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Homeowners could face £1,000 fines

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10/09/2012
Homeowners are at risk of being hit by a fine from their local authorities for misinterpreting the Government's temporary relaxation around rules for domestic extensions.
Homeowners could face £1,000 fines

The Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC) warns that many home owners could find themselves in breach of building regulations, if they misinterpret these latest changes, due to lack of communication.

Homeowners could end up costing those who opt to take advantage of this temporary relaxation in planning rules £1,000s, if they fail to secure the necessary building regulations approval.

John Clay, chairman of the SLC, said: “It is very important for home owners to understand that these recent changes do not simply allow you to press ahead with a planned extension if it falls within the new permitted dimensions.

“You are still required to secure building regulations approval. Failure to do so could result in the council later requesting that you take down your extension – a costly and easily avoidable scenario, if you ensure you secure the necessary permissions up front.”

Homeowners are still required to meet a level of regulation in order to pass for new planning permission.

Extensions made to residential properties will still be subject to building regulations approval and in addition may also require ‘build over’ permission from the local water board, should the property or planned extension run over public drains or sewers.

Clay added: “With the housing market remaining subdued and an increasing number of people looking to extend their existing home rather than incur the expense of moving, this latest relaxation of the planning regulations could significantly ease the process for thousands of home owners.

“However, we strongly urge home owners to ensure they have secured building regulations approval and any other necessary permissions, before commencing any works.”

Homeowners are advised to to contact their local council or to visit the Government’s planning portal (www.planningportal.gov.uk) for further information and clarification, before commencing with any planned building work.

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