When is an extension considered to be a part of a dwelling?

At what point is an extension to a property considered to be a part of the house? Seemingly never. Having just completed a conveyancing process for a mortgage extension we have been required to retrieve the Planning Permission and Building Regs paperwork for an extension to our property that occurred 35 years ago.

This has entailed the local Council staff (currently working from home) having to visit their offices in order to access the relevant papers which are now stored on microfiche – as they were from before 1998. But why did I need to find such papers for a part of my property that is in no way considered ‘extra’ or ‘different’ to the rest of the house for any other service or activity?

The net effect of this need for paperwork was to delay our mortgage application by approximately 2 weeks. If you multiply that through the number of conveyancing transactions each year there must be thousands of mandays expended on what seems like a slightly superfluous paper chase.

So, could a change to legislation be made to clarify the period after which it can be assumed that Planning Permission is secured, the whole building (including the extension) is deemed to be a legal dwelling and so render the need for 35 year old paperwork unnecessary.




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