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Ask our Planning Expert

14th September 2018

Q. I have an old house (abandoned or habitable) on our land in Powys and I’m looking to renovate/replace it. Does planning policy allow renovating abandoned dwellings or replacement of habitable dwellings?

Answered by Gerallt Davies, Roger Parry & Partners Planning Consultant and Associate, Welshpool Office

A. Planning Policy in Powys County Council certainly allows the renovation of abandoned dwellings and replacement of habitable dwellings, especially given the re-worded policies in the new Local Development Plan (LDP).

The replacement of habitable dwelling and renovation of abandoned dwelling policies are two policies that have been extremely underutilised by landowners in Powys over the years, and given the re-worded policy in the LDP, this is the time to act to make the most of the value of such assets.

There are a number of old abandoned dwellings in the countryside, which are being left to dilapidate and sometimes used as agricultural buildings. If the dwelling still has the overall appearance of a dwelling, albeit with its roof caved in, planning permission can be achieved to renovate it to its former residential use. Once the building has lost its overall appearance of a dwelling, and is seen as a ruin, you have lost your asset and its worthless.

The old Unitary Development Plan (UDP) restricted any renovation to meet a local need, whereas the new LDP allows a total renovation to an open market dwelling, which significantly adds value to your existing asset. You can then either renovate yourself or sell on virtually as a housing plot.

Associated with this policy is the replacement dwelling policy, which allows you to replace existing habitable dwellings with a new dwelling. In some circumstances you have an old house which is difficult to renovate and extend to meet today’s living standards, when a new replacement dwelling would be cheaper and easier to build with the ability to claim back the VAT with new builds.

With the correct advice from the outset, landowners could turn an existing building into a considerable financial asset for their business. Planning policies also still favour barn conversions and agricultural workers dwellings, but good advice from the outset is vital.

For help or advice on any planning enquiry contact any of Roger Parry & Partners offices: Welshpool: 01938 554499, Oswestry: 01691 655334, Minsterley: 01743 791336.