Do I Need Planning Permission For A Loft Conversion?

Do I Need Planning Permission For A Loft Conversion?

One of the first things that usually come to mind when you're thinking about a loft conversion is whether or not you need planning permission.

Generally speaking, many loft conversions don't need planning permission since they don't fall under permitted development rights. However, when your plans exceed certain conditions or limits, you will need planning permission. Some examples may include changing or extending the roof space beyond its current limits. In addition to this, you also want to ensure that all the building work is done safely.

Ultimately, knowing if you need a loft conversion planning permission or not depends both on the kind of work you are carrying out and the extent of these works.

When You Don't Need A Loft Conversion Planning Permission

When you are trying to figure out if you need planning permission or not for loft conversion, you need to look at the rules of permitted development. Both conditions and limits are included in Schedule 2, Part 1, Class B of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

When you are trying to know whether you need or not planning permission, our advice is to always get a builder or architect to confirm it. Yet, here are the situations where you don't need planning permission:

• Your new loft space won't be larger than 40 cubic metres for terraced houses and 50 cubic metres for detached and semi-detached houses.

• The loft conversion doesn’t extend beyond the plane of the existing roof slope at the front of the house.

• The loft conversion doesn't extend higher than the highest part of the existing roof.

• The loft conversion doesn't include any verandas, balconies, or raised platforms.

• The loft conversion is made using materials that are similar in appearance to the rest of the house.

• Any side-facing windows must be obscure-glazed and they should be at least 1.7m above the ground.

• Your home is not located in specifically designated areas, including national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas, and World Heritage Sites.

• A roof extension, with the exception of hip-to-gable extensions, must be set back at least 20cm from the original eaves.

• A roof extension must not overhang the outer wall of the original house.

So, whenever your loft conversion doesn't fit in the above conditions and limits, you will need to apply for planning permission. While you may not like bureaucracy, the truth is that you can already apply online at the planning portal if you live in England. In case you're in Scotland, you can apply online using the ePlanning website; if you're in Wales you can access the Welsh planning portal; for Northern Ireland homeowners, you can use the NI Direct website.

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A Word Of Caution

All the conditions and limits we mentioned above for loft conversion permitted development only apply to houses. So, in case you want a loft conversion in a flat, converted house, maisonette, non-dwelling building, a house created through the permitted development right to change use, or a house in an area where there may some restrictions that limit permitted development rights, you also need planning permission.

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