Getting mortgages with and without planning permission

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Mortgage on a property with or without planning permission

In the multifaceted world of property acquisition and development, navigating the nuances of planning permissions and understanding their implications for mortgages can be a daunting task. This guide seeks to demystify the relationship between planning permissions, mortgages, and local council interventions in the UK. Whether you’re contemplating an appeal against a planning decision, considering selling a property with unresolved permissions or simply aiming to understand the broader landscape, we’ve got you covered. Dive in to unravel the complexities and empower yourself with the knowledge to make informed property and financial decisions.

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What is planning permission?

Planning permission, in the context of the UK, is the formal permission from local authorities required for most types of development or changes in the use of land or buildings. It’s a part of the town and country planning framework used to manage the development of land and buildings, ensuring that it aligns with local planning policies and regulations.

Before you build a new property, make significant changes to an existing structure, or change the use of buildings or land, you likely need to apply for planning permission. Authorities review applications to ensure that the development aligns with local and national planning policies, does not negatively impact neighbours or the local environment, and meets other legal requirements. If planning permission is not sought where it’s necessary, the local authority can take enforcement action, which might require the alteration or removal of the development.

Can you get a mortgage on a property without planning permission?

Getting a mortgage on a property without the necessary planning permission can be challenging. Lenders in the UK typically require that properties have the correct planning permissions and building regulations approvals in place, ensuring that the property is legally compliant and a sound investment.

If a property lacks the necessary planning permission for any alterations, extensions, or changes in use, it may be seen as higher risk by mortgage lenders. This could lead to difficulties in securing a mortgage, or it might result in less favourable mortgage terms. Additionally, a lack of planning permission could impact the property’s market value and saleability in the future.

However, some lenders may still offer a mortgage on such properties, possibly requiring the buyer to obtain retrospective planning permission or take out indemnity insurance to mitigate the risks associated with the lack of planning permission. Each lender will have their own criteria and risk appetite, so it would be advisable to consult with various lenders or a mortgage advisor to explore the available options based on the specific circumstances of the property and the buyer.

Can you apply for planning permission before buying property or land?

Yes, you can apply for planning permission before buying a property or land in the UK, but you’ll need the consent of the current land or property owner to do so. People often do this to assess the feasibility of their plans before committing to a purchase. This approach is known as obtaining “conditional planning permission.”

Getting conditional planning permission allows you to understand whether your intended development or changes are likely to be approved by the local planning authority, helping you make a more informed decision about proceeding with the purchase. Keep in mind that the results of the planning permission application can influence the value of the property or land, affecting the purchase price and the willingness of mortgage lenders to provide finance for the acquisition and development.

Can you get a mortgage for a house with an extension without planning permission?

Getting a mortgage for a house with an extension that lacks proper planning permission can be complex and challenging. Mortgage lenders in the UK are generally cautious when it comes to lending against properties that have unauthorised extensions or modifications, as these can pose legal and financial risks. The absence of planning permission means that the local council could request the homeowner to remove the extension, leading to potential financial losses.

However, some lenders may still consider offering a mortgage under certain circumstances. One possible solution could be obtaining retrospective planning permission from the local council, which, if granted, legalises the extension. Another option could be taking out indemnity insurance, which could protect the lender and homeowner against potential enforcement actions by the local authority, although it doesn’t legalise the extension.

Each mortgage lender will have its own set of policies and risk assessments. Some may be willing to negotiate terms, considering the overall condition and value of the property and the specific circumstances surrounding the lack of planning permission. Therefore, it could be beneficial to consult with a mortgage advisor to navigate the available options and find a mortgage product that suits the specific situation.

Can I get a mortgage on land without planning permission?

Getting a mortgage on land without planning permission is possible, but it can be more challenging. Lenders tend to see land without planning permission as a higher risk because the lack of permission limits what can be done with the land, making it potentially less valuable and harder to sell.

If you intend to build on the land, having planning permission in place can make it easier to secure a mortgage because it gives the lender more confidence in the feasibility and future value of the development.

However, some lenders specialise in land mortgages and may offer products even when planning permission is absent. Terms and rates may vary, and the lender might require detailed plans outlining what you intend to do with the land.

Consulting a mortgage advisor with experience in land purchases might be helpful to understand your options and find suitable lenders based on your intentions and financial situation.

What types of mortgages are available for self-build projects?

For self-build projects in the UK, there are specialised mortgages designed to finance the construction process. Here are the primary types of self-build mortgages:

Arrears stage payment mortgages:

  • Release of Funds: Funds are released in stages as the build progresses, but each stage payment is given in arrears, meaning after each stage is completed and inspected.
  • Suitability: Suitable for people who have enough initial capital to fund the early stages of the build.

Advance stage payment mortgages:

  • Release of Funds: Money is released at various stages of the construction, but crucially, it is made available at the beginning of each build stage rather than at the end.
  • Suitability: Beneficial for those who lack extensive upfront capital. It helps in managing cash flow during the building process.

Custom build mortgages:

  • Release of Funds: Custom-build mortgages are a variant of self-build mortgages tailored for custom-build projects, where you might be part of a larger scheme, and the land is already owned by a developer or builder.
  • Suitability: Suitable for people looking to build on a plot within a larger, organised custom-build development.

Renovation mortgages:

  • Release of Funds: Specifically designed for properties in need of renovation or significant improvement. The funds are often released in stages, similar to a standard self-build mortgage.
  • Suitability: Ideal for projects focusing on refurbishing or renovating an existing structure.

Income-based mortgages:

  • Release of Funds: Assessment and lending are primarily based on the borrower’s income and affordability.
  • Suitability: Suitable for individuals with a steady income looking to manage payments aligned with their earnings.
    Key Considerations:
  • Interest Rates: Self-build mortgages often have higher interest rates compared to standard residential mortgages.
  • Lending Criteria: Lenders may have specific criteria, including detailed plans and a reliable cost estimate.
  • Loan Amount: Generally, lenders offer a percentage of the project cost, including land and construction costs.

Consulting a mortgage advisor specialised in self-build projects can provide tailored advice, helping you choose a mortgage type that aligns with your financial situation and project requirements.

Are there specific mortgage lenders in the UK that specialise in properties without planning permission?

It’s less common to find mortgage lenders that specialise specifically in properties without planning permission, as this adds an element of risk and uncertainty to the loan. However, there are some specialist lenders and brokers in the UK who deal with unusual or higher-risk properties, and they might handle cases involving lack of planning permission. These lenders often offer bespoke services, tailoring their mortgage products to suit the complexities and risks associated with such properties.

Specialist lenders might require borrowers to undertake certain actions to mitigate risks, such as obtaining retrospective planning permission or indemnity insurance against enforcement actions by local authorities. Keep in mind that the terms, interest rates, and fees for such mortgages may be less favourable due to the increased risks.

It could be advantageous to seek advice from mortgage brokers who specialise in unconventional or high-risk properties. They can offer guidance, help navigate the mortgage application process, and connect borrowers with suitable lenders who are willing to consider properties without planning permission.

What are the risks of buying a property without planning permission?

Buying a property without the necessary planning permission in the UK comes with several risks, including:

Legal and enforcement Actions:

  • Local authorities may take enforcement action, requiring unauthorised structures to be modified or removed, potentially at the owner’s expense.

Financial implications:

  • The cost of correcting unauthorised works can be substantial, and there might also be fines involved.
  • The property’s market value may be adversely affected due to the lack of proper permissions.

Mortgage difficulties:

  • It might be challenging to secure a mortgage on a property without the correct planning permissions.
  • Future remortgaging might also be complicated, limiting options to switch lenders or renegotiate terms.

Insurance complications:

  • Insurers might be reluctant to provide coverage, or premiums might be higher due to the increased risks associated with unauthorised structures.

Resale challenges:

  • Selling the property in the future could be more difficult, limiting the pool of potential buyers, especially those needing a mortgage.
  • The lack of planning permission could be a significant negotiating point, possibly reducing the selling price.

Uncertainty and stress:

  • Owning a property without proper permissions can lead to ongoing uncertainty and stress, with potential legal conflicts with local authorities.
  • Unexpected changes might be required in the future to comply with enforcement actions or new regulations.

Retrofitting and repairs:

  • Unauthorised structures might not meet building regulations, possibly requiring costly retrofitting or repairs to meet standards.

Before purchasing such a property, it might be wise to seek legal advice, engage with planning consultants, and thoroughly assess the risks and potential costs involved. This can help inform a decision and prepare for potential challenges that may arise due to the lack of planning permission.

What are the costs of getting planning permission?

The costs associated with obtaining planning permission in the UK can vary based on several factors, including the type and scale of the project, location, and whether external professionals, like architects or planning consultants, are involved. Here’s a breakdown of some potential costs:

Application fees:

  • The local authority charges a fee for processing planning applications. These fees can vary but are typically fixed based on the nature and size of the development.

Professional consultancy Fees:

  • Hiring architects to prepare designs and plans.
  • Engaging planning consultants for advice and assistance in the application process.
  • Utilising surveyors for site surveys and assessments.

Technical surveys and reports:

  • Specialised surveys such as ecological surveys, flood risk assessments, or tree surveys may be necessary.
  • Preparing technical reports to support the application, like Design and Access Statements or Heritage Statements.

Public consultation and notification costs:

  • Costs associated with notifying neighbours or the community, and possibly organising public consultation events.

Local authority charges:

  • Some local authorities may charge for pre-application advice or other additional services.

Appeal costs:

  • If the planning permission is refused, there might be costs involved in appealing the decision, including professional fees and additional reports.

Legal costs:

  • Solicitor’s fees might be incurred, especially in complex cases or where legal agreements, like Section 106 agreements, are necessary.

Other miscellaneous costs:

  • Expenses related to printing, posting, and other administrative aspects.
  • Potential costs related to revising and resubmitting applications if initial submissions are not successful.

It’s essential to conduct thorough research and possibly consult with planning professionals to get a clear understanding of all potential costs specific to the planned development and local area to budget accurately.

How do I increase my chances of getting planning permission?

Increasing the chances of obtaining planning permission involves careful planning, research, and adherence to guidelines and regulations. Here are strategies to enhance the likelihood of approval:

Research and understand local policies: Familiarise yourself with local planning policies and guidelines to ensure that your proposal aligns with them.

Engage with pre-application services: Many local authorities offer pre-application advice services. Utilising this service can provide valuable feedback and guidance.

Professional consultation: Consider hiring professionals like architects or planning consultants who are knowledgeable and experienced in navigating the planning process.

Design consideration: Ensure that your design is sympathetic to the local area, considering aspects like scale, materials, and impact on neighbours and the environment.

Community and neighbour consultation: Engaging with neighbours and the local community early can help identify and address concerns proactively, potentially reducing objections.

Comprehensive and clear application: Submit a complete and well-prepared application with all necessary documents, plans, and supporting information, clearly articulating the proposal’s merits.

Environmental and technical assessments: Be prepared to conduct necessary surveys or assessments, such as ecological surveys or traffic impact assessments, and incorporate the findings into your plans.

Flexibility and adaptability: Be open to modifying your proposal based on feedback from the local authority, neighbours, or other stakeholders.

Effective communication: Maintain clear and open communication with the planning authority, responding promptly to requests for additional information or clarification.

Consider timing: Consider the timing of your application, taking into account local planning committees’ schedules, seasonal considerations, or other local factors that might impact the decision.

By adopting a meticulous and thoughtful approach, respecting local guidelines, and engaging proactively with stakeholders, you can optimise your planning application’s chances of success.

What are the best lenders for mortgages with and without planning permission?

When seeking lenders for mortgages associated with properties that either have or lack planning permission, the best choice will depend on individual circumstances, the specifics of the property, and the borrower’s preferences. Here are some notable lenders and considerations:

With Planning Permission:

When a property has proper planning permission, it is generally less risky for lenders. Traditional banks and building societies, as well as specialised mortgage lenders, might be suitable options. Consider:

High-street banks: Such as Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, and NatWest. These banks often offer competitive rates and various mortgage products.

Building societies: Like Nationwide, Yorkshire Building Society, or smaller local societies, which often have flexible and competitive offerings.

Without planning permission:

For properties lacking planning permission, seeking specialised lenders or brokers who handle unconventional or higher-risk mortgages might be necessary.

Specialist mortgage lenders: Companies specialising in non-standard mortgages, such as Together, Precise Mortgages, or Kensington Mortgages, might be more flexible with properties lacking planning permission.

Mortgage brokers: Brokers who specialise in adverse credit, unusual properties, or complex borrowing scenarios can help find suitable lenders.
Tips for Choosing a Lender:

Research and reviews: Look for customer reviews and lender ratings, which can provide insights into customer service and satisfaction.

Rates and fees: Compare interest rates, fees, and the overall cost of the mortgage among various lenders.

Terms and flexibility: Consider the mortgage terms, repayment options, and any flexibility or additional features offered.

Advisory services: Some lenders and brokers offer advisory services, helping guide you through the mortgage process and decision-making.

Remember that your financial circumstances, credit history, and the specifics of the property and planning permission status will influence lender options and mortgage availability. Consulting with a mortgage advisor can provide personalised advice and recommendations based on current market conditions and your specific situation.

What are the pros and cons of buying a property with and without planning permission?

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of buying a property with and without planning permission:

Buying a property with planning permission


Certainty and security: Planning permission adds a layer of legality and certainty to the property, reducing the risks of enforcement actions.

Easier financing: Obtaining a mortgage or other financing is generally more straightforward, as lenders view these properties as less risky.

Clear development path: Having planning permission clarifies what developments or modifications are approved, providing a clear guideline for future works.

Increased value: Planning permission can enhance the property’s value and marketability by reassuring potential buyers about the property’s legality and potential.


Limited flexibility: The planning permission granted may be specific, limiting the types of modifications or developments that can be made.

Expiry: Planning permissions are usually subject to time limits, and development must commence within a specific timeframe.

Cost: The process of obtaining planning permission involves costs, such as application fees and professional consultancy fees, which might be reflected in the property’s purchase price.

Buying a Property Without Planning Permission


Negotiation leverage: Lack of planning permission could provide room to negotiate a lower purchase price due to the associated risks.

Flexibility: Without existing permissions, there might be more flexibility to plan and apply for developments according to the new owner’s preferences.

Potential for value increase: If planning permission is subsequently obtained and development completed successfully, this could significantly increase the property’s value.


Uncertainty and risk: The absence of planning permission introduces risks of enforcement actions, legal issues, and potential complications in making modifications.

Financing challenges: Many lenders are wary of properties without planning permission, making it harder to secure a mortgage or other financing.

Potential additional costs: Obtaining retrospective planning permission, legal fees, or costs related to necessary modifications could add unexpected expenses.

Resale difficulties: Lack of planning permission might make the property harder to sell in the future, limiting potential buyers and affecting its marketability.

Every property and situation is unique, and it’s essential to conduct thorough due diligence, consider the associated risks and benefits, and seek professional advice if necessary when buying a property with or without planning permission.

Can you get a mortgage on a property with a conservatory that doesn’t have planning permission?

Obtaining a mortgage on a property with a conservatory that lacks planning permission can be challenging, but not impossible. Mortgage lenders typically assess the risk associated with a property before approving a loan, and unauthorised structures, such as a conservatory without planning permission, can elevate this risk.

When a property includes a structure that doesn’t comply with planning regulations, lenders may be concerned about the potential for enforcement actions by local authorities. This could lead to the requirement for alterations or removal of the structure, possibly affecting the property’s value and the security of the loan.

However, there are ways to navigate this situation. One approach is to obtain retrospective planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness from the local council, which can legitimise the structure and mitigate legal risks. Some lenders might also consider offering a mortgage if the borrower obtains indemnity insurance, which can provide protection against future enforcement actions related to planning permission.

Furthermore, specialist lenders and brokers with expertise in non-standard properties and planning issues might be more receptive and offer tailored mortgage products that accommodate the risks associated with unauthorised conservatories. These mortgages might come with different terms, conditions, and interest rates reflective of the elevated risk.

In summary, while obtaining a mortgage for a property with an unauthorised conservatory may be more complicated, various strategies and specialist lenders can facilitate the process. It is advisable to seek professional guidance to explore all available options and ensure that the chosen approach aligns with legal requirements and financial objectives.

Can you get a mortgage on a property that has been converted into flats without planning permission?

Securing a mortgage on a property that has been converted into flats without the necessary planning permission is a complex endeavor. Lenders generally assess the legality and risks associated with the property’s use and structures when considering mortgage applications, and the absence of required planning permissions can raise substantial concerns.

A property converted into flats without planning consent introduces uncertainties related to potential legal and enforcement actions. Local authorities could require the property to be returned to its original state or impose fines, both of which could impact the property’s value and the lender’s security. Such enforcement actions could lead to financial losses, making the mortgage a higher-risk investment for lenders.

However, it’s not impossible to secure a mortgage in such scenarios. Some specialist lenders or brokers deal with unconventional properties and complex legal scenarios, offering bespoke mortgage products that consider the associated risks. Obtaining retrospective planning permission is another way to mitigate risks. By legalising the conversion, the property owner can alleviate concerns related to enforcement actions, providing more assurance to mortgage lenders.

Indemnity insurance could also be considered. This insurance can offer a level of protection against potential losses arising from enforcement actions due to a lack of planning permission. Lenders might find this assurance comforting, although it doesn’t resolve the underlying legal irregularities.

Can I remortgage a property that’s had alterations without planning permission?

Remortgaging a property that has undergone alterations without the requisite planning permission presents its own set of challenges and considerations. The absence of planning permission implies that the alterations made to the property haven’t been officially sanctioned by the local authorities, introducing an element of legal uncertainty and risk into the equation.

Lenders, when evaluating a remortgage application, conduct thorough assessments to gauge the level of risk involved. Alterations without proper permissions are seen as liabilities, given that they may lead to enforcement actions by the local councils. Such actions could necessitate modifications or removal of the unauthorised alterations, potentially affecting the property’s market value and, consequently, the lender’s collateral.

However, there are pathways to navigate this complexity. One strategy involves obtaining retrospective planning permission for the alterations. This action can help in legalising the previous changes, reducing the associated risks and making the property more appealing to lenders.

Another option could be to acquire indemnity insurance, specifically tailored to cover risks associated with the lack of planning permission. Such insurance can offer some assurance to lenders by providing a safety net against potential legal repercussions or enforcement actions.

Specialist lenders who operate in the niche of unconventional properties and complex legal scenarios might also be more receptive to such remortgage applications. They may offer tailored products, factoring in the specific risks linked to unauthorised alterations, albeit potentially at higher interest rates or under stricter terms.

Can I get a mortgage on a property that is in a conservation area?

Obtaining a mortgage on a property located within a conservation area is entirely feasible, but it does come with its own set of specific considerations and requirements. Conservation areas are designated places of historical or architectural interest, where stricter planning controls are implemented to preserve and enhance the area’s character and appearance.

Lenders, when evaluating mortgage applications for properties within conservation areas, may conduct more comprehensive assessments to gauge the associated risks and restrictions. They will consider the property’s condition, any potential legal constraints due to its location, and any additional obligations that might affect the property’s maintenance and alteration.

Having a property in a conservation area often implies that there are tighter restrictions on alterations, extensions, and demolitions. Consequently, lenders will consider whether these constraints could affect the property’s market value and the borrower’s ability to maintain it adequately.

However, being in a conservation area can also be seen positively as it often helps to preserve the neighbourhood’s overall aesthetic appeal and historical value, potentially enhancing the property’s long-term value. Mortgage lenders are generally familiar with the nuances of financing properties in such areas and will have protocols in place to manage the associated risks.

It’s also essential for the prospective buyer to be well-versed in the additional responsibilities and restrictions that come with owning a property in a conservation area. Knowledge of these aspects will facilitate smoother communication with the mortgage lender and assist in making well-informed decisions regarding the property purchase and mortgage application.

Can I get a mortgage on a property that is listed?

Acquiring a mortgage for a listed property in the UK is certainly possible, but it does come with a unique set of challenges and considerations due to the special status of such properties. Listed buildings are officially recognised for their historical or architectural significance, and as such, they are subject to stringent conservation regulations to maintain their integrity and character.

Mortgage lenders, when considering an application related to a listed property, tend to conduct a more rigorous assessment due to the complexities and potential legal obligations that come with maintaining and altering a listed building. They will scrutinise the property’s condition, the prospective buyer’s ability to manage the necessary maintenance or restoration works, and any implications these factors might have on the property’s value and resale potential.

Lenders may also consider the grade or category of the listing, as this dictates the level of regulation and restriction placed on the property. Higher grades might signify stricter conservation rules, which can influence the lender’s decision and the terms of the mortgage offered.

However, there are lenders specialised in offering mortgages for listed properties. These institutions tend to have a deeper understanding of the unique challenges and requirements associated with financing such purchases, and they may offer tailored mortgage products that accommodate these nuances, possibly with adjusted interest rates and lending criteria to reflect the associated risks.

Prospective buyers should also be well-prepared and informed about the responsibilities that come with owning a listed property. A clear understanding of the legal obligations, potential restoration costs, and specific planning permissions required for alterations will be crucial in managing the property and satisfying the mortgage commitments.

How do I know if a property has the necessary planning permissions before getting a mortgage?

Determining whether a property has the necessary planning permissions is a crucial step before proceeding with a mortgage application. Ensuring that all structural and usage aspects of the property comply with local planning regulations is essential to avoid potential legal complications and ensure the investment’s security and viability.

One effective approach to verify the planning permissions is through a diligent pre-purchase process. You can start by directly inquiring with the seller or estate agent, asking them to provide detailed information and documentation regarding the planning permissions associated with the property. Official documents, such as planning permission grants, building regulations certificates, and completion certificates, serve as valid proofs of compliance.

Additionally, local authority searches are instrumental in revealing the property’s planning history. By contacting the local council’s planning department, you can access records that detail the planning applications, decisions, and conditions related to the property. These records can provide insights into whether the necessary permissions have been obtained and whether any enforcement actions or restrictions apply to the property.

It might also be beneficial to engage legal or property professionals in this process. Conveyancing solicitors specialising in property transactions can conduct comprehensive searches, interpret legal documents, and provide valuable advice on the property’s compliance with planning regulations. Their expertise can help identify any discrepancies, risks, or missing permissions that might impact the mortgage application.

In summary, verifying a property’s planning permissions involves a combination of direct inquiries, local authority searches, and professional legal consultations. By conducting a thorough investigation and utilising available resources and expertise, you can ascertain the property’s planning status, making an informed decision before proceeding with a mortgage application.

How a broker can help

A mortgage broker can play a vital role in facilitating and simplifying the process of acquiring a mortgage, especially when it comes to properties with planning permission considerations. Brokers possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise that allows them to navigate the complexities of the mortgage landscape effectively, providing invaluable guidance to potential buyers.

Firstly, a broker can help in identifying and sourcing appropriate mortgage products and lenders. Given the intricacies associated with planning permissions, a broker’s insight is crucial in finding lenders who are receptive to granting mortgages for properties with unique planning considerations, such as those lacking planning permissions or located in conservation areas.

Brokers also offer personalised advice tailored to the buyer’s financial circumstances and the property’s specific conditions. They are instrumental in elucidating the various mortgage options, explaining their implications, and advising on the suitability of different mortgage products. This tailored guidance aids buyers in making informed decisions that align with their financial objectives and the property’s characteristics.

Negotiation is another area where brokers prove instrumental. Equipped with industry knowledge and professional relationships, brokers can negotiate favourable mortgage terms, potentially securing lower interest rates or more flexible conditions. This negotiation can make a significant difference in the mortgage’s affordability and overall financial implications.

Furthermore, a broker can assist in managing and streamlining the application process. They can help organise the necessary documentation, liaise between the buyer and lender, and ensure that the application progresses smoothly. Their involvement can expedite the process, reduce administrative burdens, and enhance the likelihood of a successful mortgage application.

How do lenders view planning permission?

Lenders view planning permission as a crucial factor when evaluating the viability and risk associated with granting a mortgage for a property. Planning permission is essentially an official approval granted by local authorities, allowing the development or alteration of a property within specified regulations. It plays a significant role in ensuring that properties comply with legal standards and local planning policies, thereby maintaining a structured and sustainable environment.

For lenders, planning permission acts as an assurance of the property’s legality and compliance with local regulations. It helps confirm that any renovations, extensions, or constructions associated with the property have been conducted within legal parameters, mitigating risks of future legal disputes or enforcement actions by local authorities. In the absence of the necessary planning permissions, a property might be subject to fines, modifications, or even demolition, which could impact the property’s value and, consequently, the security of the lender’s investment.

Lenders also consider the specifics of the planning permission, such as what has been permitted, any associated conditions or restrictions, and their potential implications for the property’s use and value. Detailed assessment of these aspects helps lenders in understanding the property’s market value, potential risks, and overall suitability as collateral for the mortgage loan.

In scenarios where planning permission is lacking or uncertain, lenders might be more cautious, and the mortgage terms might reflect this increased risk, possibly through higher interest rates or more stringent conditions. However, some lenders might be willing to consider additional factors, like indemnity insurance or the likelihood of obtaining retrospective planning permission, when evaluating the mortgage application.

Can you get a mortgage on a property or land that already has planning permission?

Yes, acquiring a mortgage on a property or parcel of land that already possesses planning permission is not only possible but can also be advantageous in the mortgage application process. The existence of valid planning permission signifies that the property or land has met specific regulatory approvals for construction or modification, which can often enhance its appeal and value to potential lenders.

Having planning permission in place generally indicates a level of preparedness and reduces the uncertainty tied to the property’s potential development. It allows the lender to have a clearer understanding of what the finalised project will entail, offering a more defined basis upon which to evaluate the loan’s risks and merits. This clarity tends to facilitate the lending process, as it provides a solid foundation for assessing the viability and profitability of the proposed development or improvement plans.
Moreover, lenders often view pre-existing planning permission as a positive attribute because it signifies a reduced risk of legal or regulatory complications in the future development of the property or land. It helps assure the lender that the proposed works or construction projects align with local planning policies and regulations, mitigating the risks associated with non-compliance or planning refusals.

However, it’s essential to consider the specifics of the planning permission, ensuring that it aligns with your intentions and capabilities as a borrower. Detailed scrutiny of the permissions, conditions, and any associated constraints is crucial to avoid unexpected complications and ensure that the plans are feasible within your financial and operational means.

What steps should I take if I discover my mortgaged property doesn’t have the required planning permissions?

Discovering that your mortgaged property lacks the necessary planning permissions can be distressing, but taking decisive and informed actions can help in managing and rectifying the situation. Here’s a structured approach to addressing this issue:

  1. Research and documentation: Begin by gathering as much information as possible. Find out precisely which parts of the property are lacking planning permission and what permissions or regulations are relevant to your situation. Collect and organise any existing documents or correspondence related to your property’s planning history.
  2. Professional consultation: Seek advice from professionals such as planning consultants or solicitors who specialise in property law. They can provide guidance on your options, potential outcomes, and the best course of action based on your specific circumstances.
  3. Contact the local authority: Engage proactively with the local planning authority. Inquire about the possibility of applying for retrospective planning permission and understand their process and requirements. Be prepared to comply with their directions, which may involve modifications to the property or other corrective actions.
  4. Retrospective planning application: Consider submitting a retrospective planning application if advised by professionals and permissible by the local authority. Ensure that your application is comprehensive, accurate, and supported by necessary documents and justifications.
  5. Indemnity insurance: Explore the option of obtaining indemnity insurance. It could provide a level of protection against potential legal actions or enforcement related to the lack of planning permission. However, be clear about what the insurance covers and any limitations or exclusions.
  6. Communication with the mortgage lender: Maintain open communication with your mortgage lender. Inform them of the situation, your findings, and the steps you are taking to resolve the issue. Transparency can help in maintaining a cooperative relationship and finding mutually agreeable solutions.
  7. Exploration of legal remedies: If necessary, explore legal remedies. For example, you may consider seeking legal recourse if there were misrepresentations during the property purchase process regarding planning permissions.

Taking methodical and well-informed steps is crucial in navigating the challenges of lacking planning permissions in a mortgaged property. Being proactive, seeking professional advice, and engaging cooperatively with relevant authorities and parties can facilitate the resolution of the issue and the mitigation of potential risks and consequences.

Speak to a broker

Traditional mortgages may not be suitable. A specialised broker can provide advice on how to present your case to lenders in the most favourable light, improving your chances of securing a mortgage.

Having a broker’s expertise can make the mortgage application process smoother, helping you navigate any challenges related to planning issues. They can assist in finding tailored solutions, ensuring that the financial aspects of your project align with the planning requirements and regulations. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to a broker if you’re dealing with mortgages involving planning issues, as their guidance can be instrumental in successfully managing and financing your property or land purchase. Contact broker today.


How does planning permission differ from building regulations?

Planning permission and building regulations are two distinct aspects of the property development and modification process, each serving different purposes. Planning permission is primarily concerned with the appearance, use, and impact of new constructions or alterations to existing structures. It focuses on how development will affect the local environment, infrastructure, and community, including considerations such as design, appearance, and location.

Building regulations, on the other hand, deal with the technical aspects of construction and design. They set the standards for the construction, ensuring that buildings are safe, energy-efficient, and accessible. Building regulations cover various aspects, such as structural integrity, fire safety, insulation, ventilation, and electrical and gas safety.

What reasons can planning permission be refused?

Planning permission can be refused for several reasons, such as:

Inconsistency with Local Plans: The proposed development does not align with the local authority’s development plan or policies.

Impact on the Environment: The development may have a detrimental effect on the environment, wildlife, or local landscape.

Highway safety: Concerns regarding traffic and road safety due to the proposed development.

Amenity impact: Negative impact on the living conditions of nearby residents, such as noise, privacy, or light issues.

Design: The design or appearance of the proposed development is inappropriate or out of character with the existing area.

What are the potential penalties for not having planning permission on a mortgaged property?

Not having planning permission where it’s required can lead to several penalties, including:

Enforcement notice: The local authority may issue an enforcement notice requiring you to undo the changes made to the property.

Fines: Heavy fines may be imposed, and the amount can vary depending on the nature of the breach.

Legal action: In some cases, legal action could be taken, which might lead to prosecution.

Difficulties in selling: Lack of necessary planning permission can make it challenging to sell the property in the future, as it might discourage potential buyers or lead to complications in the conveyancing process.

These issues might also affect the relationship with your mortgage lender, as they might see the lack of planning permission as a risk to their investment, possibly affecting the terms of the mortgage or the ability to secure future financing.

Can I appeal a planning permission decision while in the middle of a mortgage application?

Yes, you can appeal a planning permission decision while in the midst of a mortgage application. However, it’s essential to consider that the appeal process can be time-consuming and there is no guarantee of a successful outcome. Additionally, the uncertainty surrounding the appeal might impact your mortgage application. Lenders may be hesitant due to the added risk, and it could potentially delay or jeopardise the mortgage approval process. Communicating openly with your lender and keeping them informed about the appeal and its progress is crucial during this period.

Is it harder to sell a property without planning permission, even if I have a mortgage on it?

Selling a property without proper planning permission can indeed be more challenging. Lack of planning permission may deter potential buyers due to the legal and financial risks involved, such as the possibility of enforcement action by the local authority. Additionally, buyers may face difficulties in securing a mortgage for a property without the necessary planning permissions, further narrowing the pool of potential purchasers.

Local councils primarily intervene by enforcing planning laws and regulations. They do not directly involve themselves in mortgage-related disputes but focus on whether the property complies with planning permissions and regulations. If a property violates planning rules, the council may issue enforcement notices, require alterations or removal of unauthorised developments, or impose fines. The council’s actions can indirectly impact mortgage agreements, as lenders may reconsider the loan terms due to the increased risks associated with planning disputes and potential legal complications. The communication between the council, property owner, and mortgage lender is essential in such situations to navigate the complexities of planning permission disputes effectively.

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