Proactive Conveyancing Solicitors in London speed sale of flat by getting copy planning consents early

Conveyancing Solicitors in London frequently deal with the sale and purchase of apartments in former commercial premises which have been converted to residential use. In such cases it is essential to check that appropriate planning consents have been obtained, as well as ensuring that building works complied with building regulations.

London Conveyancer Gemma Farguson acted for Mr J in 2010 on the sale of an apartment with an associated parking space in a building on Shepherdess Walk, London N1. Anticipating the requirements of any buyers' Conveyancing Solicitors in London, she contacted the London Borough of Islington to find out what records they had of any planning consents for the property.

The council provided the following information:

  • Consent dated 17/11/1998 for alterations to facilitate conversion scheme to provide a mixture of residential and commercial units and associated off-street parking. Decision: approved with conditions
  • Consent Dated 16/04/1997 for conversion scheme to provide 50 residential units, 10 refurbished business units and associated off-street parking. Decision: approved with conditions
  • Agreement dated 17/04/1998 under s106 Town and Country Planning Act 1990 restricting and regulating the manner in which the site is to be developed. Decision: approved with conditions
  • Conservation Area Consent Dated 16/04/1997 for alterations and extension to facilitate conservation to residential and commercial units and basement parking. Decision: approved with conditions 

Clearly all appropriate consents had been obtained and Gemma requested copies of them from the council. Shortly afterwards she was informed by the vendors agents, Stirling Ackroyd of 106 St. John Street, London EC1M 4EH that they had found buyers. Their Conveyancing Solicitors in London were Terence St. J Millett of 34 Sumner Place, London SW7 3NT so Gemma was able to send them the copies together with the contract and a copy of the lease of the flat.

Conveyancers could review all documents straight away

Receiving all these documents at the same time meant that the buyers' London Conveyancer was able to review all the documents immediately and there was no further delay.  

As the conversion had taken place in 1998 no further evidence was required to show that the works had been completed in accordance with building regulations. It would not be possible for the local authority to take any enforcement action so long afterwards.

Information about the service charges and buildings insurance was also obtained from the agents who managed the building on behalf of the freeholders, and once they had received that the purchasers' Property Lawyers were ready to exchange contracts. The Conveyancing had been considerably speeded up because the copies of the planning documents had been obtained early before buyers had been found.

Both the seller and the buyers were pleased that their Conveyancing Solicitors in London had seen to it that all the legal work was taken care of promptly, so that the flat soon changed hands and the buyers were able to take possession and move in on schedule.