Permitted Development runs out September, not finished and lots of issues

12 July 2021
by Tanya Keeling

Please can someone advise what to do. We had 3 years to complete the conversion of our agricultural building into a dwelling - under Permitted Development. We are trying to complete it ourselves, but due to Covid, the scarce materials and not able to get people on site (where we also live) we unfortunately have lost a year. We are coming to an end in September 2021.
We've been good and asked the planning department of the council what to do. So far had 3 incorrect answers and now just been told a brand new full application is needed. We have all the water pipes ready and roof going on. I'm sure we are not the only ones in this boat due to Force Mejeure and hope to fill in a form to gain a time extension.
Also what is the bare minimum for the building inspector to sign off on? That is the building inspector who has apparently left in 2020 and not advised us and the building control department told me they'd phone me a week ago!
Thankyou for any help in this matter.

One Answer

  1. Mike Dade says:

    The permitted development right to convert an agricultural building under Part 3, Class Q of the General Permitted Development Order, contains a condition that the works must be completed within 3 years of the grant of prior approval.

    The covid situation and related materials shortages mean that no doubt some Class Q projects will run over the allotted time limit. There is no mechanism for a council to extend this limit, so once beyond the 3 years limit, the project no longer has the benefit of the planning permission granted by permitted development.

    This leaves two potential scenarios. One is that the council is prepared to effectively turn a blind eye, on the basis that enforcement action would not be justified. This would be the sensible, practical and reasonable thing to do, meaning that the council would be unlikely to do it.

    The second scenario, which is technically the only way to regularise the situation, is to make a part retrospective application to complete the works previously permitted. It would be incredibly harsh for the council to refuse this, and, if it did, there would be the option to appeal, where natural justice would likely play a part in an Inspector’s decision.

    Mike Dade (Build It planning expert)

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