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Helena54
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03-01-2006, 06:45 PM

Need help on a search re: open plan estates?

Hi. Can anyone give me any help please on where I can find out about these fairly new-build properties that have the "open plan" at the front? I.e. they have large front lawns but nobody puts up a fence? The reason I'm asking is I've seen a property I like which has a large piece of lawn at the front with a big sweeping drive. Turns out when o/h went passed it tonight, that the first part of the driveway is for the end of a row of houses, so that the neighbour can get to his driveway, which obviously means that part is shared then, and he also said all the other houses in the road have this open plan front garden and nobody has a fence up, which probably means you're not allowed to do anything with it, other than leave it as a lawn. Although it has a garage we would need to pave some of this lawn at the front of the house as we have 3 cars between us. He says it's probably like the Grade 11 listed business where you can't do what you want, but I thought I might be able to find out somewhere on the internet? Any ideas please?? I'm going to look for myself tomorrow, but I wouldn't believe anything the Estate agent told me about it anyway! Just need to know where to start looking, Council sites? Maybe a message board somewhere? Any help would be greatly apprecated! Thanks.
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Ashlady
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03-01-2006, 07:14 PM
If you can find out who built the estate, they will be able to tell you what the standing is. It is normal that they restrict the building of walls and fences untill after the developement has been finished as apparently the open plan front look is more attractive to prospective buyers

Friends of mine bought a house in a developing state, but after the houses had all been sold off, everyone put up fences and walls
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Steve
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03-01-2006, 07:15 PM
Normally-this is something which is listed in the deeds (mine has this clause) so i guess your local council should have a copy of the original plans and any special building constraints given at the time.

Mine states that i am forbidden to errect a permanent boundary (ie-fence or wall),but hedges are NOT considered permanent.Apparently,when my parents house was built back in 1968 (my dad worked for the builder),a neighbour built a low wall and a council bod ordered it to be taken down.Not sure if councils are this zealous now,but worth asking them either way.

If the entrance drive of this home is shared by other home owners,ensure in writing that all partys are liable for maintenance to save any future hassles.
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Helena54
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03-01-2006, 07:31 PM
Thanks Ashlady and Steve. My local council site has loads of information,some of it quite useless imo, but nothing about title deeds only the person to contact which I will do tomorrow, if I like the house enough that is!

It seems as though you can look up any title deeds on the net, usually having to pay though, but not at my local council, only Scotland, Birmingham, etc. etc. fat lot of good to me!

You've been very helpful indeed Steve, as we thought there would be a clause like that in the deeds similar to what you are saying, but does it also say what you can and can't do with the front lawn if you have one? Could you pave over your front garden if you wanted to do you think? Vegas is giving me that funny look about that one!!
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Steve
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03-01-2006, 07:46 PM
I've never heard of anyone not being allowed to pave over a lawn for additional car parking Helen-infact most councils would welcome it to get cars off the public highway! Many people round here have paved over their front gardens for additional parking and is better than multiple cars parked on narrow roads.

Obviously,if you need kerbstones dropping for access to new parking area,this is something you have to pay the council for-approximately 500.I was naughty years ago and did mums house myself-i already had several spare kerbs and just needed a few hours with a jackhammer...
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Helena54
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03-01-2006, 07:59 PM
Thanks for coming back Steve That's interesting then, coz the road is a crescent which is used as a "rat run" during school hours and also a bus route and Dave said don't park the car in the road when I go tomorrow, put it on the drive! He was just concerned that all the other houses in this crescent have the big open front lawn area with the drive going up the side. We wouldn't want a crossover as it already has the drive, but then again, I really don't like the fact that this other bod next door uses a third of it to gain access to his driveway, sounds really odd doesn't it?! The only part that I would like to pave would be direct across the front of the house, so that you could drive up the driveway and carry on and park in front of the house and avoid obstructing the garage at the top of the drive, and that way we could then park our 3 vehicles with one in the garage (I know which one would go in there too!). Thanks again Steve, I know what to do now when I've been to look at the house, I think the council will be my first stop then. Thanks very much indeed for all your help
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Steve
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03-01-2006, 08:19 PM
One thing i would definetly do Helen is have a casual drive round the estate at different times during the day and possibly evening-you will see then just how busy it gets at these times,but make sure its in term time (incase parents park in road when dropping off/picking up kids).
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Helena54
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03-01-2006, 08:32 PM
Yes Steve, I already thought of that one! It's quite a quiet village, but because there is a school not far away this road has been sussed out as a short cut so to speak! I'm really going off this house now!!
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Meg
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03-01-2006, 11:59 PM
Helena as Steve says you need to look at the deeds of the particular houses you are interested in because each set of rules/restrictions will apply to specific properties. My house is open at the front and I share a front garden with a neighbour, according to the deeds neither of us is allowed to erect any form of fence.. the land must remain open , but theoretically we could both pave the lawn in order to park our cars . The district council planning office should have details of the properties you are interested in and sometimes local libraries carry copies of plans too.
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Jules1
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04-01-2006, 12:32 AM
Hiya i agree with what everybody says.
I process mortgages ( well up until Friday ). I have to deal with deeds
on a daily basis. The agent should be able to tell you more regarding the rights etc of the property. Normally the solicitor can tell you more as it is more of a legal issue. They hold the deeds unless they are in storage.
If you go for the house then the person you take your mortgage up with will instruct one of their valuers to value the house as they need to check the LTV of your borrowings. Loan to value. The new regulations say that the clients can now see the valuation. This has only just taken effect. The valuation can tell you alot more of the property.
House sounds lovely...best of luck

Jules XX
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