GARAGE CONVERSION AUDIT
STRUCTURAL LOFT CONVERSION AUDIT
PRE-PURCHASE FEASABILITY CONSULTATION
STEEL WORK CONNECTIONS
INTERIOR MINOR ALTERATIONS
CDM & ASSOCIATED REPORTS
HEALTH & SAFETY REPORTS
3D MODELLING (from)
SOIL INVESTIGATION REPORTS
AIR PRESSURE TESTING
BUILDING CONTROL APPLICATIONS
AIR TIGHTNESS TESTING
SOUND INSULATION TESTING
PART F VENTILATION TESTING
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVICE & INSTALL
THERMOGRAPHIC SURVEYS & TESTING
CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE HOMES
PART G WATER CALCS
DOMESTIC EPC’S FOR LANDLORDS & HOMEOWNERS
Planning a Loft Conversion and want to know what permissions you need for it? In this article you'll find out whether you need planning permission and which building regulations you need to have so you can start working on your loft conversion.
We have good news for you: most Loft Conversions do not require planning permission because they generally fall within your permitted development rights, but you'll still need to satisfy building regulations. Accordingly, you will need to obtain planning permission if your plans exceed certain limits and conditions such as extending or modifying the roof space. You will also need to follow stringent building regulations, which are put in place to ensure that construction work is safe.
When it comes to planning permission for loft conversions, it's easy to get confused. The type of work you do and the extent of it make it mandatory for you to have planning permission. To check if you need planning permission, you will need the help of an architect or builder. However, to help you get into the full story about permits for this type of work, here is a list of limits and conditions that allow you to NOT need planning permission:
• A volume allowance of 40 cubic meters additional roof space for terraced houses
• A volume allowance of 50 cubic meters additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses
• No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway
• Materials must be similar in appearance to the existing house
• No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof
• No verandas, balconies or raised platforms
• Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor
• Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas (national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites)
• Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves
• The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.
These terms apply to homes, not to flats and maisonettes, converted homes or homes created through permitted development rights to change purpose, other non-dwelling buildings.
Planning permission is just one of the things you need to think about when getting your loft converted, so you should think twice about hiring an architect or builder who will confirm that you meet all of these requirements.
As for the duration of the process, your local planning authority is required to decide on your planning application as soon as possible. It does not take more than 8 weeks to decide on an immediate planning application, 13 weeks for a particularly large or complex application, and 16 weeks if an environmental impact assessment is required.
Building regulations approval
Whether or not you need to seek approval for attic planning, building regulations approval is required to convert a loft or attic into a liveable space. You will still need to follow the relevant building regulations listed on the Government website and seek approval of the building regulations through the planning portal. Building regulations are extremely important because they ensure safety: they make sure that any attic remodelling is structurally strong and stable, that the stairs are properly positioned and that it is safe to escape during emergencies.
The type of building regulations depends on the type of conversion you are planning: creating storage or liveable space. If you want to turn your attic into a storage space, you may need to seek approval for building regulation, but if you want to convert your attic into a living space then you will certainly need to seek approval for building regulation.
As a starting point, we will list some of the elements covered by building regulation. However, this article is only a basic guide and always consult with the builder and local authority before performing any work:
• Load-bearing walls: You need to think about how new loads will support your existing walls. New floor joists will likely need to support the weight of the new room.
• Removing the rafters: Whether you are building a living space or storage space, the light will be needed. You will probably need to cut openings on existing piles to install skylights, which will then need to be supported by the installation of new timbers. The roof will need reinforcement to take on the additional load.
• Floor beams and joists: Your existing ceiling mounts are unlikely to be able to support the weight of the attic conversion. New floor rods larger than existing floorboards will usually need to be installed to take on the new load.
• Sound insulation: You may need soundproofing between your attic and your neighbours' attic. If necessary, the existing party wall will need to be upgraded.
• Fire safety: Loft conversion regulations require that you have to install additional fire protection between the home and loft, provide smoke alarms within the staircase at each level, and install an exit passage of at least 45 cm wide.
• Stairs: If your attic conversion will be habitable, then you will need to make sure you have a staircase that can act as a fire escape. If there is not enough space, it may be possible to install a smaller space-saving staircase, but retractable ladders are not usually accepted.
Of course, this isn't the complete list - there are plenty more things to be taken into consideration when planning your conversion. When it comes to other permissions, you will need Party Wall Agreement - an agreement between you and your neighbour that aims to ensure that work is done fair and won't endanger your neighbour's property.
Also, if you think you have special species, bats, for example, living in your loft, you'll need to have a bat survey. Bats are a protected species and, if your loft is home to a roost of them, you may need to obtain a mitigation license to carry out the work.