Ask a Tradesman
Chimneys & Fireplaces Question
Do you require planning permission to remove chimney breast?
Does anyone know if there is a legal requirement to obtain planning permission from the freeholder to remove a chimney breast as it is a structural wall?
If so - what are the time frames to get this done?
From your question it seems that you are asking about the chimney breast in a flat of which you only own the leasehold. If that is the case there are a number of things I would suggest you to do:
1) Read your leasehold agreement carefully. 99% of the cases it will require you to alert the Freeholder and get a "license for alterations" from the Freeholder. The Freeholder will normally ask you to provide a number of documents incl. building control approval, proposed drawings, public liability insurance, health and safety risk assessment.
2) Your first point of contact should be an experienced surveyor who has worked in the area and with the Council in question. He/she will draft all structural calculations and a decide what steel work is needed. The surveyor can also handle the discussion with the Council. Your ability to remove the chimney breast and the cost will depend largely on the nature of the property and your flat level i.e. ground vs. top.
3) Building control will need to be alerted and you will want to check if the property is grade II listed and in a conservation area. In this case you will also need to get planning permission.
4) Depending on the nature of the building and the amount of supporting the flat needs, you might need to get a party wall agreement, i.e. permission from the landlords of adjacent properties.
The biggest cost in this process is normally the steel work (it is heavy and difficult to handle, so if you live on the fourth floor of a Victorian conversion think CRANE). Following that the second largest expense and the most difficult to estimate is the legal fee your Freeholder will charge to draft the "license for alterations".
It all seems lengthy and complicated but with the help of the right contractor who has the right connections with surveyor/council and the right knowledge it can easily be done.
Every metre counts in Central London, an average chimney breast is approx. 35cm deep for 200cm wide means almost 1sqm worth of space. Central London prices for square metre go between 10k and 15k... I let you decide if it is worth removing it or not...
I hope this helps.
Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
Answered 21st May 2012
Hi you must get structural calcs done and submitted to building control then works inspected and signed off
Answered 21st May 2012