I’m after a little advice in regards to a detached garage I built at the rear of my semi detached house with a decent size garden in Stockport. I have received a letter from the local Planning Enforcement Officer stating that they wish to come and take a closer look at the outbuilding as it hasn’t got planning permission. They want to measure it. I telephoned them and advised them the outbuilding is a garage and it was built based on the permitted development guidance pre October 2008 and works started on it in 2007.
- The garage has a total internal floor area of 27m2.
- It is less than approx 3.5m high with a ridged roof.
- The walls are approx 2.5m from ground to eaves.
- The roof pitch is approx 1m at the ridge.
- The walls are constructed of twin concrete blocks.
- It is situated over 1m away from the rear alleyway.
- It is situated approx 750mm from fence to next doors garden.
- It is situated approx 15m away from main house.
- It only covers a fraction of the land around the original house.
- The house is not a listed building.
- It is not within a Conservation Area, a National Park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
As I did the construction work myself I started the work in 2007 but it has taken me a long time to finish it. The walls were substantially complete prior to Oct 2008, but the roof went on in 2009. The Planning Enforcement Officers have asked me to provide evidence the works commenced prior to the permitted development rules being altered in Oct 2008. I can only find a few receipts for materials and plant hire – could anyone advise how much evidence am I expected to provide please? The enforcement officers are also saying that they have aerial photos confirming that the garage didn’t exist. The only aerial photos I have access to are those on Google Maps and the outline of the wall can be clearly seen (The photos is Google Maps are dated Feb 2009), I don’t have access to any aerial photos older than this.
My understanding is that any works having commenced prior to the Oct 2008 date should have the pre Oct 2008 permitted development rules applied and not the post Oct 2008, is this correct?
Also is there a time limit within work should be completed?
I’m worried if they don’t believe me, or I struggle to prove works started in 2007 then the Enforcement Officers will state it is in breach of the boundary rule which came into effect in the Oct 2008 revision to the permitted development rules. Is there anything else I can do to convince the Enforcement Officers that the garage was constructed within the permitted development rules at the time?
Many thanks for any advice given.