Chancery St James- refuses its consent to alter

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    Chancery St James- refuses its consent to alter

    I am now at my wits end ....

    I own a leasehold home - i pay my groundrent and communicate with chancery st. james - who act on behalf of my freeholders (i think)

    I applied for planning permission almost 2 years ago to extend my house - in a nutshell it was rejected because th neighbours complained - it went to the planning inspectorate and i was consequently given planning permission, however, there were 4 conditions - 1 of which is giving me real problems :- I must basically change my front garden into a parking area - i know that chancery st. james have to be asked before hand and want £600 for the privelage - BUT - they said under no circumstances can i change the use of my garden although the massive extension is fine ????

    which effectively means i can not do the extension.

    I have exhausted all my avenues where planning is concerned to change the condition but with no luck - i must have this space.

    A few questions :
    1) What rights have they got, if i just build it and do the car parking space, can they knock it down even though i have planning permission ??

    2)Can i appeal against the fact that they say i can not block pave my front garden ?

    3)Countless other home owners on the same estate have got their gardens block paved and i know half of them haven't got permission ?

    Any advice would be really helpful, particularly in answer to number 1.



    C St J and associates are very difficult people on occasions.
    First, are you sure that you need L's consent? They might perhaps ask for it without checking that lease requires it.
    Second, if they are right, planning permission won't get you off the hook. Much will depend on precise wording of covenant in lease- it may state, or law might imply, that consent cannot unreasonably be withheld or delayed.
    Third, if you really need consent but go ahead without it, they can get you for at least the next 12 yrs. After that, again depending on lease wording, they might be time-barred. Even if they get you in time, it's unlikely that court would demand knocking it down- but you might face damages claim and big legal fees.
    Best to buy f/r (with no new covenants) and get them off your back once and for all. That's probably why they specialise in being a thorn in the flesh.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


      Dear Jason,

      If you feel that consent has been unreasonably withheld by your freeholder, you may consider applying to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal for a determination of the issue.

      Kind regards,

      Yours sincerely,


      Please note that any comments made are personal opinion and do not constitute legal advice.

      For Service Charge Disputes, you may wish to use Pro-Leagle's online Service Charge Dispute Analyser:



        Thankyou for your reply

        Do you have any ideas concerning point 1 I made ??


          They have the covenants of the lease to abide by.


            Planning Issues

            Does the condition just say that you have to provide the parking space or maintain it as well? You must comply with the condition, but the wording might be in your favour.

            If that wording turns out against you you can apply to have the condition modified or discharged. That then depends on whether you have a planning case to not have the parking space...

            Policies might have changed in your favour.... have a look at the council's conversion policies and the parking standards (on their web site). Speak to a planning officer and see what advice you get... that would be a good first step...

            Our legal eagles on the Forum can no doubt give you good advice on how to get the freeholder to change their minds... but dont give up on the planning front yet!!

            Hope that helps...





              How much is your annual ground rent ? And which company is your freeholder ? ( the name and address can be found from the Land Registry / Companies House records ).

              Have you considered buying the freehold ? must be better than paying 600 for consent ?


                Thanks for your help so far guys

                After careful consideration concerning my predicament I phoned chancery st. james and they have said I can buy my freehold (which surprised me) for £3,470.00

                A bit steep but a result, this gets round the local planning authorities conditions in terms that I can just build the car parking space.

                Now I’m thinking what exactly is the freehold ?

                If I buy the freehold could there still be conditions, covenants that may prevent me from building my extension or block paving my garden or changing my windows etc

                I don’t want to part with my £3,470.00 to be in the same situation.

                thanks again



                  You should buy a copy of the freehold title from Land Registry and find out if there are any restrictions . It will also give the freeholder's name and if a company name , then you must get some information from Companies House.

                  You should also buy a copy of your leasehold title in order to get the annual ground rent payments which usually increase every 25 years. From this information, you can ask if the 3470 pds is a fair price to pay for the freehold based on the ground rent which you are now paying.

                  With a copy of both titles, you should consider visiting and getting some free advice from your local citizens advice bureau ( CAB ) or else pay and consult a solicitor.

                  Go round your estate to some houses with paved agrden and ask if they bought the freehold ? You maybe able to get some idea of the price paid.


                    I have paid £3 for a copy of my freehold from land registry (see attached)

                    It does say words to the effect that this is not the full version ????? is there a more detailed version of my freehold which I need????????

                    Is the copy I have adequate to answer the question i have posted above ??

                    or, more hopefully can anyone tell me what the conditions on page 2 actually mean.

                    I cannot speak "lawyer" and connot work out what any of it means.

                    I am not to bothered about the cost, I just want to buy the freehold, safe in the knowledge that I can blockpave the front of my house without anyone telling me i can't.

                    Chancery st James have told me that once i buy it i will never have any dealings with them again, i just want to make sure that no one else has any say (except local planning of course) once i have parted with over £3k

                    any help would be grand



                      Knowing what Ch. St. J. is like, get professional advice re freehold reversion. Make sure that you get a "clean" title, with no new covenants- subject only to whatever covenants existed before Ch. St. J. originally puurchased.
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).



                        What is the annual ground rent and no of years on your lease ?


                          £75 pa and 999 years




                            1. Does your copy of the freehold title from Land Registry show the property owner is Chancery St James ? or another company ?.

                            2. Is there any indication to show what price they paid for buying the freehold ? You can ask the Land Registry the price for supplying the full version of the freehold title and the last transfer price if it is not shown on your copy.

                            3. Since you have told us the GR is 75 p.a and lease is 999 yrs, I suggest that you ask a conveyancing solicitor to send an offer in writing to buy the freehold at 20 x annual ground rent = 1500 pds. ( adding that if price is not agreed ,you will apply to the LVT to set the price of freehold.).

                            And as Jeffrey advises for a " clean title ".


                              tenant29 please carefully read jastracey's post (#8) which includes a PDF of the Land Registry copy of title. You're going round in circles.

                              The registered owner is Freehold Properties Limited. If anyone is interested here is a link to their company registration details


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