Bournemouth Borough Council: Pure Town Planning have recently secured a Lawful Use Certificate for a former detached garage to be used as a self contained residential dwelling unit (Use Class C3).
The owner of the former garage purchased the whole site (including the flatted building in which grounds the garage lies) back in 2008 and at the time, the garage already had an occupant/tenant. It wasn’t until earlier this year when the owner realised that the garage building did not have formal consent to be used for a residential use and approached Pure Town Planning to put things right.
Pure Town Planning set to work researching the history of the garage property, obtaining Council tax records and obtaining tenancy agreements. We established that the current tenant had actually been residing in the detached garage since February 1997. This was confirmed by the sworn Statutory Declarations and actually we were able to find evidence that Council tax had been paid on the property since this time. What made our case even clearer for the Council to issue the certificate was that the tenant was entitled to housing benefit which we were able to receive confirmation of from the Revenue and Benefits Services. So the Council had actually been paying the rent themselves on the property for all this time!
The comprehensive planning package which Pure Town Planning submitted to Bournemouth Borough Council clearly demonstrated throughout this period a continuous use of the garage as a single residential dwellinghouse. The sworn Declarations, Council tax records and rent certificates as well as the interior state of the property indicated long-term occupation. The Council deemed that the evidence provided suitably satisfied them that on the balance of probabilities, the former garage building had been in used as a single residential (C3) dwellinghouse continuously from 1997 to the present date (actually only 4 years needs to be proven for such a use). Subsequently a Certificate of Lawful Use was issued confirming this.
If you have recently found yourself in a similar position or are looking to regularise an existing unlawful use, then why not get in touch and take advantage of our FREE completely confidential half hour consultation. What have you got to lose?