Home faces demolition

The perils of building, developing or making alterations to your home without the necessary planning permission have been thrown into the spotlight once again in a case reported by the BBC on the 10th of May 2018.

At the centre of the current storm is a new home in Stoke-on-Trent which is considered by the local planning authority to have exceeded the maximum height by some 30in.

Two retrospective planning applications had been made with respect to the £500,000 dwelling. Both were rejected, and the planning authority has recommended enforcement action, which might result in the compulsory demolition of the offending property.

Legal indemnities – planning defects

The decision by the local authority in this case obviously comes as bad news for the current owners of the property.

Whilst the failure of the current owners to obtain the relevant planning permission and abide by its conditions is one thing, similar failures on the part of any vendor may have serious consequences for any buyer. If you buy a recently built or altered property, you may still be held responsible for any failure on the part of the vendor to have obtained the necessary planning permission.

As the purchaser, therefore, you stand to incur very substantial financial losses if the local authority orders the property’s demolition and may face, at the very least, the cost of making applications for retrospective permission, along with the expense of making any alterations or reinstatement to comply with its conditions.

Legal indemnities insurance offers a ready and accessible means of protecting yourself against such planning defects. Payment of a single premium typically provides ongoing indemnity that runs with the property from one owner to the next.