Do I need to get a copy of the planning permission for an extension added by a previous owner?
I act for the purchaser of a residential property that had a large extension added six years ago by a previous owner. I would like to obtain a copy of the relevant planning permission. Would it be appropriate for me to request a copy from the seller’s solicitors?
At step 13 of the Conveyancing Protocol, the seller’s solicitor is directed as to what should be contained in the contract pack. This includes:
- replies to the TA6 property information form
- supporting documentation – this includes planning permissions for any works carried out by the seller in respect of which the seller is most likely to have copies
The seller may be able to supply other copy planning permissions, for example, from a purchase file.
If the local search reveals any further relevant planning permissions that the buyer’s solicitor wants to see, these are often available online for the buyer’s solicitor to view.
As the availability of online records increases, it appears that this will become a diminishing problem. Many local authorities keep records of planning permissions freely available online.
Section 4 of form TA6 states in a note to the seller:
“All relevant approvals and supporting paperwork referred to in section 4 of this form, such as listed building consents, planning permissions, building regulations consents and completion certificates should be provided. If the seller has had works carried out, the seller should produce the documentation authorising this. Copies may be obtained from the relevant local authority website.”
At 4.2, it states:
“If the work was undertaken during the seller’s ownership of the property:
a) please supply copies of the planning permissions, building regulations approvals and completion certificates…”
In this case, the work was not carried out by the seller, but you will still need to see this documentation.
Solicitors instructed under the UK Finance Mortgage Lenders’ Handbook must comply with section 5.5. This requires the property to have the benefit of “any necessary planning consents (including listed building consent) and building regulation approval for its construction and any subsequent change to the property and its current use”.
If this is not supplied with form TA6, you may try to download a copy of the permission from the website of the relevant local authority. This means you will have a copy more quickly and can therefore report on the contents to your client.
If you are not able to download a copy in this way, you will need to liaise with the local authority further.
For more information, see the:
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.
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