Can we get planning permission before we purchase a house?

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We like a place, but only if we can get an extension. How do we proceed?

Q Please could you give us some advice about purchasing a property on which we would like to do an extension – but which we wouldn’t want to buy if we cannot get planning permission. There has been no survey as yet. How does the process work? SB

A In theory, once your offer is accepted you can make the purchase dependant on getting planning permission before you exchange contracts. However, the extra time this adds to the transaction, as well as the inconvenience of architect visits for the sellers, may mean that in practice they won’t sign up to such an agreement, especially if they have found somewhere to buy themselves and are keen to move quickly.

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