We bought a house that has the garage converted to an office. Access is from a door off of the lounge. We understand this was done about 14 years ago but without any permissions. The walls have been plastered and the floor built up and covered with laminate. There is lighting and heating and double glazed doors at either end. There are no signs of damp or any other defects. Should I apply for retrospective permissions and if so will I need to take the floor up etc., or should I just leave well enough alone?

  • Vince Holden - Construction Project Manager Holden


    I have come across a similar situation recently, and its more about lawful use than planning permission.
    Assuming that you need planning permission in the first place:
    The way I had it explained to me by planners was that if you apply for a certificate of established (lawful due to the 4 year rule) use and can prove that its been completed for more than this time (4 yrs) then the planners cannot refuse it.
    If, however, you apply for retrospective permission, they could in theory refuse it which opens up a can of worms for you.

  • Barry E

    Hello Vince, It’s a lot clearer now. From the way the work seems to have been done it looks as though there hasn’t been any shortcuts but as we have no plans to sell I think I will go with your last sentence. Many Thanks.

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