Loft Conversions - Planning Applications

planning appication loft conversions


Planning Permission – An Overview

Any major modification or extension to your home may require formal approval from your local authority planning department, to ensure that it complies with local guidelines.
However, since a change to the national planning guidelines in late 2008, the majority of loft conversions comprising Velux style roof windows and many types of dormer have become exempt from requiring planning permission, provided they conform to the revised rules set out under the national legislation. The legislation – known as permitted development rights (PD rights) – allows modifications to property without the need for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres for terraced houses
A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres for detached and semi-detached houses.
No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway
No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof
Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house
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
Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the eaves

Full details can be found on the UK Planning Portal website


The Planning Application Process for Loft Conversions

A local authority planning application begins with the submission of full plans to the local authority. These will include front, rear, and side elevations, as well as plan drawings of the current property and proposed modifications following the loft conversion. From initial submission, a planning application takes approximately eight weeks until a decision is given. 
Following the submission, a notice will be placed in public areas immediately around the property, and the proposal will also be made available for viewing online and at the local planning office. During this period, any interested parties may object to the proposed development. After consideration of any objections and the local guidelines, the local planning department will issue a decision. Minor modifications to the proposal are typically allowed during the planning process, provided the fundamental design does not change. Also, some modifications may be imposed by the local authority before the proposed development is given the green light.
Our in-house planning department will undertake all the necessary checks and will prepare and submit planning applications as required for your loft conversion. 


Loft Conversion Permitted Development

In an effort to reduce the number of planning applications and provide clarity and simplicity to the planning process, the government recently changed the permitted developments rights. This was good news for loft conversions and means most loft conversion do not need planning permission. There are still exceptions and complicated rules which your consultant can advise you on during his visit.

50m3 of permitted development for your roof (50m3 6f extension-40 for terraced houses).
50m3 of permitted development for your extension.
Planning permission is needed for listed or conservation areas.
Only rear and side dormers require no planning.
Permitted developments are separate for roof and ground floor extensions.
As a rule of thumb your permitted developments size is 15% of the volume of your home.
Your permitted development rights may have been withdrawn-your consultant can explain. 


More on Loft Conversions Permitted Development Rights

Permitted development rights may be revoked by the local authorities at the time of initial development, and in this instance a loft conversion will require a formal local authority planning application. It’s important to check PD rights with the local authority ahead of starting any home modification, because they can be revoked later when building works have already been undertaken on a property that required a planning application, resulting in significant costs to the homeowner.


Loft Conversion Dormer Windows and Planning Permission

A loft conversion that includes dormer windows may be carried out on properties where permitted development rights have not been revoked, provided they fall within the permitted development design guidelines listed above. For loft conversions where dormer windows would face a public highway, then a planning application would be required. 



Appealing a Planning Decision

In the event that your planning application is turned down by the local authority, you have the right to lodge an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate’s office, and we can also help you with this. 

Appeals can be made on the following grounds:

If you applied to the LPA for planning permission, and it refused permission
The local authority gave permission but with conditions you think are inappropriate
The local authority hasn't approved the details of a scheme which it or the Secretary of State have already given outline planning permission for
The local authority approved the details of a scheme but with conditions you think are inappropriate or unreasonable.
If the local authority rejected a proposal arising from a condition or limitation on a planning permission
If the local authority hasn't given a decision on your application within the time allowed (normally eight weeks from when it accepts your application)

The Planning Inspectorate aims to deliver appeal decisions within 16 weeks of lodging.
For more information on the appeals process, visit the planning appeals information page on the website.





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Why to choose us for your loft conversion project


Capital - Loft Conversions is a family run business. We successfully completed many projects in north London area which give us practical knowledge of building industry

Guaranteed quality

With Capital Extensions, you get what you want. No quibbles or arguments. We work to contract, using instruments such as JCT Minor Works, so that all parameters are clearly agreed.

Proven results

As you will see from our portfolio, we have successfully delivered projects across Golders Green, Hampstead, Finchley. You will also see a few testimonials from clients; we would be delighted to show you more. It’s a measure of customer satisfaction that most of our new business comes from client referrals.



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