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Historic planning approvals – they may still be relevant!

It is often thought that historic planning permission approvals are not relevant or important if a property has been in situ for a long period of time.

Indeed, local authorities often do not list planning approvals on their search results if the approvals were granted before a certain date.  However, irrespective of the age of the planning approval, if the approval relates to the current use of the property, it is important that it is reviewed as it may contain planning conditions that are still relevant.


Dawson Radford recently came across such a case.  The property had been in situ for well over 50 years and the searches did not reveal the existence of any planning approvals.  However, after undertaking extra due diligence we found that the Council’s planning website had revealed that the Council had served a notice on the seller for not complying with a planning permission relating to the property.


It subsequently transpired that the planning permission approval for the construction of the property, dating back to the 1950s, included a condition that the property could only be occupied for 6 months of the year.  This condition was still valid and was indeed being enforced by the Council.  Neither the existence of the planning condition nor the enforcement action were revealed by the property searches or disclosed by the seller – it was only due to our thorough due diligence that we were able to advise our client of its existence and the implications on the proposed use of the property.


This case serves as a useful reminder of the benefit of knowledgeable and diligent solicitors and that planning permission approvals can still be relevant, no matter their age!


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