Heritage Advice Service - Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 27 October 2020

General

I own the Freehold of my property, why do I require Heritage Foundation consent?

The Scheme of Management applies to all Freehold properties within the Letchworth Garden City Estate.  The Scheme of Management document can be found here.

I am a leaseholder, what do I need to apply for?

All leasehold properties have covenants attached to the leasehold which require Consent from Letchworth Garden City for any external alterations and additions.

I am a tenant of a Housing association, who do I apply to?

Generally you will need to apply to your housing association who will either apply to us on your behalf or will consider your application under their own procedures.

What works do I need Landlord’s Consent for?

Most works affecting the external appearance of your property and its gardens, as well as outbuildings (such as larger sheds) and tree removal.  Full details can be found within our Design Principles which are relevant to the area in which you live.

Landlord’s Consent is separate to permissions from other organizations, such as North Herts District Council’s planning and building control departments or the highway authority.

The works I am carrying out are like for like, do I still require an application?

Yes. All external alterations require an application. In some cases, such as replacement windows, the existing details may not be historically accurate and we will ask for the new windows to follow the original design.

My contractor has pre-arranged consent with the Heritage Foundation and as such I do not need to apply.

We have no arrangements with any contractors nor issue pre-arranged consents. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to get written consent before the works are carried out. If the contractor carries out work without our consent, the breach of the legal contract falls to you to deal with.

 

Application Process

How do I apply for Landlord’s Consent?

The easiest way to apply for our Consent is via our Online Portal.

Alternatively you can download an application form and apply via email at home@letchworth.com or by posting or dropping your application off at One Garden City, Broadway, Letchworth Garden City, Herts, SG6 3BF.

How long does the process take?

We aim to get our decisions out through between 4 and 6 weeks following submission of your proposals. However, in some circumstances, where there may need to be amendments to the proposals, it can take a little longer.

I have applied to carry out works to my property and been told that I am not registered. What does this mean?

When purchasing your property, you need to register with the Heritage Foundation as a legal requirement and sign up to the Scheme of Management. This is a legal agreement between you as the home owner and the us as your Landlord.

How do I register with the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation?

Any registration enquiries should be emailed to property@letchworth.com.

I have received a letter notifying me that my neighbour is carrying out work. What do I need to do?

For major works to a property, we do notify neighbours to give them an opportunity to comment on the proposals. The best way to respond is via email. Please note any comments will be posted on our website although any personal details are redacted.

What does 'First Stage Approval' mean?

First Stage Approval grants written consent for proposed works to commence.

Following First Stage Approval what if I want to change my plans?

It is very important that if you wish to change your plans that you contact us to discuss the changes and submit plans for our approval. We may be able to issue a Minor Works Approval if the proposals are slightly tweaked. For more substantial changes, we might ask for a fresh application.

What does 'Final Approval' mean?

'Final Approval' is the written consent that the proposed works were carried out in accordance with the First Stage Approval, and approval documentation.  A Plan Approval Notice is issued at this final stage.

How long is my approval valid for?

Once approved you have 3 years in which to carry out the works.

Refusal

My application has been refused. What can I do about it?

If your application is refused, you can either talk to the Case Officer to see if an amended scheme would be acceptable and submit a fresh application.

Alternatively you can seek for the decision to be reviewed by the Advisory Management Committee (AMC) who will report their findings to the Householders Application Committee (HAC) for a decision.

If your application is approved, you can then carry out the works once you have received the paperwork.

What if my application is still refused by Householders Application Committee following Advisory Management Committee?

In the event that your application is refused by HAC following AMC, you can apply to the Independent Inspector.

What would happen if I don’t get Consent

If works are carried out without the written Consent of Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, the homeowner is in breach of the Scheme of Management or of their lease. In the first instance a retrospective application needs to be submitted for the works with a fee of £216 (incl VAT).

What is a Retrospective application?

A Retrospective application is submitted when works have been carried out without the written consent of the Heritage Foundation. The application does not automatically grant consent for the works. In many circumstances the works are refused or granted No Consent.

What if my Retrospective Application is refused?

If your application has been refused, you can rectify the works so that they can be granted Consent.

Alternatively you can seek for the decision to be reviewed by the Advisory Management Committee  who will report their findings to the  Householders Application Committee for a decision. If your application is approved, you can then carry out the works, once you have received the paperwork.

What if I don’t apply for any works to my house?

The works are carried out at your own risk and you are in breach of your lease or of the Scheme of Management. This could result in difficulties when coming to sell your property and could results in legal action being taken by the Heritage Foundation.

Selling my Garden City Home

What do I need to do if I am selling my property?

In the event that you wish to sell your property, you will need to make sure that you have any Consents received from the Heritage Foundation to hand over to your Solicitor.

The works were carried out before December 2009        

Works carried out prior to December 2009 were subject to a single approval and no further paperwork is required unless the works do not comply with the approved plans.

The works were carried out after December 2009

Your works will require a Final Stage Approval which needs to be signed off and a Plan Approval Notice (PAN) is issued. Photographs of the work will need to be submitted to the Heritage Advice Service to be checked and if they comply a PAN is issued.

Works were carried out before I purchased my property. Do I need to do anything?

All works under the Scheme of Management or a Lease will require our Consent. Where there are no Consents on our records, even if the works are prior to your occupancy of the property, the works remain in breach of the SoM or lease until an application has been approved.

What is a Retrospective Application?

Where works have been carried out without Consent, a retrospective application will need to be submitted. As this is additional work for the HAS as it falls outside the remit of the SoM and/or lease, there is a charge for the application. Currently a retrospective application carries a fee of £216 (incl VAT) for up to 3 changes.

Buying a Garden City home

I’m in the process of buying a Garden City home and want to know if the changes I wish to carry out will be acceptable.

The Heritage Advice Service's relationship is with the current homeowner or tenant and as such we are unable to provide detailed advice to a potential purchaser. The Design Principles explain in detail the aims of HAS to preserve the appearance and amenity of the Garden City as well as providing details on all external changes that you may be thinking of carrying out.

Business Licenses

I work from home do I need a Business License?

Further advice on working from home and business licenses can be found here.

Trees

I have a tree in my garden, do I need consent to take it down?

Felling a tree will require our Consent. Please apply online here or fill out the application form.

Why do I need a Tree Surgeon’s report?

As a Garden City, it is very important to maintain the rural idyll. Unless there are special circumstances, the Heritage Foundation do not support the loss of healthy trees.

If I get Consent to take down a tree, do I need to plant a replacement?

In the majority of cases where a tree is removed, we do require a replacement to ensure that the green credentials of the Garden City are maintained.

My neighbour has a tree in their garden which is overhanging my property or damaging my property. What can I do?

Our relationship is with the homeowner and we can only accept applications where the homeowner has applied or their consent has been given for the application.

Highways

I want a dropped kerb to my frontage, do I need your Consent?

Hertfordshire Highways are the governing body for dropped kerbs. However, they will require evidence of a Consent from us for works to your frontage - for example, your driveway - before they will allow a dropped kerb.

Planning and Building Regulations

I have Planning Permission, why do I need to get your Consent as well?

If you are within the Scheme of Management or have a restrictive lease, you will also require our Consent.

What about Permitted Development, do I still need your Consent

Any external alteration to your property or additional buildings on your property or any works to the hardstanding or trees will also require our Consent.

Boundary disputes

The boundary between my home and my neighbour is wrong.

The Heritage Foundation cannot mediate, assist or pronounce on boundary disputes

My neighbour’s trees are overhanging my property, can you help?

The Heritage Foundation cannot mediate, assist or pronounce on boundary issues such as overhanging trees.