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7 year planning permission rules


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Hi,

Can any one help, i am trying to find out about the 7 year ruling on planning permission. I have properties that have planning permission for use only as holiday accomondation. We brought these properties 8 years ago, when we brought them they already had permanant tennants in them,( contray to the planning permission) we have continued to let these properties on shorthold tenancy agreements since then. i have heard of a rule about planning permission called the 7 year ruling but not sure if it exists or if it can be enforced.

Does anyone know if there is a ruling and what i would need to do to use it.

Look forward to hearing your responses

 

Regards

Carole

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Hi - I can give you a little info about this. If the Local Authority Planning Permission states that the accomodation/property(s) can only be used for holiday purposes (not as a person's sole and main place of residence) and you are in breach of this, the Local Authority have 10 years from the date of the breach to take enforcement action. Please be aware though, if the Local Authority discover that you have 'deliberately' breached the Planning Permissions, then you as owner can be sued and will be possibly, in most cases, be liable to a substantial fine plus costs as you are breaking the law - it is all contained within the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. I would suggest that you carefully check the planning permission(s) and if you are in breach then you will need to make your tenants aware and that you will have no option but to ensure the planning permissions is adhered to. You could alway's consider putting in a new application to the Local Authority asking for permission to use the properties for the purpose that they are currently being used - it would probably mean that Council Tax will be charged on the properties. If granted, you would have nothing to worry about.

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Are you trying to regularise the breach? I'm not aware of any 7-year rule per se, our Council has a 5-year one based on an application having to be fully completed (say a new build) within the required timeframe or the permission lapses. Different rules also apply for Scotland and E&W. It is possible to ask for Retrospective Change of Use, but if they don't agree, you have to comply.

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Thanks for the reply,

So does that mean if the council has not picked up on the breach of the planning permission within 10 years then there is nothing they can do about it.

If so what proof.evidence do i need to give them to confirm the breach has been over 10 years.

My concern is we have applied for planning permission for 2 new builds of holiday cottages, we have recieved a response from the council to say that permission will not be granted because they believe we are in breach of the planning on the original buildings and believe we would possibly do the same on the new builds. They have asked us to give them proof that the origianl builings are being used as holiday accomondation by giving them lists of names and dates people have stayed in them. We can do this but i do not want to shoot my self in the foot as we are possibly so near to being able to overcome the planning law by saying the buildings have been let on a permanent basis for x amount of years and fight the change that way.

Any ideas? or where can i find out more info on planning laws.

Look forward to your response

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Councils work slowly in this regard, and they do like letting applicants paint themselves into a corner. It looks as though they're aware of the transgression, and if being used as a full domicile but not shown on the Council Tax register as such may well lead to further costs as the back tax may become an issue.

 

It might be better to speak with someone who is a former planning official at your particular council, who normally moves on to provide independent planning advice - this can give you an inside track and the best advice as how to proceed. As I noted before, each council have different priorities, so what works for one, may not work for another!

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I don't know for Scotland, but in England the rules are that any change of use (such as permanent residence instead of holiday letting) is not enforceable after 10 years. Building work (extensions, etc,) is not enforceable after 4 years.

 

Once these time limits have been reached, without any enforcement action by the Council, then you can apply for a certificate to regularise the position and this is, in effect, retrospective planning permission.

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We have it as 'adverse consent' but this only works when the issue isn't contested - like, you build a garage and nobody notices. After 5 years you can regularise the paperwork. However, there is a serious ' gotcha' - if the property was given permission as a holiday let, and CT is paid accordingly, then a subsequent claim that it ISN'T a holiday let means the owner has knowingly made false declarations and the horrors that this will entail.

 

Additionally, since the applicant wishes to build more, a refusal seems a reasonable outcome if they can point to this transgression being continued.

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