Loft conversions are becoming increasingly popular in as a means of expanding the amount of livable space at home. Whereas, in the past, people generally sold their homes and moved into a larger space when their family began to expand, now it is common for people to use their loft.
A loft can be converted into anything from a spare bedroom, play area or even an office.
Must I Apply For Planning Permission?
Although many types of loft conversions do not require home owners to build up or out, there are certain building regulations set in place that dictate whether or not the home owners will need to apply for planning permission. As a general rule, loft conversions are exempt from needing planning permission, however there are some exceptions. If you plan on building a balcony onto your loft or any external construction, you will have to take a closer look at the current planning permission rules.
Planning Permission in The Past
Before 2008, the laws regulating planning permission for loft conversions were different. The need for planning permission was dependent on the type of home owned and the planned size of their conversions. For terrace homes, individuals could construct around 50 cubic meters, in which only 40 cubic meters would be the mansard or loft area. Under this law, home owners that had already extended their home on the ground could not apply to convert a loft, seeing as they had already used their 50 cubic meters of development.
Current Planning Permission Regulations
Since the change in 2008, home owners are able to both extend their homes on the ground as well as convert a loft. This is because the change in law allows ground extensions to be calculated separate from loft conversions. However, the law about 50 cubic meters still stands for loft conversions. Because of this law, it is necessary that you make a detailed plan of your conversion so you know how extensive it will actually be and whether or not it will be permitted.
Areas that present complications are “conservation areas” and “natural beauty areas” such as National Parks. These areas are protected by the local jurisdiction and come with their own set of regulations in regards to home extensions and loft conversions. Before starting a building project, ensure that your home is not located within a National Park’s borders. In addition, if your home is considered one of “historical merit”, you may also be prohibited from further developing it.
Get Expert Advice
One way around planning permission for loft conversions is to seek expert advice from a loft conversion specialist. They will be able to inform you of any permissions or regulations that are relevant to your home. This can be discussed during a free no obligation on-site evaluation. Simply fill out the free quote form on the website and a handful (no more) of leading UK loft conversion specialists will get in touch.