Sunday, July 02, 2006

New stealth tax unleashed on garden building plots

Just arrived back from the Peterborough Homebuilding & Renovating show this weekend. At one of my seminars, there was a bloke from Tuddenham in Suffolk who has managed to get planning permission to build a new house in his garden. Nothing unusual about that. But the council, Forest Heath, had a sting in the tail for him. They have demanded a fee of £25,000 from him, to be paid before occupation.

I had heard of fees of £3,000 and £4,000 being demanded before from one of two councils, but nothing like this. It seems this policy has been has slipped through on the nod, without so much as an announcement, at least not one that I noticed. He told me that the council have the right to demand up to a third of the market value of the plot and that they were trying to make out that he was getting off lightly because they were only asking for 25%.