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Planning Issues - any advice?


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How can fence cause so much agro, sorry for such long post.


Around August 2014 we started to convert and old garage and workshop into accommodation for my disabled mother.


The building regs guy came & said he would contact the council just incase it needed planning permission,


on the lady’s first visit she just had quick look round

, I showed her the lounge and kitchen area, bedroom and ensuite & showed her where the cupboard for washing machine & tumble dryer would be,

she said she would need to come and inspect it when it was finished.


After it passed building regs and my mother had moved in I contacted her to come and give it final inspection,

she came round & saw it all finished lounge kitchen bedroom ensuite etc,

she told me everything was fine,


then I received letter of her 4th November 2014

– Nature of Investigation

– Conversion of detached garage and storage building to habitable use:


‘I refer to my site visit concerning the above.

This matter has now been investigated and it has been established that no breach of planning control has taken place.

As such no further action will be taken by the planning enforcement department.


Move forward eighteen months & due to bereavement my mother has moved out and gone to live with her sister.


A close friend has moved in rent free temporarily

I erected a fence for privacy and security for my children.

And this is where all the trouble has started.


The first planning officer wrote a letter (26th May 2016) stating I need to apply for planning permission for the fence adjcent to the highway & Common Lane and submit a planning application for change of use of the outbuilding into separate residential dwelling

Then we have a new planning officer as the last one left.


The next letter stating we need to:

Remove separate postal address, signage & post box

Review the number of waste bins at the property

Create a large access between cottage & the house

Ensure that our friend who lives in the cottage uses the main house for certain functions

Also he stops paying a separate Council Tax


We said that the property had been banded and so council tax would still have to be paid, to which we were told to remove the kitchen.

They have since confirmed that the property is still liable for Council tax.

The guy who put in the plans for our fence said there is no reason why we can’t have dividing fence.


My main questions re:

Am I allowed to put fence up on my property

– I already have a letter stating I can put a gate in the fence, now she is asking me to take the whole fence down which is a safety issue for my children.

They constantly keep changing what they want and don’t want.


Now, I've had a letter stating that:

We need to remove separate postal address & have post delivered to the main house.

remove waste bins (which we pay for via Council Tax. Remove fence from inbetween properties & we are not allowed to put a gate in (which previously they said would be ok. & ensure that our friend uses the facilities in our house.


It we do not comply with these requests then our friend has to move out.


What is the point of having permission to turn it in to habitable dwelling if no one can dwell in it?


Any help in this matter would be really appreciated.

Edited by honeybee13
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You've been lucky to avoid planning permission when you converted the garage into a habitable dwelling.


Usually this sort of conversion require planning permission.


Now that you have built a fence to separate your house from the converted garage, you have in effect created a new dwelling, new postal address, etc.


In other words a new house which attracts separate council tax, tv licence, sewage bills etc.

There's also building regulations relating to new dwellings (or change of use) to be considered as access and fire escape routes.


It's very complicated and most likely they won't grant permission.


In their eyes you have created a separate residence to rent out and they're not too far off the target.


In fact, who would stop you renting the converted garage at a premium rate?


My advice is to take the fence down and hope they don't look at their mistake of when they allowed to convert the garage without applying for planning permission.

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Thanks for your response. We pay council tax & the property was built with Building Regs & a certificate supplied. We were also informed by the planning dept when they came out that no breach of planning control had occurred.


Yes, you pay council tax for your house as a whole, correct?

Or do you pay one council tax for your house and another one for the converted garage?

That's what would happen if you created a boundary between the two structures and that's why it now needs planning permission.

You will also find that if you apply for planning permission, building control will want to get involved to make sure all standards of independent dwellings are satisfied.

In practice by putting a fence you are creating a boundary and so a new residence, separate from yours.

You must have planning permission to do so.

I would do it, considering that you could make lots of money by selling the converted garage as a detached property.

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