Alvaston Loft Conversions Ltd > News > THE LOWDOWN: HOW TO AVOID LOFT CONVERSION PLANNING PERMISSION

Attributable to an uncertain property market and drastic fluctuations in property prices, increasing numbers of homeowners have started to renovate, instead of relocate.

Rather than just focusing on the surface of the home and seasonally tweaking the property’s aesthetics, homeowners are choosing to expand on their current living space through the fabrication of house extensions and loft conversions.

When exploring ways to improve and extend a property, homeowners can sometimes be deterred from carrying out structural enhancements due to the requisite of planning permissions, which can often be a lengthy and expensive process.

For the most part, construction companies include the application process for within their loft conversion costs and packages to save you the hassle, but it could still prolong your completion date by weeks or months, local authorities could also decline permissions, sometimes incurring additional charges.

So, preferable to a builder completing loft conversion planning permission on your behalf, it’s worthwhile noting that not all loft conversion plans demand loft extension planning permission. Here, we’re going to teach you how to achieve your dream loft conversion without the need for loft extension planning permission – this is a permitted development loft conversion.

First and foremost, you must first discover if your home is on ‘Designated Land,’ such as a National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If by chance that your home is on designated land, you will need to loft extension planning permission regardless of your intentions for your loft room. Other than that, it is likely you will be able to commence proceedings with your permitted development loft conversion.

Your construction work must adhere to specific criteria to pass as a permitted development loft conversion. The most sure-fire way to ensure your attic conversion plan satisfies the defined permitted development rules is through the professional advice of an architect, contacting your local authorities or having a well-experienced and knowledgeable loft conversion company complete the build from the outset.

To proceed with the build and later discover that you fail to meet the criteria can be a messy, costly and time-consuming process, so best to get it right the first time around.

Here are some of the considerations you should bear in mind when planning your new loft conversion designs, should you want to avoid the need for planning permission and construct your loft extension as a permitted development:

  • If you are planning a roof extension that creates additional space, this extra space must not exceed 40 cubic metres for a terraced house or 50 cubic metres for a detached or semi-detached property
  • All materials used must be similar to the materials on your existing property
  • You cannot raise your current roof height, and no part of the extension should protrude beyond the existing roof slope
  • The front of the property cannot be significantly altered, you must check with your local authorities regarding the back of your home
  • You must not construct a veranda, balcony or raised platform without planning permission
  • Loft extensions must be set back as far as possible and a minimum of 20cm from any original eaves, this does not apply for a hip to gable loft conversion
  • Any roof extension must not overhang the original outface of the property
  • You must consider and protect endangered species. For example, if bats are roosting in your loft, you will need planning permission
  • Side-facing windows must be complete with obscure glazing, and openable components should be a minimum of 1.7 above the room floor

Another means of avoiding the need for loft extension planning permission is to plan a loft conversion without any structural alterations to your loft space, using your attic space to create a loft room, as opposed to a loft extension.

Creating a living space in your loft without any structural changes to the shell of the building usually falls under permitted development rights, this also might include properties on designated land, but you must cross-check this with your local authorities to avoid any unnecessary mistakes.

Regardless of whether you create a small loft conversion that falls under permitted development rights, build a dormer loft conversion, or erect an obtrusive loft extension that requires planning permissions, all loft conversions and extensions must comply with building regulations.

The exact building regulations that your loft must adhere to will vary depending on the type of loft conversion in your property, such as a dormer loft conversion, hip to gable loft conversion, mansard or a simple Velux loft conversion, but they will all consider fire safety, structural safety and a few miscellaneous considerations.

Loft conversions, or any house extension plans, are not to be taken lightly. Loft extensions are a costly undertaking, and if things take a wrong turning during the planning or construction process, this cost can increase five-fold and potentially cause damage to your existing property. A seasoned loft conversion company, such as Alvaston Loft Conversions, can guarantee that all building regulations will be satisfied and any required planning permissions will be completed by our workforce to ensure minimal hassle for you, but to also make sure our work, and your home, is legally sound, as well as structurally sound.

If you are looking to transform your property but you don’t know where to begin, or if you are looking for a dedicated team to bring your ideal loft extension from a dream into a reality, give Alvaston Loft Conversions a call on 01922 402 720, or complete the contact form and one of our team members will be in touch!

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