Planning Permission

What Kind Of Loft Can I Have If I’m In A Conservation Area?

By now, we are all aware of the many benefits that loft conversions bring to a household.

From increased property value to extra space in which to create a new bedroom, bathroom or home office, converting your attic into a liveable area is highly advantageous for all homeowners.

However, there are some instances where loft conversions aren’t always possible, whether due to planning permission restrictions or the property’s location.

Loft conversion on Shrewsbury Road, Beckenham

Back in October 2008, alterations to the law saw the restrictions placed on planning permission relaxed slightly, and the majority of loft conversion projects could go ahead without official consent (provided they met certain stipulations regarding size, volume and positioning).

However, if you live in a conservation area, a national park, an Area of Outstanding Beauty, a World Heritage site or any other environment that is deemed ‘designated land’, you will find that planning permission remains a prerequisite.

Conservation Areas

The common misconception of a conservation area is that it is to remain untouched by development. This is not strictly true, however there are certainly restrictions and considerations to be made when it comes to home extensions. These are mainly focused around maintaining the general style and character of the surrounding environment.

In relation to loft conversions, this means that any work that significantly extends or alters the roofline, such as a dormer conversion, will require very specific consent to go ahead. Failure to attain this permission can result in a fine or, in extreme cases, imprisonment.

This does not mean that rear dormer or hip to gable conversions are completely out of the question in conservation areas; if they meet the requirements of the planning permissions governing the location then they may be accepted.

However, permission is rarely needed for less intrusive conversion work, such as Velux or Mansard conversions (so long as the property in question is not a listed building). These styles create no extension to the existing structure, keeping views unobstructed and design intact.

LMB Group are London’s premier providers of loft conversion services, performing high quality work at homes across the South East.

Our experts are on hand from design to sign off, ensuring that your finished loft is just as you pictured it. With years of experience in the industry, we have the experience to advise you on all planning permission and building regulations, particularly in regards to conservation areas. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with LMB Group today to find out more.