Greengates Builders Merchants

Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire Asks “are you the one in 10 British homeowner that has broken planning and building restric­tions”?

Many property owners are choosing to extend or improve their homes, rather than move, in the current tough economic climate.

Yet a new study reveals thousands are taking on building projects without any under­standing of the regulations involved.

A poll of builders and surveyors, by LV= home insurance, revealed one in 10 homes they've seen in the past five years breach current building regulations - including extensions, loft conversions and the removal of walls.

Confusion surrounding the official guidelines on home improvements has been made worse by recent proposals to relax planning rules. The Government announced in September 2012 proposals to allow people to extend their homes by eight metres for a detached home and six metres for others without seeking planning permission.

While this is good news for many, it is causing confusion for some homeowners who may be planning to extend their homes, according to the research.

More than a third (35 per cent) of homeowners who are aware of the proposals think they have already come into effect and unde­res­timate the planning rules involved in extending a home.

A fifth of those who have carried out major building work since the proposals were announced wrongly believe that they have already come into effect, which means that they may have to pay out again to have work reversed if it fails to get planning permission.

Local authorities are responsible for enforcing building regulations and planning rules and have the power to insist homeowners reverse any building work that does not comply.

More than 176,000 homeowners have been ordered by council officials to take down or rectify building work carried out on their properties in the past five years, leaving them considerably out of pocket.

Some homeowners have been caught out by mistakenly believing it would be easier to obtain planning permission after they have carried out work rather than before.

“So don’t you be one of these people make sure you get the proper planning permission before you start any building work” says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.

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