Is something built without planning consent legal until Enforcement action is taken?

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  • Is something built without planning consent legal until Enforcement action is taken?

    Two years ago, my mother who is the freeholder, replaced a leaky and draughty conservatory used as a classroom in my sister's school with a larger, properly built and insulated one, so my sister could move the school piano there. They assumed it was permitted development and did not apply for planning permission.

    Late last year, the tenants of the two flats upstairs of the school issued my mother with a Collective Enfranchisement Notice. Since my mother lives next door, she cannot claim landlord's residency, but did state on the counternotice that more than 25% of the house over the school is non-residential. We had it measured.

    Now the tenants upstairs are saying that since the conservatory classroom did not have planning permission, it should not count in the calculations of internal floor area used in Collective Enfranchisement. My sister also had a visit from the Council Enforcement Officer (presumably following a complaint from upstairs) who advised her to put in a retrospective planning application, which is now in.

    On the day of the Initial Notice though, the classroom had already been there over a year, and no-one from the Council planning department had shown any interest.

    Should the classroom be included as part of the house for Collective Enfranchisement

  • #2
    Failure to obtain Planning Permission is not a criminal offence.
    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).


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