Should I have known about planning application?
Martyn Smith from Glasgow
Buying a house questions and answers
I bought a house 12 months ago and just found out that 250 houses are going up across the road. The disruption etc will be a nightmare. Should I have been made aware of planning application at the time I bought the house? I would not have bought it had I known!
Part of the work which a solicitor carries out for you when purchasing a property is to check on planning issues, the issue of building warrants, whether completion certificates have been received and so on.
To this end, the seller’s solicitors provide the purchasing solicitor with a Property Enquiry Certificate which will deal with all of these issues. This will, however, only disclose any approved planning permissions in the immediate surroundings. If planning permission was granted but the Property Enquiry Certificate has not disclosed this to your solicitor, you may have a claim against the company which provided the certificate to the selling solicitors.
However, 12 months is a long period and it is perfectly possible that there was no planning permission in existence at the time of your purchase. You may wish to check the planning portal for your Local Authority to see if you can find out more information about the permission in the first instance and then speak to your solicitor for further advice.
Mary McQueen, McQueen Legal
This is how a Scottish solicitor would handle the situation. It’s slightly different with searches in England and Wales which you can read more about in our guide, 'What are conveyancing searches?'