Existing outbuilding upgrade

30 Apr 2015
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United Kingdom
Newbie to the forum :)

I have a question relating to building regs, planning permission and existing covenants on an existing outbuilding in my back garden that I want to repair and upgrade.

In my back garden, I have a 3.5m x 7m (approx 24m2) concrete block outbuilding which is at least 30 years old with a slightly (single) pitched corrugated (potentially asbestos cement) roof. The building is around 3m at its highest point and forms a boundary with my neighbours along it's length - they have "stolen" a foot of my garden and are using my outbuilding as the fence instead of having a fence of their own for that stretch. When I purchased the property, my solicitor arranged an indemnity policy as it wasn't clear in the covenants whether a building of this nature is permitted. I can see that other neighbours have similar buildings (and of a similar age). My outbuilding takes up less than half of my garden and it is not a listed property or in a conservation area.

As the building is more than 4 years old, I can't see there is an issue with it today. However, I am intending to upgrade the building by replacing the entire roof and all windows. It will still be for incidental use.

From reading the building regulations and planning permission, I'm not quite clear on what building regulations apply on an outbuilding - are they the same as for the main dwelling? Also do I need to seek permission to replace the roof (does the 25% rule apply on an outbuilding too)? I will be using a FENSA registered glazer to replace the windows but have only found one roofer that is part of the competent roofer scheme or similar. Are there anythings I need to be aware of? The last thing I want is to spend thousands on fixing and upgrading the property for the council to tell me that I shouldn't have done it due to some breach of something...?

Any advice is much appreicated.

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If it's not being lived in (ie not habitable), then no regulations apply to maintenance work.

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