Planning Permission

J & M Loft Conversions have 44 years of experience when it comes to Planning Permission and regulations, and we will advise you on the best way to get the most from your loft conversion.
Loft conversions are frequently cited as one of the most convenient and desirable home improvements for property owners and as long as they don’t exceed the limits or conditions set out in new Government legislation, they no longer require planning permission either.

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There are, however, certain rules to be considered. Since the 1st October 2008, loft conversions have been considered ‘permitted developments’, which means that they don’t require an application for planning permission. This applies in nearly all homes across the country (excluding flats and apartments) but only as long as the conversion complies with the following guidelines:

•The new building materials should be in a similar style and appearance to the section being replaced, or at least complement the general colour scheme of the surrounding homes and neighbourhood.
•The conversion does not exceed a volume allowance of 40 cubic metres in roof space for terraced housing; or 50 cubic metres for a semi-detached or detached property.
•The conversion doesn’t include any structural additions such as verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
•You don’t extend the plane of the existing roof slope that fronts the main road.
•Side facing windows are glazed with an obscure effect/design and openings are at least 1.7m above floor level.
•The exterior part of the extension (unless of the hip or gable design) must be set back as far as possible from the eaves of the property.
If you are unsure about any of these issues, or aren’t yet certain you will be able to follow all the guidelines as specified; please call J & M Loft Conversions on 0208 304 6634. We can come and check your home and advise you whether planning permission will be required. There is no charge for this service. If you have any drawings and/or blueprints let us know, as these will be helpful in determining space and measurements that could affect the outcome of the inspection. You will also require planning permission if:
•You live in a Listed building
•You live in the boundaries of a National Park, World Heritage Site, Outstanding Area of Natural Beauty or other officially recognised conservation area.
•You are converting the room to anything other than a living space or bedroom i.e. an office or extra bathroom.
•You are converting the space into more than one room.

If you find that you must gain planning permission before getting started, J & M will help you to get Building Regulations Approval from your Local Authority as well. Basically this involves a member of the Building Control board being sent to your home to inspect the structure and stability of your property, particularly in the loft area. They will also check plans and designs of your new conversion for reassurance on the presence of fire escape routes, safe and practical stairways, proper ventilation and sufficient sound insulation for the floors below and, if necessary, the house next door. The Party Wall Act 1996 lays out specific instructions for home owners regarding the destruction or conversion of an intermediate wall between buildings that belongs to both parties. So make sure to notify your neighbours with details regarding your scheduled construction work and try to reach a compromise regarding the length of the project and when you expect it to be completed.

If you have any questions regarding planning permission please contact J & M Loft Conversions on 020 8304 6634.  We are happy to discuss any concerns you may have.