You’ve been planning it in your head for months, the transformation of your unused loft, the new space that you’ve been dreaming of. But do you have planning permission? Do you even need it? We’re in the business of keeping things simple, so we’ve broken down everything you need to know about your new loft conversion or extension when it comes to getting your house in order.
When is planning permission required?
If your new space is a standard room-in-roof loft, you’ll be pleased to know that most people don’t require planning permission. If however, you’re designing a dormer extension, or any other type of conversion, permission may be necessary.
During our initial visit, we’ll discuss your vision and assess whether planning permission is right for you. But, some simple specifications could give you a reasonably good idea before we arrive.
If any of the following statements are true for your proposed loft conversion, then you’ll likely need planning permission:
- Your new space is over 50m³ (40m³ for a terraced home)
- The dormer is beyond the plane of the existing roof slope on the front elevation
- The dormer is higher than the current most-upper part of the roof (often the case in Mansard style extensions)
- Your design includes side windows that are non-obscure glazed and/or less than 1.7m above the floor
- You live in a specially designated area such as a Conservation Area or your home is listed
- The dormer will be within 20cm of the eaves.
I need permission – what happens next?
If you’ve just discovered that you need planning permission, don’t panic. While it may seem daunting at first, our highly-skilled design team will help you through every step of the process. If required, our recommended architects will draw and design a whole new set of plans that meet current building standards. Then, we’ll submit the designs to your local planning department, and file full structural drawings to building control, liaising with their people throughout the process on your behalf. The planning permission process usually takes 8-10 weeks, so remember to include this into any timescales.
My loft doesn’t require permission – can I start my project?
Congratulations, you’re ready to begin work on your dream space. But before you do, consider applying for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC). While you might not need planning permission today, changes to surrounding buildings and Conservation Areas may make permission a requirement in the future. An LDC is proof that your household building work is lawful. It’ll answer any questions raised by potential buyers or their legal representatives, and protect you from any potential queries by the local council.
Whether you’re planning a loft conversion, new basement or an extension to your home, we work with highly skilled tradespeople to create the space you desire. And we don’t over-complicate simple solutions. We offer creative ideas and work with you in mind at every stage.