Loft & Basement Conversions

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Why Loft Conversions In Bristol Usually Don’t Require Planning Permission?

A lot of people are asking questions at the moment such as: “Why do I not require planning permission for a Bristol loft conversion?” or “Why is it that a loft conversion generally doesn’t require planning permission?”

First of all this question is multi-faceted:

SOME Bristol loft conversions will require planning permmissions (Most Don’t)

Here are the guidelines for whether or not you will require planning permission for your attic conversion in Bristol:

A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses*
A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space 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 original eaves
The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.

Please note: For an explanation of how to apply the 20cm set back condition please see pages 35-36 of ‘Permitted development for householders – Technical guidance’, see below.


Explainations of the above:

Loft conversions of a certain size MAY require planning permission (read the guidelines above for more information but if you are not sure we have experts who can help you with this).
You are not allowed to extend your loft above the existing roof slope if it overlooks the highway. (again for clarity you can contact us should you need further guidance).
Also for more information on planning permission for loft conversions see this page
No part of your loft conversion is allowed to be higher than the highest part of the roof itself.
The materials used in the new loft must be uniform with the materials used on the rest of the house, this is important.
You are not allowed balconies or verandas or other such developments without planning permission.
Side facing windows should be obscure glazed so as not to invade the privacy of other people (neighbours).
There are designated areas where you are not allowed a roof, this is something you will either need to seek help from us for or speak to your local authority.
Hip to gable loft conversions should be set back as far as possible and they should be set back at least 20cm from the original eaves (eaves being the overhanging sloping area on the roof).
The enlarged roof is not allowed to hand over the outer facia of the wall of the original home.

What Can I Do If The Above Information Is Not Clear To Me?

If the above information is not making sense to you feel free to contact us for further guidance – we will be glad to help you.

MOST Loft conversions ARE permitted development

Believe it or not, most attic conversion designs do not violate any of these guidelines, but if they do – don’t panic, we can help you gain planning permission if required.

For more general information on loft conversions in Bristol see this page.