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 Armstrong & Co Solicitors

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Planning Advice
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Posts: 49
Joined: Mar 2004
Post: #1
30-04-2009 12:41 PM

Hello I live in Honor Oak and wonder if anyone can shed some light on a problem for me.

At the back of my garden there is a garage and they just received planning permission to take some land from a house they own and back onto. The problem being that they were only given permission to take a small plot from the end house but infact have taken the space of two gardens.

I have phoned the planning office and they have sent there enforcement officers out and have confirmed that the garage are in the process of submitting a new plan! but they have already done the work! Is this the right way to do things. Build first and then apply later.

I would really appreciate any advice



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Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #2
30-04-2009 12:47 PM

Work subject to planning controls should first seek and be given planning permission. Retrospective planning permission can be sought though. On the other hand the Local Planning Authority could refuse the restrospective planning application and apply an enforcement notice to have the works reversed.

This is a good site on planning -

(enforcement notices -

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Posts: 50
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #3
30-04-2009 12:55 PM

It's definitely not the right way to do it but it is possible to apply for retrospective permission.

Personally I suspect some developers build first and seek permission later, with the expectation that once a building is constructed the council won't have the nerve to force demolition.

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Posts: 3,238
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
30-04-2009 01:34 PM

Without planning permission it is very difficult to sell or rent a property, so although some developers take a risk and build without planning permission, they take a huge risk in doing so.

The council should consider the application on its merits and if the development is overlooking houses or gardens, does not have adequate amenity space, and a whole host of other planning regulations - then the council can refuse to grant planning permission and force demolition or conformity with the planning permission that has been granted. Sometimes a compromise can be reached that brings the development in line with planning guidance.

As I say, each planning application must be considered on its own merits, but the planning department do not look favourably on breeches of this nature, especially if planning permission was granted for something substantially different.

Please let us know the planning application number when it is submitted or contact me by PM (Private Message) if I can be any help to you.

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Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #5
30-04-2009 04:48 PM

I think if they have on purpose ignored the instructions from the planning dept they should be told to pull it down. Only my humble opinion.

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Posts: 49
Joined: Mar 2004
Post: #6
30-04-2009 05:20 PM

Hi the planning number is DC/07/67699/FT. I really appreciate all you advice. I have to call Lewisham Planning in 3 weeks to check if the new app has been submitted. It amazes me that people can get away with things like this. My father who is in the building trade was shocked by the quality of workmanship on this building and thought that it did not comply with building regs. However Lewisham do not seem to care! I live in a residential road but yet this garage has been able to take the gardens of 2 houses (yes they own the houses) but surely the neighbours have some kind of say?

thx again


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Posts: 296
Joined: May 2006
Post: #7
01-05-2009 09:12 AM

Unfortunately Lewisham's Planning Enforcement team is very under strength. If planning permission is refused, persistent pressure from affected residents is likely to be needed to get any action taken to enforce the planning law...

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Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #8
01-05-2009 12:00 PM

If LBC have turned down the application for work being or been done surely a Solicitor could sort it out.

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