Tag Archives: Permitted Development

Do Loft Conversions require Planning Permission?

Answer One:  Planning Permission is not required if the loft conversion only has a roof window.

Answer Two:  Planning Permission is not required if the proposed loft conversion has rear facing dormer windows &/or velux windows. HOWEVER this is only the case where Permitted Development Rights (or ‘PD Rights’) are in place.

To be a Permitted Development (not requiring an application for Planning Permission) any additional roof space created by dormers must not exceed the following volume allowances:

  • 40 cubic metres for terraced houses
  • 50 cubic metres for detached and semi-detached houses

You can check your property’s Permitted Development Rights by contacting your Local Authority Planning Department.

Answer Three:  Planning Permission is required if the loft conversion proposal has front facing dormer windows.

Velux cabrio windows are a great alternative to front facing dormer windows and they typically do not require planning approval if Permitted Development Rights are in place on the property.

You can learn more about loft conversions at the PlanningPortal.gov website.

Are you think about a garage or loft conversion, or extending or renovating your home? To arrange a FREE architectural design consultation or for planning advice please contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

How long does Planning Permission take?

We are often asked how long the design and planning permission process can take. We hope the information below gives you an indication of how long it typically takes in the UK. Please note these durations are stated for guidance purposes and do not allow time for any amendments required by local planning authorities.

  • Architectural Design: 4-6 weeks
  • Architectural design for typical domestic project normally 4-6 weeks depending on size and complexity
  • Planning Permission: 10-14 weeks
  • Planning approval can take up to 12 weeks however if a proposal requires adjustments, modifications or revisions this may be greatly extended

Please note that if a project relates to a property that has Permitted Development Rights then Planning Permission may not be required.

  • Building Regulations: 3-4 weeks

The building control element of the architectural process is typically very flexible, allowing a contractor to modify drawings/specifications (with agreement of the Building Inspector) for compliance on-site.
Building Regulation applications may also be submitted at the time of the planning application, allowing concurrent processing and approval. This can reduce the time is takes to start construction.

In conclusion, the architectural design and approvals process can be quite lengthy or take as little as 14 weeks. Our advice is to start the process as soon as possible, allowing thought and feedback to be integrated into a development – ensuring the design and functionality of your project exceeds your requirements.

Are you think about extending or renovating your home, or constructing a new build? To arrange a FREE architectural design consultation or for planning advice please contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

Housing & Planning Bill Shakeup

Offices, launderettes and industrial units could all become places to live in, according to the government’s latest solution to the housing crisis, heralded as another “planning shakeup” to breathe life in to unused properties.

However in a bid to solve one crisis the new Housing and Planning Bill is potentially paving the way for another. Critics fear it will accelerate the hollowing out of London, speeding up the process of suburbanisation that is fast leaving the capital with no affordable places to work.

The proposed changes in legislation will extend “permitted development” rights, allowing offices and light industrial buildings to be converted in to housing without the need for planning permission or the usual obligations to provide affordable housing.

First introduced as a temporary measure in 2013 to give housebuilding numbers a boost, and originally due to expire in May 2016, the proposed new legislation would see the rule made permanent.

Although the move has been welcomed by the British Property Federation, which says the rules will be “a useful tool in breathing life back into underused commercial space”, the Town and Country Planning Association warns the changes could result in a loss of potential affordable housing whilst allowing more substandard private flats to be carved out of buildings never intended to be used. They also caution local communities will have less say over how their neighbourhoods are developed.

We provide a range of professional, affordable architectural services and free planning and design advice. If you have any questions or an architectural project in mind, please contact us today.