If you really do love your home and it’s in just the right location, you’ll be loath to move away. But you need more space. The family is growing and you yearn for more room to entertain, or even to work from home. The solution? A home extension or a loft conversion.
The conversion of a property may add to its value and increase its rental yield. The type of property conversion you decide on will depend on your budget and the permission granted for conversion work by your Local Planning Authority (LPA).It is important to choose the right property to convert,the right type of conversion
and, to ensure the work is compliant with building regulations and planning rules.
Property conversions can usually be described by one or both of the following terms:
Understand the local housing needs
Conducting thorough market research to identify trends and gauge local demand will highlight the type of conversion that will be best suited to a given area. If the research indicates that more young families are moving to the area, for example, then adding an extra room to a one bedroom house could be a viable option.
Planning permission is required for most major changes to existing buildings, including extensions, conversions and change of use. In some situations, additional permissions may be necessary, such as if the building is listed, or the property is in a conservation area.Although certain common building projects fall under ‘permitted development rights’ and do not require planning permission, building regulations will apply to most building work. It is therefore recommended that conversion proposals are discussed with your Local Planning Authority and Building Control Service (BCS) prior to instructing an architect.In some circumstances it may not be absolutely clear if planning permission is required or the work is classed as a permitted development. While not compulsory, obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) can be useful if you ever need supporting documentation to prove that the building work is lawful.
Splitting larger properties into smaller flats or apartments can be a costly process, but if the conversion is well-managed and meets the area’s demands, it can increase return on investment.The process may require the services of an architect, and the following factors should be given consideration:
Change of use
The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 groups the various uses of buildings and land into categories known as ‘Use Classes’. When the present and proposed uses fall into the same class or there is a ‘permitted change and planning permission may not be required.Nonetheless, it is important to discuss any proposals with the relevant Local Planning Authority and Building Control Service before starting any work to avoid what could be expensive and time-consuming remedial action, such as restoration or even demolition.If you convert a property into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) – a property three or more stories high and housing five or more people from two or more families – the landlord or building manager will be required to obtain a specific licence.
An extension or addition to your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:
* The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.
* Designated land includes conservation areas, national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and World Heritage Sites.
Please note: The permitted development allowances described here apply to houses and not to:
Installation, alteration or replacement of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe: Read guidance on the permitted development regime under Class G of the regime.Please be aware that if your development is over 100 square metres, it may be liable for a charge under the Community Infrastructure Levy.
Permitted Development for householders – Technical Guidance
You are strongly advised to read a technical guidance document produced by the Government to help understand how permitted development rules might apply to your circumstances.View ‘Permitted development for householders – Technical guidance’ on Gov.uk