Do I Need Planning Permission On An Extension Built 20 Years Ago?

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Rebekah Coulson Profile
Rebekah Coulson answered
If you have a house in the United Kingdom, and want to make sure an extension on your property was approved up to 20 years ago, there are certain steps you need to take to make sure you are within all the laws in your community. Taking these simple steps can help you to avoid any legal hassles should any questions arise.

If you have an obvious extension on a house you have recently purchased and are uneasy about the fact that no permissions can be found, there are a few things you need to do to protect yourself. The first thing you should do is check with city council where you live to see if they have records on your house. Even with today's computer-driven society, most records over 20 years old may not be readily available. If this is the case, you may need to make an appointment to comb through the micro fiche files that are held at the city planning department. If your extension is over ten years old it is most likely exempt from any kind of enforcement action and by default has the permission of the planning department of the city.

If for legal reasons you need to confirm that your extension was approved by the planning commission, you should take the time to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness, and this should take care of all possible angles should anything come up in the future. 

So, the fast and easy answer is that planning permission is in general not needed on an extension that was built 20 or more years ago, but using due diligence can help to save you some grief if the question should ever arise, and if you are planning on any kind of extension in the near future, this should be your first step before any new construction starts.

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