A loft conversion is a very common project that allows homeowners to obtain increased habitable space within their premises. In order to obtain more space within a loft, dormers are often used. Rear dormers are more common practise as these are what councils prefer but in some cases front dormers will be allowed. There are two routes which can be followed in order to gain permission, these are Householder Planning Permission or a Lawful Development Certificate (Permitted Development).Permitted Development is a set of rules that outline what you are permitted to do with your property, considering that the house has not had its permitted development rights removed. Here are a few of the guidelines briefly described by the Planning Portal:

  • A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses

  • 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

  • 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 original eaves

For further information on Permitted Development rights, please see the “The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015”When the project does not fall under Permitted Development, Householder Planning Permission will be applied for. Both of these routes take a maximum of 8 weeks before the decision is made. In terms of cost, Permitted Development is £86 and Householder Planning Permission is £172. Once permission is granted, construction drawings are then required. These are submitted to either local authority building control or private building control. Their fees are separate from ours paid directly to them.

These steps are mandatory but there are others that could occur;

Engineers Drawings

It may be necessary to calculate the structural elements for Building Control’s Approval. Once the extent of this part of the works is quantified, we can provide a quotation from our in-house engineer or you can appoint your own.

Party Wall Agreement

A party wall agreement may be required where a separate surveyor would need to be appointed. For detailed information on Party Wall Agreements, see “The Party Wall etc Act 1996”.