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Do you need Planning Permission for a Loft Conversion?

Planning permission is the formal permission from your local authority to alter the structure of a building or house, and is often required when homeowners want to make a major change to their house.

Planning permission can be fairly difficult to acquire in certain circumstances, and whether it is needed at all can often be a confusing topic when looking to convert your loft. Here at NK Lofts, we’ve outlined some of the basics when it comes to planning permission and your loft extension.

Do I need planning permission?

Loft conversions do not normally require planning permission as they do not change the structure of a house, and it is generally considered to be a permitted development. This is provided that the loft conversion does not alter or extend the roof space beyond its specified limits – for example, the conversion should remain at the same height as the existing highest part of the roof, and not extend beyond the existing roof slope.

You will need to ensure your loft conversion adheres to building regulations, however, which set a necessary standard for your building’s safety. Things covered under regulations include floor strength, keeping structural walls and supports in place, and safely designed stairs and exits that provide adequate protection in the case of a fire.


There are some exceptions in which planning permission may be required for a loft conversion. You should always check with your local planning authority if you are not sure if your conversion falls within permitted development rights. You may need to acquire planning permission before starting work on the conversion if:

  • You are extending the roof space or exceeding specified limits. For example, if a dormer extension is higher than the current highest point in the roof, you may require planning permission to make this change.
  • Your project is subject to the Party Wall Act 1966, in which adjoining owners must be given notice of planned changes to a shared wall. As per the Act, both parties to a boundary wall must give their consent before any structural alterations are made. Changes can include increasing the height or thickness of the wall, or inserting a load-bearing beam which may be required for your loft conversion to be safe.

A loft conversion is an ideal way of increasing the value of your home, and adding in some valuable extra living space for your family.

Here at NK Lofts, we specialise in carrying out loft conversion projects from start to finish, providing bespoke designs to ensure your requirements are met exactly.

For a free survey and quotation, simply contact our team today – we’ll be happy to advise you further on the services we offer.