Planning Pickle

11 Feb 2009
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United Kingdom
I have a Cert Lawful Development on a Hip to Gable Loft extension approved by the council back in 2010.
For one reason or another (not entirely mine) it was not built to plan and is 2 sq mt larger than the 50 cu sq mts allowed under PD.
Looking at the conversion, it is the 'cheek wall' by the party wall that is the culprit, on similar developments in the road they are set back a bit further than mine - to look at its a small volume to consider (in my opinion)
I have spoken to the council and been told to resubmit a Full Planning Permission application.

Just wondered if anyone had similar experiences in gaining Planning Permission for something like this. It would seem disproportionate to not allow planning permission and make me move the Cheek wall in by say 300mm or so to satisy the PD's 50cu sq mt allowance.

It was 'substantially' complete over 4 years ago - could I not apply for a Certificate of Lawfullness - rather than go the Full Planning route.
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If it's been completed for more than 4 years it will be immune from enforcement, so no point in applying for planning permission.
It doesn't matter how much over the 50m³ limit it is; the council are trying it on and want you to contribute £172 to their staff Christmas party.
As my northern mate says, don't bother with a full app. And yes you can formalise it with a LDC if you needed to.

BTW, the criteria is for new habitable space in m3, and this can differ from the actual extended volume of the roof. Many people measure it incorrectly. It won't matter to you though, I just thought I'd mention it.
BTW, the criteria is for new habitable space in m3, and this can differ from the actual extended volume of the roof.

This is interesting; i've always assumed it's just increase in volume of the roof enlargement that is taken into account.
Is there any reference/statutory instrument/case law explaining this?
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Yes point taken, but new mortgage application may require some legal docs, hence need to apply to legalise.
Had meeting with the council today who said a Cert Lawful Dev. (191 existing) could not be used - as the volume is greater than 50 cu sq mts allowed in PD (they indicated a CLD could only be used for PD - within allowances) , and to make a Full Planning Application (retention, retrospective) ... is that correct, you all seem to indicate otherwise.

Woody- regards the method of measurement and criteria - (it is 50 cu sq mts enlargement for semi's), is method external - or internal 'habitable space' ... yes - do you have any reference ?, I have a reference book that states 'volume calculations for planning purposes are based on a buildings external dimensions' - with this in mind how would you calculate the existing - if it is not habitated before conversion. ? :: Loft conversions: john Coutts
The council is incorrect; you apply for a LDC on the basis that it has been up for more than 4 years. It doesn't now matter how much over the 50m^3 limit it is. As before, don't apply for planning permission - they would probably turn it down just to be awkward, and you've lost the application fee.
Thanks Tony, Ok council were confusing me - and I think themselves, so a LDC (not CLD !) - as I have read it, is a way of simply confirming something is Lawful, it doesn't require neighbour consultation or a site inspection, I provide evidence - and if they agree they issue a certificate. Applying for Planning permission means far greater tests would be applied - and any failure to pass would add to my woes and reduce my bank balance.

So I see that a LDC as you say is the preferred route, in these particular circumstances (ie Existing Use).

Could the council disapprove my LDC, forcing me to make a Full Planning app. ? I guess you will have to find out ...

Found this page has lots of usefull info:
and specifically:
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All you need to do is provide evidence that the dormer has been completed for at least 4 years.
This could include such things as builder's/tradesmen's invoices, or paperwork from Building Control.
If you have the evidence to prove completion at least 4 years ago, it doesn't matter if it's 52m^3 or 520m^3.
It's not the councils' job to disprove your application, it's your job to prove it, on the balance of probability.
yeah google maps usually have several images covering several years.

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