Class B – additions to the roof of a house
The General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) allows for roofs to be added to with dormers or loft conversions on many homes without the need for any planning. Needless to say there are a few restrictions, which we will cover in this article. Despite not requiring planning, you will require building regs. Class C which also relates to roofs is further down the page, this covers the installation of Velux windows on other parts of roofs. The insides are classed as internal works and not development and is therefore allowed as it is outside of the GPDO.
All these permissions are contained within Part 1 of the GPDO. Before starting work check to see if there any conditions that have been placed on your property. These are quite common on new build properties or maybe as a result of a previous planning approval. In those cases full planning permission might be required relevant to that condition or restriction.
Once you have built your loft conversion enjoy it or you can choose to submit an optional application for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) which might be useful when you come to sell the property.
What about the internal loft or attic space?
Any changes to the internal space is not normally classed as development, therefore you do not require any form of planning consent. This includes the loft or attic space. You will of course require building regulations and if in a listed building full consent from the conservation officer. If in doubt consult with your local planning authority. If altering the loft space of a flat, ensure that you own the roof void and that you also have the freeholders permission. Note that external alterations on a flat would normally require planning permission.
Where else can’t we benefit?
These permissions do not apply to flats or maisonettes. Nor do they apply to houses that have been converted from agricultural buildings, storage, light industrial, shops or casinos. They do however apply to houses (not flats) converted from offices under Class O. There are also restrictions if the building is listed, in a conservation area, AONB, Broads or Heritage site. They might also have been removed as a result of an Article 4 or a condition on a previous planning application. Finally alterations to the roof are to the original building or as it was on 1st July 1948, so this means you can’t add on a dormer to an extension built under permitted development.
You have said where we can’t – so what can we do?
Glad you asked! There are a few limitations, but as long as you keep to the elements below, then enjoy your new loft or roof extension.
Class C – other alterations to the roof of a dwellinghouse
You do not normally need to apply for planning permission to re-roof your house or to insert Velux windows, roof lights or skylights as the permitted development rules allow for roof alterations subject to the following limits and conditions.
- Any alteration to project no more than 150 millimetres from the existing roof plane.
- No alteration to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
- Side facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
There are no restrictions on placing roof lights or skylights on elevations facing the street, however permission might also have been removed as a result of an Article 4 or a condition on a previous planning application. These permissions do not apply to flats or maisonettes. Nor do they apply to houses that have been converted from agricultural buildings, storage, light industrial, shops or casinos. They do however apply to houses (not flats) converted from offices under Class O.
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