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  1. Hi everyone, I am an Architect, and would love to answer any questions you have on planning, design, construction etc etc. I am starting a blog called AskAnArchitect, and will feature the answers on the blog too. Kind Regards, Oli
  2. Ok, bear with me... I'm buying a 3 bed flat which has been let for a long time by the vendor (around 15 years I think, since new build) to students on (I guess) a single AST.; It's an article 4 area, and I'm pretty sure the vendor never bothered with planning for c4 when the area moved to article 4 around 10 years ago. Area also has local HMO license rules, that state that 3 bed or more needs a license. Totally on the case with that, I understand the process, and the reasons behind it (i.e: money grabbing council! ). Even if I end up with a family living there, I'll get the l
  3. Hi, I am new around here but thought I would put my expertise out there for those in need! I have experience in both the public and private sectors in London and the south east, and am more than happy to answer planning questions that people have - just pop a reply below or feel free to message me directly if you prefer. No topic is off limits - just let me know what you want to know and I will do my best to help out Looking forward to hearing from you all! Tom
  4. Does anyone know of/recommend a planning consultant in (or with experience in) the Caerphilly area of South Wales? Thank you
  5. Dear Property Hub community, My name is Luis, I'm a Spanish Construction Engineer that has lived half of his life already here in the UK. I'm passionate about property investment, for now I've done mainly buy to lets and a couple flips. I'm MCIOB, so charted construction manager and I've got my own small design and build company in partnership with an architect and a Surveyor. I'm also working my way into becoming a residential valuer through RICS. almost there, but not just yet! I would be very happy to help anyone interested in investing in property so I can learn a
  6. Hi All, I'm just starting out near Cambridge and am looking to build my team to help me along the way. I'm looking to do some conversions, so will be needing: 1. Planning consultants 2. An architect 3. An innovative mortgage broker 4. A tax advisor / accountant with good property knowledge. We've really struggled to find reliable people when doing our main house, so Any recommendations or notes of those probably best avoided would be very gratefully received! Thanks All, appreciated!
  7. Good afternoon all, With all that is/or isn't happening during lock down I'd like to offer some free help. I'm a self employed project controls engineer which involves detailed project management plans and reporting. This involves building logic based gantt charts, critical paths, manning graphs, cost reports etc. Basically I like planning software and excel far too much! If your current systems would require a second opinion I'm happy to help? I can provide some advice / templates that could improve your current setup. Give me a shout and we can discuss. Stay safe,
  8. Hi Everyone, I am a Planning Officer for a local authority in London so I thought I would offer my services...for free! Please feel free to ask me any planning related questions you have and I will do my best to answer them. If you're not quite sure what to ask, as a rough guide I can offer advice on the following things to name a few: Permitted development rights (also known as PD); Extensions (including basements); Sub-division of residential properties; Changes of use (Office to residential for instance); Things to loo
  9. Hi all, I've found a plot of land we are potentially going to purchase. It has full planning permission that has previously expired, so I'm in the process of going through all the documents on the planning portal. With this being our first self build, and the first time at really looking at this info in detail, it has obviously thrown up a few questions (that someone will hopefully be able to help me with!). There is a very detailed 'Design & Access statement'. This includes statements about the following : + Having a ground test to check if suitable for soakaway- and
  10. Hi folks, we're currently in the process of buying our second BTL and it's been highlighted by our solicitor that the converted loft (carpeted, plastered and with a roof window but no fixed staircase) does not have the necessary permissions (i.e. Building Control sign off). It wasn't sold as habitable space but we're being advised to have the vendor (an absent executor) get a letter of comfort from the LA; to indemnify us against any future associated costs for remedial work; or to "take a view" (which, in the context is likely to be proceeding at our own risk, renegotiating the price or
  11. Hello Everyone, I'm a Development Manager (construction background) from North Wales and I happened across the podcast yesterday morning and have been hooked ever since, I've got so many episodes to catch up on! We are a bit unique as a developer and own and operate some of our large buildings in North wales, one being a wedding venue (large listed hall and grounds) one being a 40 room hotel and spa (currently managing the design process for this as we purchased it in April) and last year we purchased and renovated an abandoned listed public house and now operate it as a restaurant
  12. Looking to convert a 3bed terraced with attic into a 4 bed hmo by simply adding a bed to the living room. However because of the attic this will be 3 floors and 4 tennants. Will I need to spend extra on installing a wired fire alarm system or wil it be fine with just fire doors etc? I really do not want to start ripping the walls out here as the property is in a relatively good condition.
  13. I have just got off the phone with my local council regarding a house that I'm splitting into 2 and have been told I would have to pay £6000 education contribution and CIL on top!! I asked them what exactly does this mean, the lady said it was for the extra provisions for education that the family would need. Well I said what if I developed a 1 bed flat - not suitable for a family - would I still have to pay the same amount. Yes as they would be using the roads, the rubbish collection etc. I thought we have council tax for that!!! I was told if I have further questions I should
  14. Hello, I am new to this site, thank you in advance for any advice. Next door have already done the work without planning permission, I contacted enforcement at my council to which now the neighbours have had to put in a full planning application . As the works are done I can see- none of the windows or Velux's are obscured or non opening. Four are side, two front, one at the back then the big dormers. The neighbours added habitable rooms. One of the rooms with a dormer is a bathroom. Apparently it is not covered with PD as the roof is enti
  15. Hello everyone, We've just been granted Prior Approval for change of use from B1(c) to residential, to turn 2 former car workshop buildings into 4 small ground floor 1 bed apartments, of awkward sizes & shapes due to the shape of the current buildings. This would leave a large yard area of the site under-utilised, just for 3 or 4 parking spaces and some landscaping, bin & bike storage etc. We'd previously looked at submitting a full application to make the best use of the whole site; 3 much nicer, larger 2 bed apartments with private outdoor space and still room for
  16. I was the preferred buyer on a probate property last year that fell through because the sellers fell out. I've just been told it's available again and I have first refusal for the next few days. What follows is bit of ramble with some questions interspersed. The property is currently use class A1 and has been for several decades at least but would have originally been a house. The property on the left door is still a house; the property on right and subsequent properties are offices & shops. The shop currently fronts directly onto the pavement. There is o
  17. Hello everyone! I am so glad to have come across this forum. I'm new here and have dabbled in small scale development in the past. I've recently acquired a large property that I intend to convert into Apartments on each floor. Several Architects have visited the property and said it wouldn't need major works to convert. Obviously, this would be subject to the necessary funding and planning permissions being agreed for the conversion. I'm unsure as to doing it via my personal name or as a Ltd Co. So.. I'm looking to hear from anyone i
  18. Hi, This is a medium-term planning question which I would be very grateful for help with. My current situation is that in addition to a small portfolio of 3 properties, I have salaried job in the public sector (reasonable salary) plus my own business, which is a limited company in a field unrelated to property. The company has been established 5 years with accounts showing good turnover + profits etc. At present, money from Ltd company is taken out in dividends to me or close family and it pays no salary to me or anyone else. The properties are not in a Ltd company, b
  19. I own and occupy the first floor flat of a victorian terrace that has been split into 3 - a 2 storey unit on lower ground and ground, myself on first and another leaseholder, who rents her flat on an AST on the second floor. The LG/G floor flat was bought this year and the purchaser started doing major works to the property - they have started building an extension, works for which started before a planning application was submitted, and have continued while the planning application is being determined (they have a licence for alterations for this from the landlord - they
  20. Does any one have any experience of planning and serviced accommodation? we have a building which we lease out to a SA company. There are 6 self contained units in the building. we have just had a planning notice from the council stating that we have to apply for change of use to a hotel. We own the building and it is used solely for SA. Any advice would be welcome Thank you keith
  21. Hi, I have a loss of about £50k in capital gains losses. Am I right in understanding that HMRC no longer allow losses to be carried forward indefinitely and I will just have to kiss that money goodbye? One option is to sell other properties which would allow me to use the loss before it "expires", but doesn't seem like a very smart idea in general... Are there any other options that I'm missing? This is a pretty bitter pill to swallow if I can't use the losses as and when I wish to sell up in future. Many thanks!
  22. Hello, I'm Rose, I'm a chartered town planner with 5 years experience post degree. I have experience working at a housebuilder, and in both the private and public sector in my relatively short career to date. I would like to invest in property in the long term, but I am making my way through all the podcasts and learning more before formulating a strategy. My initial ideas for my strategy are to work to my strengths in planning. I am thinking of buying land to get planning permission for new dwelling(s) and/or finding existing properties with potential for extension to sell on. However, I am c
  23. Hi all, In short: I see a few amenity areas for sale at auction - public land in/around new-build estates. Does anyone know if there are restrictions in place that require retention of these as public spaces? The background: We live in a new-build estate in Scotland with an area of woodland behind our house which forms part of the estate's common/communal or "amenity" areas which we, as residents, pay a Factor to maintain. Whilst the estate has playparks and areas of grass and shrubbery that are regularly maintained, the area to the rear of us is never touched
  24. Hi all on the Residential landlords association website it says you can change from C3 use to C4 use without planning and it says this also applies to flats. i contacted my local planning authority and they said they didn't know, as flats don't have the same permitted development rights as houses. Planning portal doesn't specify flats in any of the categories just 'dwellinghouses'. The local authority wants me to pay £172 for pre planning advice so they can decide if it's okay or not, if not I would need to submit a planning application at further cost. Sure
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