Loft conversions and planning permission
We all love our homes, but when you need a little more space a loft conversion is a good option.
When carrying out home improvements, you must ensure that you comply with Local Authority Regulations as well as the requirements of your mortgage company.
A Loft Conversion is usually considered to be permitted development and therefore does not require an application for planning permission.
It is always worth checking with your Local Authority as Loft Conversions are not considered a permitted development for properties that are on designated land.
Designated land is includes; Conservations Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks, The Broads and World Heritage Sites.
The council planning website may also be a good source of information.
Your Loft Conversion cannot be of an unlimited size or height and there are certain restrictions you must comply with, even within the permitted development regime.
The loft conversion must be:
- Within 40 cubic metres for terraced houses;
- Within 50 cubic metres for semi-detached houses;
- If any previous loft conversion works have been carried out, these should be taken into account when planning the size of your conversion;
- If you intend to extend beyond the plan of the existing roof that fronts onto a highway, then this is NOT permitted development and planning permission should be sought;
- You should ensure that the material you use for the conversion is similar in appearance to the existing house;
- The loft conversion should not be higher than the highest part of the existing roof.
- Verandas, balconies or raised platforms are not permitted development and planning permission should be sought for these;
- If you intend to put in a side facing window this needs to have obscure glazing; and
- Roof extensions, as far as practical, need to be at least 20cm from the original eaves.
If you are any in doubt as to whether or not your Loft Conversion requires planning permission, you should submit your plans to your Local Authority for approval. They will review the plans and advise you of any requirements they have. If you do this, you will also have peace of mind that you have complied with any and all planning requirements relating to your particular loft conversion.
Jordans Solicitors can help you liaise with the Local Authority to ensure you are compliant with planning requirements.
When is Building Regulations Consent required?
With any structural alteration, you should always work on the basis that you will require Building Regulations approval from your Local Authority.
Loft Conversions require Building Regulations Approval because you will have converted the loft or attic into a liveable space.
Building Regulations Approval ensures that the works that you are carrying out are structurally safe for the property, they include checking:
- That there is sufficient structural strength of the new floor;
- That the property is stable and the existing roof is not at risk of collapse;
- That the occupants can have safe escape from fire;
- That any new staircase is safe and secure; and
- That there is good and reasonable sound insulation.
If live in a terrace or semi-detached property you will also need to check your title deeds. This is to ascertain whether you share a wall with your neighbour which could be a Party Wall. If it is, you may need to serve a Party Wall Act Notice.
Jordans Solicitors can assist you with the title deeds check and serve any required notices on your behalf.
This guide is a useful read:
Even if you are just boarding the loft out for storage, building regulations may still be required as you are potentially altering the structural integrity of the property.
Flats, apartments and houses over two storeys may have additional requirements.
If you want to discuss plans for your loft extension and the next steps to take, please contact Keira Rawden using the contact form below or on 01924 387110 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org