Planning Permissions


You need to obtain planning permission to build a new building or alter the building.

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Planning Permission

The information given here is only to be used as a guide. If you require more specific information about your conversion and planning requirements then please contact your Local Council.

More help and advice on BUILDING REGULATIONS is available from our link at the bottom of the page.

Planning Permission for Loft Conversions.

Planning Permission is not normally required for a Loft Conversion. It is only required if you wish to alter the roof space beyond specified limits. Party Wall agreements will need to be followed up as the dividing walls to the home are always shared unless your home is detached.

New regulation’s have recently come into force as of 1st October 2008. These state that a Loft Conversion to a home is now considered as a Permitted Development. This means that a new Loft Conversion does not require any Planning Permission if it falls within the new specified guidelines.

1. For a terraced house the total area of the new dormer/s should not exceed 40 cubic metres.

2. For a semi detached or a detached property the limit is set to 50 cubic metres. This would have to include the new gable wall if you want to change a hipped/sloped roof to a gable ended/straight roof, to maximise the area as much as possible.

3. The front shape of the roof should not be changed, no dormers will now be allowed to the road side of the property unless you are developing a bungalow or a detached property. Planning Permission will need to be applied for both these types of properties.

4. If you want to add a Veranda, Raised Platform or a Balcony then you will need to apply for Planning Permission.

5. Any Windows facing to the side of the property will need to be of obscure glass and should be at least 1.7 metres above the new floor level, for safety.

6. No part of the Dormer should be any higher than the highest part of the actual existing roof height.

7. Any new materials to be used should be similar to the existing ones, this would include tiles and gutters.

8. All dormers should be set away from the eaves at least 20cm, this is not applicable for conversions of hipped/sloped to gable/straight roofs.

9. If you already have used up a few cubic metres on an Extension to the property then this will be deducted from the allowance that is allocated under the Permitted Development. Anything further will need to be discussed with an Architect or your Local Authority.

10. If you are living in a Conservation Area, Listed Building, National Park and the Broads, an area of Outstanding Beauty or a World Heritage site then you will need to apply for Planning Permission.

Head Room.

There should be sufficient headroom in the Loft area. This must be measured from the top of the floor joists to the bottom of the Spine Beam of the roof. The height should ideally be 2.2 metres. Lofts can still be converted if the height is slightly lower. If however the roof height is well below 2.2 metres then some additional work may need to be carried out. The ceiling height below the proposed Loft Conversion will need to be lowered or the Rigid Steel Beams (RSJ’s) will have to be placed a little lower down to achieve the ideal headroom. The head room is important because of the staircase and also the new floor joists are bigger. There is also an RSJ that is fitted to support the dormer roof weight which runs across the top of the conversion.

Planning Permission for Basements Conversions.

Planning laws for Basement Conversions are currently under review and will be changed soon.

1. Most types of new Basement and existing Cellar Conversions do not require Planning Permission. This is as long as they are not be used as a new Flat.

2. If a Light Well or a Stair Well is installed then Planning will be required because of the changes to the outside of the property.

3. Again if your home falls within number 10 above then Planning Permission is required.

4. Party Wall Agreements will have to be arranged unless your home is detached.

Planning Permission for Extensions.

The new law that came into power on the 1st of October 2008 also covers Extensions. This means that an Extension or any type of Addition to your home would fall under Permitted Development. Although there are some conditions to follow.

1. Materials used to build should be similar to that of the existing property.

2. Extension on the side of the property must be single storey extensions and should not exceed a height limit of 4 meters. The width should also be no more than half that of the original house. Double side Extensions will need Planning Permission.

3. You are only allowed to cover up to half the area around the grounds of the existing property layout with Extensions and other additional buildings.

4. A minimum gap of at least 7 meters has to kept from the rear boundary walls for all two storey extensions.

5. The roof pitch for two story extensions must also match the roof pitch of the existing property as should the eaves and ridge height. No Extension should be any higher than the existing height of the property, be it a single storey extension or a double extension..

6. The depth allowance is no more than 3 meters for a two story extension to the rear of a property. This also includes the ground floor.

7. For a single storey Rear Extension the maximum depth is 3 meters for an attached property, be it a semi detached or a terraced house. For a detached property the maximum depth is 4 meters.

8. Verandas, Balconies or Raised Platforms will not be considered under Permitted Development.

9. The maximum eaves height for an extension that is built within 2 meters of a boundary wall should not exceed 3 meters.

10. An Extension should not come out at the front of the home which faces a road. The building must be in line with the existing property.

11. Any upper floor windows that face the side of the property must be of obscure glass and also be at least 1.7 meters above the floor level.

12 If the house falls within number 10 of the Planning for Loft Conversions section above then you will need to apply for Planning Permission.

Information about BUILDING REGULATIONS is available at

Planning Permission Laws are usually hard to follow and change frequently. I hope that this information helps with understanding the Planning Permission process. More help and useful information on Building Regulation requirements is available at Building Regulations Guide.

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