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Home Affairs response to Economic Development policy letter
Thursday 19 October 2017

Statement from Deputy Mary Lowe, President of the Committee for Home Affairs.

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Committee for Economic Development proposes changes to the Population Management Law in response to hospitality sector concerns
Thursday 19 October 2017

In response to the introduction of the Population Management Law earlier this year, the Committee for Economic Development has been approached by a number of representatives acting on behalf of the hospitality sector expressing their concerns with certain aspects of the recently enacted Law.

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Préfet of Brittany makes first visit to the Channel Islands
Thursday 19 October 2017

The Préfet of Brittany, Mr Christophe Mirmand, visited Jersey today, Thursday 19 October, to meet representatives from the Governments of Guernsey and Jersey, as part of the growing relationship between the Islands and the Brittany region.

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Request a Property Search and Immunity Certificate

Contact Us - Planning and Building

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This page contains information regarding the mechanisms in place to help protect residents from unlawful planning and building development.

It should be noted that not all works require formal planning permission. Do I need planning permission? offers further information.

The vast majority of changes to land and property in Guernsey are carried out with the correct planning permissions and building regulation licences in place but property altered without the correct planning and building permissions in place, in addition to being unlawful and potentially unsafe, can create problems when the property is sold on.

Guidance regarding searches and certificates is contained in pdf icon Buying and Selling of Property [277kb].

Please note that planning application drawings will be available to view by members of the public after the decision has been reached and details are contained in pdf icon Public Access to Previously Approved Plans document [86kb].

Example: A house is advertised and sold with bedrooms in the roof space. The new owners would like to further alter and extend the property. However, when planning permission is sought, it becomes apparent that no approval has been granted for the loft conversion, which contravenes several Building Control and fire safety requirements. In order to rectify these problems, it costs the owners a considerable sum of money which was not anticipated when they purchased the property.

There are two mechanisms in place to help protect residents from unlawful development:

  • Property Searches - provide prospective purchasers with information on the planning history and status of residential and commercial property and can identify potentially illegal work.

    • Property searches do not need to be carried out by an agent or advocate, but can be requested and paid for by the individual using the pdf icon Application Form [257kb] (the form can be posted on request).
    • Further guidance is contained in pdf icon Buying and Selling Property [277kb].
    • Searches are carried out on request and with the pdf icon owner's permission [106kb].
    • Scheduling a property search prior to the purchase or lease of a property (including business premises) can identify illegal works carried out to property without planning permission or without a licence under building regulations.
    • Searches can include:
    • ⇒ planning and building control history from 2002
    • ⇒ planning and building control history from prior to 2002 (accessing archive files as necessary)
    • ⇒ current Use Class of the property (confirmation of its current authorised use)
    • ⇒ whether the property is a Protected Building
    • ⇒ whether the property includes any protected tree or monument
    • ⇒ whether the property is in a Conservation Area or Site of Special Significance
    • Planning History can include:
    • ⇒ details of planning and other applications
    • ⇒ decisions on such applications including conditions imposed, appeals made against such decisions and compliance and other enforcement notices served
    • Building Control History can include:
    • ⇒ details of approval or rejection of full plans, including modifications or conditions imposed.
    • ⇒ issuing of licences, compliance and other enforcement notices served and issue of completion certificates
  • Property Search Fees

    • The current fees for property searches are:
    • ⇒ Standard domestic search charge of £80.00
    • ⇒ Enhanced domestic search charge of £120.00
    • ⇒ Standard non-domestic search charge of £120.00
    • ⇒ Enhanced non-domestic search charge of £200.00
    • ⇒ Domestic property search appointment (30 minutes) will cost £65.00
    • ⇒ Non-domestic property search (30 minutes) will cost £100.00
    • Confirmation of Domestic Curtilage charge of £65.00
  • Immunity Certificate -  can provide reassurance that we will not be taking enforcement action against a purchaser for a known or suspected breach of planning control.

    • To apply for an Immunity Certificate please complete and return the pdf icon application form [198kb] along with the appropriate application fee of £70.00.
    • Further guidance is contained in pdf icon Buying and Selling Property [277kb].
    • Immunity Certificates provide those entering into an agreement to purchase a property with the reassurance that we will not be taking enforcement action against them for a breach of planning control carried out by the previous owners.
    • They do not act as any form of warranty against illegal development carried out at the site prior to its date of issue.
    • Often breaches of planning control come to light when a new owner or leaseholder applies for permission for further works to their property or land.
    • If you are concerned about a breach of planning control please see Protect Against Unauthorised Development.
    • Please note that we do not have the resources to carry out an inspection of every property that is sold or leased.
    • If you would like to check the planning and building control history of a property prior to purchase or lease, you can request a property search (see above).

Please note that Property Searches are different and separate to Immunity Certificates.

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