Building Controls Information

Do I need Permission for a Loft Conversion?

image of plans being drawn

Any loft conversion will at a minimum be required to meet building regulations and be inspected by the Building Control Surveyor from your local council. Before starting work on a loft conversion you should have a basic understanding of building regulations, planning permission and permitted development. In this section we have prepared some easy to understand guides that will help you understand the regulations and give you an idea of what may be required for your conversion.

It is essential that your loft conversion meets all of the regulations and permissions that apply. Without them you may find yourself being ordered to remove any alterations and you may have problems if you decide to sell your house at a later date.

Building regulations

If your loft conversion is intended for use as new accommodation, for example a bedroom, study or office then you will need to make a Building Regulations application. Building regulations are used to ensure that any building or alteration work meets the set standards for the design and construction of buildings, mainly to ensure the health and safety for those living in or around the building. They are also increasingly used to ensure that the building is energy efficient and that access to the building has been considered. Read more »

Permitted Development

Under permitted development you can make alterations (such as small extensions or loft conversions) to your house without obtaining planning permission. The rules were updated effective from the 1st October 2008 to reduce red tape and encourage home owners to develop their homes. The good news is that many loft conversions can be built under permitted development rights, lets explore the rules in a bit more detail. Read more »

Planning permission

If you are making changes to the external appearance of your house, then you may also need to obtain planning permission. In the UK you will need planning permission (sometimes called planning consent) if you want to build on land, or if you want to change the use of land or buildings. The requirement for planning permission was introduced in 1947 under the Town and Country Planning act. Interestingly, all buildings and land uses that existed prior to 1947 were granted planning permission, and it was only after that date that planning permission was required. The current version of the act is the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 if you decide to take a look you will need to put some time aside as it is a very lengthy and complicated document! The Local Planning Authority (LPA) is responsible for granting planning permission. The LPA is normally your local Borough or District Council who will normally have a website with all of the relevant information and forms. Read more »