If you are buying a property in a conservation area or a listed building, it is important to understand your responsibilities and legal duties. Conservation areas exist to manage and protect an area’s special architectural and historic interest – in other words, the features that make it unique.
In a non-conservation area, permitted development rights exist, allowing building owners to undertake certain works such as extensions, decorations, and other repair work without planning permission.
Undertaking certain building work without planning permission constitutes a breach of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, resulting in fines or imprisonment for the offender in some cases, such as unauthorised works to listed buildings.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that you commission a qualified surveyor to inspect your prospective property to check for any potential planning breaches.
Other breaches to check for could be breaches of planning conditions. Planning permission is granted subject to conditions for a specific project, but those conditions are not fulfilled, and works may differ from what was agreed upon.
As part of our level three survey, we can check the building for such planning breaches.