Planning permission WAS needed after all - garden building.

17 Dec 2009
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United Kingdom
I ordered a garden office, as somewhere I could peaceably work - away from the distractions of my house. The Bedfordshire company I ordered from assured me that I would NOT need permission so I didn't seek it. I had a visit from the planning officer last week who insists I apply for retrospective permission because the building is too high (3m).
Can I take the company to court or make them pay the costs? They are supplying building which are disallowed under local planning laws without advising clients of the problems.
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I wouldn't have thought so, it's a structure on YOUR property with YOUR permission. As it's your property, I would've thought it's your responsibility to make the necessary enquiries with the local authority.

You could ask a builder to build an office for you, once it's built you find out you require planning. Can you go after the builder? Not really, he's a builder.......not a planning officer.

I know they should've been a bit more professional + advised you to check with the planning dept at least, but they propably wanted a sale asap.

Is it really worth taking them to court? Planning will cost you alot less £££'s + stress.
Aye, echo all of the above. The company are incompetent at best and shysters at worse. Write them a sh*tty letter threatening legal action and ask for some money off if it makes you feel happier but I doubt they will care. A quick 5 minute post on here, phone call to the planning department or quick look online would have confirmed you needed planning permission. FYI here are the guidelines for PD for Outbuildings
You should really contacted, PP before you started the work.
they would have told you if you needed it.
They may nave asked for plans even if permission was not needed and they would have confirmed in writing that you did not need PP.
It's really not a concern of the builder it is your responsibility.
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As per the Planning Portal website...

Under new regulations that came into effect on 1 October 2008 outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

• No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
• Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
• Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
• No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
• No more than half the area of land around the "original house"* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
• In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from house to be limited to 10 square metres.
• On designated land* buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.
• Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.

I'm assuming the planning officer is requesting you submit a retrospective planning application based upon the factor I've highlighted? Either way, yes the company should have been more professional and advised you correctly. However, did you only receive verbal confirmation that it dit not require planning approval or is this somewhere in writing? If there's some hard evidence then sure... you could take them to a small claims court OR get them to pay for the planning application process :)

I'm also assuming you didn't require Building Reg's? (i.e. It's less than 15 sq.m or it's 15-30 sq.m and is either more than 1m from the boundary or is constructed from non-combustible material).

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