Do I need planning permission to convert my loft?

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24 Oct 2017

Do I need planning permission to convert my loft into living space?

Author: Dan Lowery

“No, you do not normally need to apply for planning permission to convert a loft into living space”, explains Dan Lowery, Director of Romans Surveyors.

A loft conversion is one of the more straightforward and cost effective methods of providing extra space in your home and quite a large number of houses can utilise this type of extension.

But, there are of course exceptions…

Planning permission for a loft conversion is required when;

·         The property is a terraced house and the extension exceeds 40m3

·         The property is semi-detached or detached and the extension exceeds 50m3

·         You are altering the roof height or shape

·         The property is located in a heritage and/or conservation area

If in doubt about whether or not planning permission is needed, it is best to check with your local planning authority to avoid any misinterpretations.

One thing you will always need is…

You will always need to obtain Building Regulations consents and associated completion certificates for a loft conversion. This consent confirms that the technical aspects of the work are compliant with The Building Act 1984 and is an important factor in protecting the future resale value of the property.

It should also be recognised that the building regulations provide good technical standards of performance that the building work should conform to. But, this does not necessarily mean that the finished product will be of good quality as a whole. It is beneficial to consider obtaining professional assistance from a qualified and experienced design and construction professional to monitor the quality of the loft conversion and manage any unforeseen issues that arise.

If your home is terraced or semi-detached…

If your home is semi-detached or terraced and you are building in beams which will bear on the party wall(s) or, are raising the height of the party wall(s) to form a dormer roof, you must follow the requirements of The Party Wall Etc. Act 1996 and obtain your neighbours agreement to the works or arrange for party wall awards to be prepared and served before the work commences.

The government has published a full technical guide for homeowners on its website, detailed information can be found at

If you are thinking of converting your loft into living space and would like to understand more about whether or not planning permission is required, get in touch with Romans Surveyors on 0333 1220 961 or, to find out just how much a loft conversion could add to the value of your home, contact our Sales team for a free no-obligation valuation

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