In most cases, you will need planning permission when doing a loft conversion, especially when the loft conversion will affect the structural integrity of the house. However, when performing a simple loft conversion that will not affect the structural integrity of your house, then a planning permission will not be required. This is referred to as permitted development.
What is permitted development?
These are rights that allow home owners to do loft conversions without applying for planning permission. The government has provided technical guidance so that homeowners can understand how to exercise their rights without compromising their safety and the interests of their neighbours and the environment.
When is planning permission required
When the loft conversion of the existing house exceeds the highest part of the roof, then planning permission will be required. The highest part of the roof is the height of the ridgeline of the roof. However, this does not include protrusions such as firewalls, chimneys and parapet walls among others.
Planning permission will also be required when the loft conversion involves the creation of balconies. However, since when doing loft conversions there may be need to install, alter or replace vent pipes, chimneys and flues, this may be require planning permission when just a simple loft conversion is being undertaken.
Why do you need planning permission for a loft conversion?
To ensure the structural stability of the new floor- since the loft conversion will be affecting the structural integrity of the new floor, regulations require you seek planning permission to ensure it is safe.
For example, the joists of the floor of the loft may not be designed to support the extra load after performing the extension. This means that after the extension, the loft may be subjected to load beyond its design and construction.
This could result in adverse impacts on the safety and design of the building and its occupants if not well thought out.
- To provide a safe escape from a catastrophe such as a fire breakout
- To ensure there is reasonable sound insulation especially if there are other rooms below
- To ensure that stairs are designed in a safe and structurally stable condition
Reasons for wanting to do a loft extension
There are many reasons why you would want to do a loft conversion. One of the main reasons is to increase the space of your house. Another is to make the loft space easily accessible or habitable, for example, you may want to install stairs. When in need of any advice on loft conversions you can contact us any time.