According to Adrian Stott of Shepherd Chartered Surveyors’ Musselburgh office, recent changes to building regulations should allow home owners and occupiers to more easily make improvements and alterations without experiencing some of the time delays and uncertainties which the former system seemed to throw up.
“Often sales could be delayed if unauthorised alterations were discovered by surveyors,” he said.
“It is hoped that, under this new system, these delays will be reduced. For sellers that may mean being able to bring their homes to market more quickly and, for occupiers, improvements to perhaps make their homes warmer and more energy efficient can be completed more quickly.”
Last month’s implementation date of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2011 allows certain works of improvement or alterations to be carried out by homeowners without the need for formal planning permissions.
In the past many structural improvements or alterations that a home owner would undertake may have come under the ambit of requiring formal consents.
The Scottish government was keen to simplify the process of relatively minor alterations to domestic dwellings as well as to clarify requirements in relation to green technology issues, such as the installation of small scale renewable projects. It is hoped that up to 4000 planning applications can be removed from local authority planning departments each year.
“The Scottish government has not intended the new amendment to allow all developments to proceed unchecked and permissions will be still be required in some circumstances,” said Stott.
“For example, formal permissions would still be required if proposed changes related to properties within conservation areas, or if the property is listed, and some alterations to flatted dwellings will not have the same relaxation applied to them as houses would have.”
Any home owner intending to make structural changes to their homes are advised to check the recent publication available on the Scottish government website or to contact their local chartered surveyor who may be able to assist.
For further information please contact Adrian Stott on tel 0131 653 3456
Issued on behalf of Shepherd Chartered Surveyors by Liquorice Media tel 0141 561 4018 www.liquorice-media.com
Date 19th March 2012