Will my loft ideas require planning permission?

« Back to blog

Will my loft ideas require planning permission?

Often in residential property concerning scenarios, you will need to get planning permission for converting a loft or attic into a liveable space. Adding an extra space in your attic or altering the roof space beyond its current limits can affect the structural integrity of your house, that is why you may need to follow certain restrictions in place for loft conversions.

Sometimes alterations to an apartment or in maisonettes can extend to other parts of the building. Hence regulations need to be applied to ensure:


  • That the new floor's structural intensity is sufficient
  • Fire safety escape
  • The stability of the structure is not compromised
  • Stairs are designed carefully to the new floor



The rules of authorised development describe a few specific conversion works that should carry out without the need to seek planning permission.

To find out whether your loft conversion needs any planning permission or not, you can consult with your builder. However, your loft conversion may not need any consent if it's meeting with such conditions:

  • If your loft conversion is not including any galleries, balconies, or elevated platforms
  • The loft conversion is not extending the existing roof slope plan at the front of the house
  • Planning permission is not required for 50 m³ for detached and semi-detached houses
  • If the side facing windows are at least 1.7m above the ground.
  • If it is not extending height then the existing roof
  • If the new loft idea is below then 40 cubic metres for terraced houses. And is not exceeding the height of 50 cubic metres for detached and semi-detached houses.
  • If the house is not situated within specific locations such as national parks, public area, conservation areas, and World Heritage Sites
  • If the conversion is not endangering the outer wall of the existing house
  • If any upper-floor, side-facing windows are obscure-glazed; any opening is 1.7m above the floor

These above mentioned conditions are only applicable for houses. You may need to seek planning permission if you live in:

  • Flats
  • Maisonettes
  • Converted houses
  • Homes created through the permitted development right to change the use
  • Areas, where a planning condition limits permitted development rights, apply for house
  • Non-dwelling buildings

Fortunately, now you can easily apply for planning permission online, via the planning portal.


You still need to follow certain relevant building regulations which are outlined on the Government website and from the planning portal, you can seek building regulation approval. Having these permissions assure that your loft conversion is structurally stable and secure and have been established accurately. However, building regulations requirement and type depend on the kind of conversion.

Such as if you are planning to have a liveable space and want to use it as a regular part of your house, then you may have to seek building regulation approval. Creating an additional space needs a wide range of alterations and could affect the original building architectural integrity .


As per 2019 Annual Homeowner Survey, 27% of homeowners found that planning permission is a significant obstruction for getting home renovations done. An experienced and right contractor can help in determining local planning restrictions, and preferences to ensure that project is tailored accordingly.

Though before you apply for permission, meet with your local planning authority for more understanding, as it can help them in dealing with your planning application when you go for the formal submission.

  • You have to provide proposals and plans about your conversion and describe your requests and if possible, show the current floor plans and proposed new design.
  • Discuss matters related to roads, power cables, watercourses, sewers or any if you have.
  • You can also discuss potential problems such as noise and traffic, so that council can come up with an alternative option rather than disapproving your proposal.
  • You may also need to need technical drawings to get building regulations approval and for your builder.

Contact Building Control to discuss your proposal, and they will also let you know if any documentation or process has to fulfil before starting the work.


Important building regulation that you should consider are:

  • Floor joists and beams: Maybe your existing roof joists are unable to support the weight of a new loft conversion. New floor joists will be larger than the previous one and need more support to handle the load. You may need insulation in terraced and semi-detached houses and in between inhabitable rooms.
  • Removing beams: You may need to make an opening in the existing beams to install the roof windows, which can need to be supported by installing new timbers in order to take this additional load.
  • Fire safety: As you'll need to install additional fire protection between the home and loft and install an exhaust window at least 45cm wide. You can check Loft conversion fire regulations, for more details.
  • Walls: Any new walls installation will need to support existing or new roofs where current supports have been removed.


Party Wall Agreement

You need a party wall agreement to ensure that work is done appropriately and won't endanger your neighbour's property if your conversion is going to affect the wall that joins your house to your neighbour's. This agreement will be done between your neighbour, and you and you both need to sign on the papers. Before signing off the papers to proceed with work and to go ahead, a surveyor comes to inspect the designs and as per the site and other things, may ask for any further documentation.

Visit the government planning website for more details.


No comments

Leave Comment