The property I am buying has planning permission for a large extension. Can I take advantage of the planning permission and build the extension after I purchase the property?
Basically, the answer is yes, provided the permission was granted within the last five years. You will, however, need to ascertain, by obtaining a copy of the permission, whether it is for outline or full planning permission.
Outline planning permission can be subject to conditions and also to reserved matters, which are to be resolved to the satisfaction of the local council, who will be the planning authority. Reserved matters often relate to the external appearance of the extension or means of access to it. If there are reserved matters, a full application will be necessary to obtain approval of the proposals. Often, an application is made for outline planning permission to ‘test the water’ and see if the council will grant permission without having to prepare fully detailed plans, which are expensive.
If full planning permission has been granted, there may be conditions attached to the consent. The work itself must usually start within five years of the date of the planning consent.
If you would like to take advantage of the permission, you will need to check the conditions to see whether the five years have elapsed. The vendor of the property may also let you have the plans and any builders’ estimates they have obtained. You should check before using these plans whether the architect who prepared them owns the copyright, as you may need his or her consent.