Garden Curtilage Question

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Garden Curtilage Question

Postby phsclin_psych » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:20 pm

I am sorry if this has been answered elsewhere before, please direct me to the right discussion.

In 2013, I purchased the rear of my neighbours garden which overlaps with the rear of my pre-existing garden. We had assumed (maybe wrongly) that this would simply become part of our garden and started using it as such. We wish to place a summer house on the new portion of the garden, however, have subsequently found out that following the purchase of the garden it was reclassified by the local authority and so does not appear to be part of our curtilage. We are being advised that we require a certificate of lawfulness to reclassify it as residential curtilage, however, the people we bought the garden from have now moved and we have no contact and so we are unsure how to provide evidence that this has always been garden belonging to the neighbouring property.

I am sorry if I have misunderstood curtilage and am mis-using it.

I am hoping for any advice on how to proceed and hope there is enough information here.
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Re: Garden Curtilage Question

Postby jonahinoz » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:11 pm

Hi Phsclin,

A little learning, and all that ...

The Planning Laws prevent (prevented) the Planners from stopping a development, if it has been in place for four years, without any action being taken. Also, the Planners cannot stop a development being used if it has been used for ten years without any action being taken.

This is where my brain starts to hurt. If your newly acquired bit of land has been developed into a garden for four years ... has it become a garden? But as it has not been used as a garden for ten years, can they stop you using it as a garden.

Have you added the new bit of land to the Land Register of your house? And would that make a difference?

How can the LA re-classify your property without telling you?

John W
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Re: Garden Curtilage Question

Postby pilman » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:25 pm

We are being advised that we require a certificate of lawfulness to reclassify it as residential curtilage
The curtilage of a dwelling is normally regarded as the immediate area of land that surrounds the house. In a normal sized property that would include the front, back and side gardens surrounding the house itself.

What you have now done is to acquire an additional area of land that may have been used as part of the residential curtilage of the next door property to add to the land that comprised your original curtilage.

That land has a lawful use as residential land, which in planning terms means it has the same use as a house has, which is Use Class C3.

Although you can continue to use that land as part of an extended garden without breaching planning control, the permitted development rights granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 only apply to land that is within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse.

That will mean that you need to apply for planning permission to erect a garden building on the extra land used as garden that is outside of the original curtilage of your property.

It would still be a Householder Development application with a lower fee payable than is required for a change of use of land.
Householder Applications: Alterations/extensions to a single dwelling, including works within boundary. Single dwelling £172
Other Changes of Use of a building or land £385
Lawful Development Certificate
LDC – Existing Use - in breach of a planning condition Same as Full
LDC – Existing Use LDC - lawful not to comply with a particular condition £195
LDC – Proposed Use Half the normal planning fee.

Those are the current fees listed for planning applications, so it seems that making an application for a Lawful Development Certificate for the future use of the extra land as part of the residential curtilage of your property is what has been suggested to you. That means a fee of £192.50 will be required.

Should that application be approved so that an LDC is issued confirming that future use of the land will be considered to be within the curtilage of your dwellinghouse, then all of the permitted development rights set out in the GPDO will be lawful at any time in the future. That would allow more than one outbuilding on the extra land if that was possible due to the area of land added to your curtilage.

The alternative is to spend a fee of £172 and show the type of building that you want to erect, because the land is still in use lawfully as land associated with a C3 dwelling, even if that land is not part of the original curtilage.

That would have been the situation if the land was actually used as part of the garden for next door before you bought it. The fact that this land extended behind your original garden would possibly suggest that this was "extra" land not used as part of the residential garden for the next door property. Then the application would be for a change of use of the land to residential land and the erection of a building on that land. That requires a full planning application with the fee of £385 payable.
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