.
    Take your chances.
    If/when you sell, do not advertise it as anything other than a garage.

    My 2p worth.

    Edit after Woody's remarks: Check it meets fire safety standards.
     
    Last edited: 8 May 2021
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  17. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    And if there is a fire and someone dies, does the OP ask forgiveness from a judge or just the big man ... and will he get it?

    The insurers won't be very charitable that's for sure.
     
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