21 Feb Do I need Planning Permission for Loft Conversion
When building a loft conversion many people are worried about applying for planning permission. But, in most cases, they are worrying about nothing.
The vast majority of loft conversions will not require planning permission. And, if they adopt proposals published in December 2006, the government will soon make it even easier for householders to convert their loft and build home extensions without having to apply for planning permission.
Often, planning permission is considered crucial for the following three types of loft conversion methods, where the roof space is altered considerably:
1. Hip to Gable conversion: In this type, the sloped side of the roof is modified or extended to make a gable side or flat side to generate more space within the loft.
2. Dormer conversion: It is one of the most popular types of conversions that demands the approval of the local building authority. In this method, alterations are made out of the roof by installing a dormer window of suitable size.
3. Mansard conversion: This technique involves the extensive extension of the roof by raising the slant of the roof by 72 degrees.
As the law stands at the moment the only instances in which a homeowner would need to apply for planning permission for a loft conversion is if:
1. The property is situated in a national park
2. If any part of the loft conversion will be higher than the current roof line of the property
3. If an addition to the roof slope faces a highway
4. If the property is a listed building
5. If the original house is to be increased by 50 cubic meters (40 cum for terraced houses) or 10% in both cases – this means that if a property already has an extension, for example to the kitchen, then planning permission may be required depending on the size of the existing extension.
If none of the above criteria applies to your property than planning permission will not be required. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can just go ahead and start knocking holes in your roof for skylights.
ALL loft conversions will need to conform to the building regulations enforced by the local council.
The building regulations are the minimum allowed standards of construction and design as laid down by the government. Building regulation approval is given, or declined, by the local authority. This approval must be obtained before work can begin on your project.
To gain the necessary approval you, or your architect/builder, must submit the proposed plans of your project to the council. Their building control officers will then either issue approval for your work to begin or they may ask you to change certain points of the design before approval is given.
Although many people resent having to comply with the building regulations they are there as a safeguard and will ensure that your work will be completed within the law and because the council will inspect the work as it progresses, that your loft conversion is built to a high, and safe, standard.
Making an application for building regulations approval isn’t too difficult a process and, if you are employing an architect or specialist loft building company, they will have plenty of experience in how to submit plans correctly ensuring that approval is quickly given and that your new conversion is built without unnecessary delay.