Lack of Planning Permission - Extension on Ground Floor Maisonette

8 Sep 2010
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United Kingdom
I live in first floor maisonette in a purpose built block of four built in 1960. I share the costs on an equal basis of the maintenance of the outside structure and other common parts e.g. roof and foundations with my neighbour below. That is on our side of the block, the adjacent leaseholders do the same on the other side. The original structure of the block was such that the downstairs maisonettes had a recess in the building which ran about a third of the way along the building from the centre line of the block. These formed a little patio area outside the kitchen doors of the ground floor maisonettes and the corresponding recesses in the upstairs maisonettes are cement and asphalt balconies outside their kitchen doors. The difference to the structure now is that my downstairs neighbour has an extension added where his patio recess was, as described above. So his extension roof is my balcony floor and some additional pitched polycarbonate sheeting to take it out about 1 metre proud of the original structure.

My neighbour bought his maisonette about 18 month ago and was told by the vendors when he asked if the extension needed planning permission that it was not big enough. He has now discovered that flats and maisonettes do not come under permitted development rules and that they all need planning permission. At least that's what the local planning departments web site says. The extension has probably been up undiscovered by the planning dept about 10 years possibly more. My questions are,

1) does anyone know if extension on flats and maisonettes have always required planning permission?
2) what will the local planning department do now that they have become aware of it?

Thank you
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1) Extensions on flats and maisonettes have always needed Planning Permission
2) Nothing. It's too long ago.
Thanks for your reply Nakajo, what is the time limit for them to become dis-interested?

No building control docs either for the extension, will they not be interested either?

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It's 4 years for any building work, but 10 years for a change of use.
What the OP is describing is just building work, so 4 years cut-off with regard to Planning.

Building Control won't be interested in the least.
Well, I think it's the 4-year rule that applies here - but I might be mistaken.
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From the legislation (T&CP Act 1990)
I still think it comes under (1) ('3' being 'any other change of use not mentioned in 2')
If I had a single dwelling and wanted to split it into two flats. Would they be called flats or single dwellings on the application form?

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