Loft conversion can be a pretty useful thing. It’s a great way of taking space that you already own and repurposing it into something better. At the same time, a lot of people will worry that they need to try and seek planning permission for the loft conversion before they can get started on the project.
It’s pretty important to know what you can and can’t do, and we totally understand that, which is why we’ll be taking a look for you. Let’s explore whether or not you need planning permission for a loft conversion.
The Basics of Planning Permission
Generally speaking, you don’t need to have planning permission from your local authority for a loft conversion. This type of conversion will fall under something called permitted development rights. What this means is to a certain extent, you can make changes to your property as you wish, without having to involve any outside parties.
However, it’s not always the case. If you’re going to undertake work on your property which will exceed certain limits, then you will need to make sure that you have sought out planning permission. This generally points to things like altering the roof space, or extending the property. You will also have to follow a strict set of planning and building regulations, which are vital for making sure that the work you do is safe and compliant with standards.
So, What is Permitted Loft Development Work?
Understanding what type of work is allowed under permitted development is tricky, but it’s also doable if you’re clever about it. According to Schedule 2, Part 1, Class B of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, certain types of loft conversions are allowed with no prior approval.
Generally, it’s best to get an architect or builder to come and have a look at what you intend to do, because they can confirm that it falls within permitted development. You should also be aware that so long as your loft conversion falls within certain parameters, it is allowed. We’ve put together the list of parameters for you here.
If the alterations you intend to make to your property exceed the conditions listed above, then you will need to make sure that you contact your local authority and apply for planning permission. This is something that you can do online, and nearly every local authority located in England has access to an online portal.
The government has published a selection of reading materials that provide technical guidance on permitted development rights for households, should you wish to further educate yourself.
It is important to note that the limits and conditions set down for loft conversion will only apply to houses, if you live in any of the following dwellings, then you will need to apply for planning permission regardless of the work you intend to do. This list includes maisonettes, flat, house is created through the permitted development rights to change program, converted houses, other buildings that are non dwelling in nature, or homes that may have a restriction due to their geographical area.
About Loft Conversion Planning Permission
Planning permission costs can begin at £206, and will vary according to the specific situation that you find yourself in. The costs cover the application fee, and will naturally vary. If there are specific instances such as the involvement of a listed building, or one which is due to be demolished, no application fee is charged.
There is no timeframe for your local authority to make a decision regarding your planning application. However, most straightforward processes should not take any longer than eight weeks, with a maximum of 16 weeks if an environmental impact assessment is required.
In conclusion, whether or not your property will require planning permission is very much a case by case basis. There is no minimum requirement for making changes to a property, and in terms of planning permission, you will find there aren't masses of things to think about.
It’s very important to identify the correct instances where it is mandatory to get planning permission. It is highly recommended that you consult with a professional whenever you are attempting to get a planning permission project off the ground, and at the very least, getting a builder to provide expert advice is a sensible choice.
Permitted development rights mean that you can make a fairly large amount of modifications to the interior of your home without planning permission, but if you are attempting a particularly ambitious project, you should consult with a professional.
Generally speaking, the local authority is fairly happy to approve whatever planning permission you may be looking for, so long as it is not detrimental to others from a health and safety perspective.
Obviously, it will be in your best interest to be polite and respectful at all times when dealing with local authorities, as they have a large degree of influence over your project.