It had planning permission but with a condition that it not be used for any purpose other than as a garage etc. It was originally intended mainly for fellow planning professionals, but all are welcome to read it. You can check with your local planning authority to see if your proposed work is in a conservation area. The house is 13 years old so not listed or in a conservation area. This is a question that clearly requires careful consideration based on its precise facts, and is the sort of point on which Keystone Law’s planning law team would be happy to advise if we were to receive instructions in the matter. Four years - development (i.e. It does not fit neatly into either of the rules I have mentioned. Hi Martin,Thanks for such an excellent blog.I am confused about whether the 4 or 10 year rule applies to commercial property (I notice that the term 'dwelling' is used.I am hoping to buy a flat (leasehold) above a restaurant. No deliveries are made to our home, no visitors come. In the latter case, the Divisional Court found that the magistrates had been wrong in law in permitting a defendant to a prosecu¬tion to lead evidence to show that the land had been used for the purpose enforced against for a period in excess of 10 years prior to the issue of the enforcement notice. I have since found out my property is subject to Article 4 restrictions. Am I able to make use of the 4 year rule?Would this be the same for a porch that was built without planning permission 4 years ago?Thanks. Any works to a listed building that affect its character as a listed building, and did not have LBC, and which were carried out at any time since 1 January 1969 are liable to enforcement action without any limit as to time. These properties were originally built as holiday homes with an occupancy condition preventing occupancy in the winter months. Subject to this, it must also have been used continuously as a dwelling throughout a period of four years.However, if the owner or occupier has deliberately misled the local planning authority as to the true position, the 4-year rule may not apply (see the Supreme Court decision in Welwyn Hatfield), and the authority may also be able to defeat the 4-year rule if the change of use has been concealed “to any extent” (by invoking the procedure under sections 171BA to 171BC of the 190 Act). If the property really is a single private dwelling within Use Class C3, why would you want a CLEUD? As we have lived next door for more than 30 years we know the arena has been there for at least 20 years and have aerial photographs. The Article 4 Direction cannot prevent the operation of the 4-year rule. Nor can our IT team find any trace of a message being left via our firm’s website.Could Martin Adams therefore please contact us again by emailing either :firstname.lastname@example.org@keystonelaw.co.uk. 5 years ago it was converted to a small holiday let - separated completely from the main house by a fence. The same local authority sent me a PCN a year ago asking for info and saying the building should be a single dwelling! would be of no effect in relation to the 4-year rule. This info does not constitute financial advice, always do your own research on top to ensure it's right for your specific circumstances and remember we focus on rates not service. I have tried for planning, but the council say as it is in a flood plain then it will never be granted, despite the fact that it is 4m above the river and never been flooded in living memory. I completed an extension some five years ago to a ground floor residential leasehold flat in a conservation area (the building is unlisted). I imagine their thinking is to retain employment possibilities.In some cases, these properties were originally built as dwelling houses, but were subsequently converted to C1 and C2 use. The answer to Anon’s query depends on what is meant by ‘studios’, and whether they are genuinely self-contained, or whether they rely on shared facilities (which would make these units part of a HiMO within Class C4). This unit impacts significantly on the view from the flat window. I have been living in a separate building on my property for over 4 years - and nowhere else. Works have been completed in 2004 but no planning or conservation consent were obtained. The enforcement notices now (in 2017) quite clearly say 10 years "The council believes that the breach of this condition of planning permission dated 5th November 1959 took place less than ten (10) years ago"My question is are they right and if they are wrong does that invalidate the notice?Is it true that any breach (i.e. whilst this does seem to be a correct interpretation of the Welwyn judgement is does seem to make a nonsense of the four year rule for residential use.a dwellinghosue as a building can be immune after 4 years but its use not until 10 years have passed.does anyone have a view on this? In answer to Sara’s enquiry (12 September), this use would appear to have become lawful under the 10-year rule some time ago, and it appears that you have the evidence to prove it. So it seems to me that if use as a dwelling has continued for at least 4 years, then it would be difficult to argue that section 171B(2) does not apply. The LPA are claiming that these are not de minimis interruptions and are classed as a break in use. Most councils have records that go back far enough to enable you to find old planning permissions in their archives (often digitised), especially if you know the reference number, although the extent of such records varies from one authority to another. The problem is that whereas the 4-year rule applies so as to limit the time within which enforcement action can be taken against unauthorised building works or external alterations which should have had planning permission, there is no limitation period for the enforcement of listed building controls, so that any unauthorised alterations to a listed building which took place on or after 1 January 1969 remain … Hi, great blog - really useful.I had a conservatory built assuming permitted development rights. In answer to Jason – it depends. The only exception that might arise is where the development was to any extent concealed, or if deliberate deceit was used to prevent the LPA from discovering the development. I would emphasise, though, that a proper answer to this question could only be given after careful consideration of the full facts, and on the basis of formal professional instructions. In answer to the anonymous query of 9 August (about the 4-year rule) -the service of a Breach of Condition Notice has stopped the clock (until or unless the notice is withdrawn), and so immunity in respect of the breach cannot now be claimed under the 10-year rule (it's not the 4-year rule in this case). It might (perhaps) be argued that storage of a washing machine, fridge freezer etc. is ancillary to the garaging of vehicles (as it's the sort of thing people put in their garage).Alternatively, if that argument won’t work, there would seem to be a strong case for making a section 73 application so as to vary the condition to allow other domestic storage. It is usually only extensions, loft conversions, or other physical alterations to the property that may possibly be problematic. Allowed. 182 and Vale of the White Horse DC v Parker  J.P.L. A robust lawyer’s letter might help to deter them. Thank you for any guidance you can give. For a non dwelling the rule is 10 years. We have lived on our boat for 6 years and the council is suggesting that we would need to apply for planning permission to remain. by friends and family when staying at the property), and not as an entirely independent dwelling, then no change of use would appear to have taken place, and the annexe remains part of the use of the property as a whole as a single private dwelling.If a planning condition precluded use of the garage to provide additional living accommodation, then its use an an annexe would be subject to the 10-year rule (breach of condition). Enforcement action could take the form of a Breach of Condition Notice, which would be very difficult to counter. The answer to this question is going to depend on the detailed facts. I don't know whether fumes from it are a problem since I have only viewed the flat during the daytime with the windows shut. Buying their own house was out of the question. In conservation areas, outline planning permission will not normally be accepted because without full details we cannot judge the impact of any development proposal. In answer to today’s anonymous query, a use cannot revert to a previous use without planning permission (except in certain limited circumstances set out in section 57 of the 1990 Act). In answer to David Tetlow (20 February), the erection of a building or structure without planning permission is subject to the 4-year rule, irrespective of where it is. A breach of that condition would be subject to the 4-year rule, as explained by the Court of Appeal in the Arun case.In the cases in question here, they may or may not be immune from enforcement under the 10-year rule, depending on the facts of each case.As in all cases where immunity is claimed following a change of use or breach of a use condition, it is essential to show continuity of that use (throughout the relevant period in the case of a change of use, and also up to the present time in the case of a breach of condition). In order to maintain protected areas and premises, permitted development rights to extend buildings upwards do not apply in National Parks, Conservation Areas, the Broads, Areas … The seller confirms new windows and doors were installed to the front of the property over 4 years ago (2008) without planning permission or building regulations consent. With sincere apologies to Neal Parry for the delay in publishing his query of 11 February, the 4-year rule applies if 4 years have passed since operational development (in this case the erection of the raised decking) has been substantially completed. In Greater London, if the occupier of any premises adjoining or having access to a highway habitually takes a vehicle (other than an invalid carriage) across a kerbed footway or a verge in the highway to or from those premises, and the highway authority have not constructed a vehicle crossing for the premises, they may serve a notice requiring the occupier to cease taking vehicles across the footway or verge. A possibility of enforcement in the conversion for 6 years this summer the regulations are made 4. Neighbour built a granny annex and then applied for retrospective planning permission obtained! If such development is carried out without Listed building consent conditions are not met, then is. 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