Architectural Services Question

Planning permission - do i need it if my neighbours have done the same thing?

I would like to replace the garage door with the wall and the window and convert the garage into a room. Several years ago I submitted the plans and was refused - council cited it would alter the face of the street etc. However, now almost 65% of my neighbours have done just that and everyone has different face - some have used brick, some PVC panelling and windows are different. I would like to do it above board so once I am selling the house I have no problems with it. I understand I need a certificate.

My questions are; do I need to apply for the planning permission (council says yes although I did not speak to the planning officer) and does it need to be to scale with all the work I intend to do?

Can they refuse me given the fact people have done that in the same terraced property as mine and this has been standing for over 2 years?

What happens if I go ahead and do it without the certificate and I am then selling the house? Does the council certificate mean it will then be registered at the land registry and/or on the deeds as a two bedroom house rather than one?

Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

Thanks in advance


3 Answers

Best Answer

Hi Martina,
You can convert your garage into a habitable space and put in a wall and window using your home's 'Permitted Development Rights' (assuming they haven't been removed by the council).

What you should do is get someone to draw up a set of scaled plans and then apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness to the council. This will give you the written confirmation you need that the garage conversion didn't require full planning approval. This application still takes about 8 weeks to get an answer and costs £75.

The beauty of using your home's Permitted Development Rights is that the council can't refuse it based on what it look like as long as it's within the Permitted Development guidelines (for example ensuring that the materials match the existing).

You will still need building regulations approval which are quite strict with garage conversions.

If you go ahead without the certificate you may experience problems selling the house as any decent solicitor will pick up on the garage conversion and insist on some paperwork to confirm that it was accepted by the planners and has been signed off by Building Control.

I hope this helps.

Answered 13th Dec 2011

Architectural Services

Member since 1 Dec 2011

The precedence has already been set, so I cant see the Council refusing you permission.
I would go the legal way, ie get planning and building regs, when its all done and signed of you get a completion certificate.
Without it, if you decided to sell your conversion would be classed as still a garage.

Answered 13th Dec 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008

going down the route of not getting planning /building regs will cost you dearly when it comes to sell.
planning /building regs are very reasonible if you include them from the start of any project. if you by pass them they can become very difficult in the worse case even making you return it to it original condition.

best bet is speak to one of your local building reg inspectors who will without obligation be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
personally have always found building regs to be very reasonible.

good luck alex

Answered 13th Dec 2011

ADR Property Maintenance

Member since 1 Mar 2009

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