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Is Planning Permission Needed?

As mentioned previously not all property developments require planning permission. However, it is important that you check with the local council planning department whether your planned conversion requires permission, as it could be very costly if you carry out some building works which later have to be altered or even demolished because you failed to obtain the correct planning permissions. It is best to take the advice of an architect or planner.

The rules for when planning permission is required are complicated and therefore, a complete list of the specifications is not covered within this section. However, the following list can be used as a general guide. Full details can be found on www.planningportal.gov.uk .

Loft Conversion to a House

The Government intends to retain the current volume approach, allowing a loft extension of 40 cubic metres for terraced houses and 50 cubic metres for semi-detached and detached houses. On the side of the house facing the street, only skylights lying flat on the roof are allowed. However, at the back, a dormer extension will be allowed, as long as it's no higher than the existing roof and is set back at least 0.2m from the eaves. This is to maintain the visual appearance of a roof line. These came into effect from 1 October 2008.

Basement Conversion to a House

In most cases planning permission will not be required to convert a basement or cellar and use it for another purpose. This only represents changing the inside of a property and unless it is a listed building you are fully entitled to do it.

Planning Permission will be required however if

  • a new entrance or windows is planned at the front of your house.
  • an entirely new basement is to be dug out.
  • access can only be achieved by digging up parts of the road or pavement outside your home.
  • you live in a listed building where any renovations require permission.

For further details contact either your local council planning department or seek advice from a professional.

Garage Conversions

A garage conversion does not normally require planning permission as long as the work is internal and does not involve enlarging the garage.

Extensions to Flats and Maisonettes

Permission is required if you wish to build an extension, an outbuilding such as a garage, shed or greenhouse, as well as for any other work which would materially alter the appearance of the building. You will also need to apply for planning permission to create a hard surface such as a patio.

Demolition of Buildings

Even though you may not need planning permission to demolish an existing building, you will almost certainly require permission to build on this newly available land.

Always Seek Professional Advice

For further regulations affecting listed buildings or conservation areas please see the separate section "Listed Buildings".

Before proceeding with any building on your property it is essential that you take time to consult either your local council's planning department or a local architect/planner. Whereas the guidelines above apply to most situations, there may be specific local regulations that apply to your particular area of the country.

The views and information held within this site are intended only as a guide. Expert advice should be obtained before embarking on any large project. House Conversions Online are not responsible for information held on any pages external to this website.