The importance of planning consents in Crook

Conveyancing Solicitor Matthew Rumbold acted on behalf of the buyers of a modern freehold house near Crook in County Durham, DL15 in August 2010.  

Among the documents received from the seller’s Conveyancing Solicitor in the draft contract was a notice of approval of building plans to form of a utility room to the rear of the garage and a fourth bedroom with an en-suite. According to the additional documentation that was received, it appeared that this work had all been completed so Matthew requested a completion certificate from the seller’s Solicitor to ensure that the works were in compliance with the building regulations.

Since 2000, local council building control departments are required to issue such certificates to provide confirmation to purchasers that there has been no breach of the building regulations.

Property-owners often have alterations and extensions carried out, and buyers’ Conveyancing Solicitors have to check that any such works comply with building regulations and that any necessary planning consents have been obtained. However work which does not increase the volume of a house by more than 10% does not require planning consent. It can be difficult for Solicitors to know whether consent should have been obtained for an extension. It is not possible to simply assume that if a council has approved plans for building regulations they will also have considered whether planning consent is required, since planning and building control are administered by separate council departments.

The home is located within the local authority district of Durham County council at the County Hall, Durham, County Durham, DH1 5UL.

It was confirmed through the local area search with the council that planning permission had been granted for the planned works. Upon providing the reference number to the seller’s Solicitor, Matthew obtained a hard copy of the approval.

The seller’s Conveyancing Solicitor was from the Smith Roddam branch, located at Corner Chambers, Market Place, Crook, County Durham, DL15 8NE.

The registered title showed that the property was subject to rights of adjoining owners to use drains and other services running through the land. These rights are commonly found in transfers of houses on building estates, where services will not always run through adjacent roads. The rights were as follows:

1. Full and free right to connect into and use such sewers and drains as are now in or upon the Property or which may within eighty years hereafter be constructed thereon (including any in substitution for the same) and the free right for the Transferor to enter into such adjoining land and to lay and construct thereon in such position as may be mutually agreed between the parties such additional or substituted drains or sewers as may be necessary for the drainage of any buildings now or to be erected on the adjoining land and the free right to inspect repair cleanse and renew any such drains or sewers making good any damage occasioned to the surface of the Property or the buildings thereon by the exercise of such right

2. The free passage and running of water soil gas and electricity in common with all other persons (if any) having the like right through all watercourses sewers drains pipes and cables now or within eighty years hereafter to be constructed to serve the Property or the Buildings thereon and passing over or under the adjoining land of the Transferor (and including any watercourses sewers drains pipes and cables in substitution for the same) the Transferee bearing and paying its due proportion according to the properties serviced thereby of the cost of inspecting cleansing repairing and renewing the same from time to time Together with the right to enter upon the adjoining land of the Transferor for the purpose of inspecting cleansing repairing or renewing or removing the said watercourses sewers drains pipes and cables or any of them the persons exercising such rights making good any damage thereby caused”

The transfer also contained similar rights for the benefit of the property to use services on adjoining houses on the same development.

When Matthew and his clients were content that all documentation was in order, he was able to exchange contracts with the sellers and the purchase transaction was rapidly completed.

Fridaysmove would like to thank Smith Roddam for their cooperative Conveyancing in Crook, aiding in a swift completion.