Permissions & Party Wall Agreement
Planning permission is not normally required. However, permission is required where you extend or alter the roof space and it exceeds specified limits and conditions.
Under new regulations that came into effect from 1 October 2008 a loft conversion for your home is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:
A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres for terraced house
A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres for detached and semi-detached houses.
No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway.
No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.
No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas*.
Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the eaves.
*Designated areas include national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.
The Building Regulations are made under powers provided in the Building Act 1984, and apply in England and Wales. The current edition of the regulations is ‘The Building Regulations 2000’ (as amended) and the majority of building projects are required to comply with them. They exist to ensure the health and safety of people in and around all types of buildings (i.e. domestic, commercial and industrial). They also provide for energy conservation, and access to and use of buildings
It is important to understand how the building regulatory system applies to your situation as you are responsible for making sure that the work complies with the regulations if you are carrying out building work personally. If you are employing a builder, the responsibility will usually be theirs – but you should confirm this at the very beginning, we at Court London Lofts Home Extensions appointed the works contract to take full responsibility. You should also bear in mind that if you are the owner of the building, it is ultimately you who may be served with an enforcement notice if the work does not comply with the regulations.
Building regulations approval is required to convert all lofts or attics into a live-able space
Party Wall Act 1996
The Party Wall Act 1996 (the Act) came into force on the 1st July 1997. It provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.
Under the Act anyone intending to carry out work on or near a party wall must give the adjoining owners written notice of their intentions. Adjoining owners can agree or disagree with what is proposed and where there is a disagreement the Act provides for resolution of disputes.
The Act covers work such as structural alterations to a party wall. This could include the cutting in to the wall to take the bearing of a beam (e.g. to take a beam when making a though lounge, or creating a loft conversion).
If you are about to carry out works which will come under the requirements of the act you should first speak to you neighbours. You should then detail your proposals in writing and ask for your neighbour’s written consent.
If you appoint Court London Lofts to carry out your conversion we will do this for you free of charge. In the unlikely event, your neighbor insists on an independent parity wall surveyor to inspect the wall and deal with the notice you will be responsible for any cost incurred.
The act is separate from planning or building regulations control. You must remember that reaching agreement with your neighbour under the act does not remove the possible need for planning permission or building regulations approval.
You can also read more Best loft conversions here!