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wingrovebuyer, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  I am a property solicitor specialising in English Property Law, mines and minerals, sporting rights and rural property.
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We bought a semi-detached property in April. It was a council

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We bought a semi-detached property in April. It was a council house until 12 years ago, when the people who sold to us bought it. The other semi- is still owned by the Council, and managed by an arms length management organisation (B** Homes).

Having taken the advice of a structural engineer and architectural technician, we want to buttress the other property, then demolish our semi- and rebuild as a detached. We have now drawn up plans and spoken to planning. Planning are extremely enthusiastic about our plans, and will support the application. All neighbours, including the council tenant of 40 years of the other property, are enthusiastic.

However, we have a problem. Planning will only register the plans if we have an email of support from B** Homes, the management organisation that manages the other semi-detached house on behalf of B******* Council. B** Homes are very unlikely to provide this. Are the planning department within their rights to request this? Here is the email they sent to back up the very enthusiastic phone conversation with our Architectural Technician:

Dear XXXXX Thank you for your email and attached plans. I have looked at the plans and have no objection to the design put forward. I would need to see some scale plans of the proposed garage with any submission, to ensure that no significant overshadowing would take place of the neighbours garden. I can confirm that a full application will be required which will need to include the demolition of the existing dwelling, making good of attached dwelling and erection of new detached dwelling and garage. It is important to ensure that you have the approval of B* Homes prior to the submission of a planning application, given that the development involves works to one of their properties. A letter or email of support/no objection will suffice. I hope this helps, Kind regards XXXXX XXXXX Planning Officer (Outer Area) Development Management

wingrovebuyer : Hello. Generally, planners will not concern themselves with legal issues, focussing only on planning issues. As a matter of planning law, I am not aware of any authority for them being able to require the consent of a neighbour to works. However, if B Homes won't agree, you have a different problem - any works will necessarily require their consent in laws, under Party Wall legislation and probably because there will be implied or expres rights of support etc, and there will be a need to do works to the newly exposed outer wall. If B Homes won't agree to this, it doesn't matter if you do get planning - you won't be able to do the works. I think the planning officer is perhaps trying to ensure this won't be a problem, rather than trying to make it a precondition of any application.
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