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76 Advertising feature LEGAL CORNER


Avoid a shed-load of trouble this winter by Gillian Jones, Partner Company & Commercial Department


A


shed may only be a small building – but you could be in for a shed-load of


trouble if you put it in the wrong place. That’s the warning and advice


from Wollens partner Gillian Jones.


Gillian, a partner in the law


firm’s company and commercial department, says: “Usually small ‘buildings’ like sheds and greenhouses don’t need planning permission.” But she cites the case of ‘Mr


Cooper’ who fell foul of planning requirements when he put up a small shed in his front garden, in front of the building line of his house. The local authority served an


enforcement notice requiring the height of the shed to be reduced so that it was no more than a metre above ground level which would have made it useless as a shed. As a building, the shed was caught by planning rules that restrict the height of buildings in front gardens. Mr Cooper argued that his


shed was not a building since it was not fixed to the ground and was capable of being moved because of its pre-fabricated design.


But the Planning


Inspector took a different view, accepting that the shed was capable of being moved, but the absence of any intention to move it coupled with the fact that it had been in situ for a period of time was ‘of significance in the planning context’. It was enough to enable him to make a planning determination in respect of it as


“IF YOU ARE MAKING A GIFT OF LAND OR


OTHER PROPERTY THERE IS ALWAYS A CHANCE THAT AT SOME POINT


YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MAY NEED TO HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT IT WAS WORTH.”


a building, and it had to go or be reduced in height. “As is often the case, there were other issues, and what may well have driven the planners to start down the enforcement route was the fact that the shed interfered with sight lines for motorists. If it had not done so perhaps Mr Cooper would have got away with it,” said Gillian.


Gillian has also offered some advice to anybody who may be


considering making a gift of land or property in the future – she says: “An early valuation could be important.” Gillian explains: “If you are


making a gift of land or other property there is always a chance that at some point you or your family may need to have an idea of what it was worth. “If you know that you will need


valuation then it is a good idea to have a proper one done at the outset, but if you don’t want to go to that expense, or if you think there won’t be a need, then try and make the best assessment of value that you can and keep a note both of the value and why you decided it was right because trying to sort out an idea of valuation many years later, when the property may have changed, can be difficult and expensive. “If you are thinking about an


informal valuation, then you can ask an estate agent for an ‘off the cuff’ figure. Look for similar properties that are up for sale to get comparable evidence of value and it cannot do any harm to agree the value with the person who gets the gift as they are going to have to record a valuation with the Land Registry as part of the fee assessment process.”


CONTACT WOLLENS FOR MORE INFORMATION 10 THE QUAY, DARTMOUTH, DEVON TQ6 9PT EMAIL - INFOWOLLENS.CO.UK www.wollens.co.uk 01803 832191/213251


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