Loft ConversionGetting planning permission for home improvements can be a time-consuming hassle. When it comes to loft conversions, you’ll be pleased to know that in the majority of cases you can convert the loft of your house into an extra room (or rooms) without needing planning permission.

Abbey Building Services and Maintenance can advise you whether your loft is suitable for conversion and outline the options. So long as the new loft space falls within the criteria of a Permitted Development no planning permission is required. Of course, the work must still meet building regulations which ensure the conversion is completed to the correct standards to make it a safe, insulated, light and liveable space.

Is it a permitted development?

These are the general criteria for a permitted development to a house in England. It’s always advisable to check with your Local Authority.

Space

The extra roof space created must be within the maximum allowed:

  • 40 cubic metres for a terraced house
  • 50 cubic metres for a detached or semi-detached house

Height

The roof extension must not be higher that the height of the highest part of the original roof.

Frontage

The roof extension must not be beyond the plane of the existing roof slope at the front of the house to the street.

Materials

Materials used must be look similar to the existing property.

Windows

Any side-facing windows must be obscure-glazed and non-opening, unless the parts which can be opened are more than 1.7 metres above the floor.

Roof extensions

Apart from hip to gable extensions, roof extensions must be set back, at least 20cm from the original eaves. The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.

No balconies

No verandas, balconies or platforms are allowed as permitted development.

No bats

It’s important to consider whether your loft conversion will affect bats, which are a protected species. A survey may be needed, and if bats are using the building, a licence may be necessary.

Not a listed building and no restrictions in place

There are exceptions where a loft conversion is not a Permitted Development and planning permission or other consents are required, for example, with listed buildings and houses on designated land such as within a conservation area.

Always check with your Local Planning Authority, whether permitted development rights apply.

Abbey can advise you which types of loft conversions fall within a permitted development.

Where planning permission is required Abbey can support you with this too. You can talk through your loft conversion plans with Richard Bamforth at Abbey on 07818 061505 or by email.