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  1. Hi, We have recently moved into a property and are looking to utilise all the garden space. Currently the garden is separated by a 2m wall which we want to knock down and extend the garden into the unused space in Picture A and Picture B (yellow line depicts where the 2m wall is currently). We originally wanted to place fencing behind the small wall but pre planning advice has let us know that it will be rejected as it "will negatively impact the character and appearance of the local area". We have attached the Pre Planning Advice Response for reference. So our second thought was to knock the small wall down and erect 1m high rail fencing and plant some 2m high hedging as we know that doing both of these, should not require planning permission. However we have been advised that this will also require planning permission to change the use of the land from from private open space to private garden land. In our Deeds (Picture C) or on our Title Plan (Picture D) it does not show a separation the the two area. We then asked the council to provide where they have acquired this information from and they sent us through an image of the original landscaping plan with a clear divide (Picture E) with this email; "I have attached an extract from the landscaping plan as part of the original planning application which informed my assessment. The plan shows the dwarf wall, the planting location to the rear and then the location of your boundary fence to your garden. Similarly, the planning layouts also show a clear division between the rear garden of the properties and the current wall position. It is for this reason that I concluded that this land is used as strategic landscaping / amenity land. Your proposal would materially change the use of the land from amenity space to garden land and therefore a change of use planning application would be required." No one maintains the area, and it is full of weeds and litter. We believe it is our responsibility to maintain it but we have no access to the area and we would not benefit from putting any effort in, as we do not use or see the space. We now don't know what to do, where to start, or whether it will be futile trying to get the change of use in the first place. TIA. Pre Planning Advice Response Letter.pdf Pre Planning Advice Response Report.pdf
  2. Looking forward to discussions and knowledge exchange with you all. It seems like a very practical and helpful Hub. I am particularly interested in the conversion of steadings, but have a lot to learn. I have extensive knowledge and experience as designer and contractor, but in England, newbuild, commercial. However this project will be private, renovation, Scotland, so I have a lot to learn.
  3. Hi all, we have an outbuilding that was approved to be rebuilt as a "Home Office and Gym". We are genuinely going to be using it as such for a while, but the reality is that we will then in due course apply for a change of use Cert of Lawfulness under PD for it to be classed as a Granny Annexe. I spoke to one planning consultant who said: "be careful that you actually execute the purpose the building was approved to be, before going for different planning opportunities". He said don't just try and swap it immediately for a granny annexe as they could argue you never used it as it was intended. His recommendation was to gather tons of evidence of it in use as an office, lots of photos etc and then "in due course" put in the app for the Cert of Lawfulness. I pressed him on how long "in due course" meant in reality and he slightly shrugged and said "6 months". But was very convincing. But has anybody gone through this process? How tough - if at all - were the council on requesting evidence of the building's use as originally intended? How long is long enough? How much evidence is enough? Thanks for any thoughts
  4. Can anyone help me understand usage classes under the new Order? If a Unit was B1 / B8 use (General Industrial and Storage respectively until is all changed on September 1st) does that mean it can be used for B1 *or* B8? (The background is that the Change of Use on my gym to D2 Leisure expires in a few weeks, and I am trying to work out whether I need a planning application under the new system. D2 is now in the same new Class E as B1, but is B8 has been retained separately). I don't think I need to do anything, but the Council are saying if it was B1 before I wouldn't need to, but because it was B8 I now need to do a Planning Application. Thanks Ferdinand
  5. Hi There is a strip of land that runs along the rear of the properties in the street we live. The land was originally bought by the housing estate builder when the estate went up. I believe the land was set aside as a natural area between two phases of the estate and along the public footpath that runs between them. The land used to get strimmed for a couple of years after we moved in, then this stopped, presumably due to inaccessibility. Without our using or maintain the land, we would have had huge tees over hanging our garden by now. For over 10 years we have been using the part of the land to the rear of our property for various activities garden related. The are is about 10m wide x 4m deep. Then a further 3m is a public footpath running down the 10m length. The land has a lot of trees, some up to 25ft. It can also get very overgrown with weeds. The public footpath is not very visible from the land as there are a lot of branches blocking the view both in and out. We have been using the land for BBQs, fire pits, storage and log store for over 10 years. About 5 years ago I put a shed on the land, with access from our garden. The front of the shed is plane with our garden fence, so it's sticks out into the land. The shed can barely be seen from the footpath. I have always opposed putting a fence around it, despite suggestions from other neighbours. I don't intent to put anything else on the land. I have tried to find out who owns the land in an attempt to buy it. But the builder went bust so I have never made any progress. Unfortunately, the council has received a complaint that some residents (there are others who have cut trees down) are taking over the land. The council has contacted me and claims a change of use of land has taken place. They don't seem concerned about the neighbours cutting down trees or maintain the land. They have advised me to apply for planning permission under the 10 year rule or a lawful development certificate. Both at a cost of £462! Can someone confirm whether the 4 year rule applies to anything in my situation? I am also aware of adverse possession. Am I right in saying they are different. AP deals with ownership of the land, whereas change of use is planning. I have not fenced it off over the 10 years so don't think I have a claim on that. However, even if I did, I would still need planning permission for a change of use, is this correct? So my situation is purely planning and getting that approved, whether I own the land or not? I can't prove that I have been using the land as garden for over 10 years as I have no photos, documents or anything. There is a photo of the kids in the log store from about 9 years ago. The best I can manage are the neighbours signing an aphidavit to say I have used it as a garden for over 10 years. My Preffered option would be a LDC, but I don't want to spend £462 with no hope of getting approval. What are my chances with the limited evidence and my circumstances, am I wasting my money? What else could I do to improve my chances? Thanks Simon
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