I bought my house about 4 years ago and had a conservatory built soon after. At the time, I phoned the local planning office and was told I did not need planning nor building regs approval as long as it met certain criteria.
I followed those criteria but wanted to utilise the maximum space available, which will become relevant lower down.
I've now put the property up for sale and the buyers surveyor is coming around on Friday and Im worried (perhaps without reason). Whilst the area of the conservatory is fine and it meets all the building regs criteria (checked the councils website), i think the volume may be more than is allowed. This is because of the height of the roof (which I kept below the 3m guidelines told to me by the planning officer!), but combined with the area results in me being 8m^3 over the allowed amount. This is based on my own non-professional calculations.
The conservatory will be 4 years old in a few months time, but obviously I want to sell now. What would be the best way to proceed ? Ive been reading about indemnity insurance - but Im not sure if it applies to me, or even if it's worth getting yet. Or should I wait to see if the surveyor or buyers solicitors say anything before worrying ?
In hindsight I should have paid more attention to the volume of the build, but it wasnt something that occurred to me at the time. What I don't want is to end up in a position where Im being asked to take the conservatory down - how would the council determine how old the conservatory is ? Does a few months even matter ?
The legislation regarding permitted development rights changed in October 2008, the volume limit was scrapped but there are now complex size and location requirements to consider. Whether your 4 year old conservatory can be assessed under these new rights I do not know but your local PA should be able to advise.
You will have to complete a declaration for the buyers concerning all work completed on your home with any required approval details, suggest you enter "conservatory built under permitted development rights".
How is a determination made on how old the conservatory is ?
Im considering calling planning in and to get it "regularised" (is that the right term ?). But as I dont want to delay the exchange, is this wise. Ive been advised the indemnity insurance will alleviate any problems, but I'd like opinions on how certain this is - is it likely to cause more problems than simply getting planning in and going through the process.
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