What kind of conversions require planning permission?
Converting or renovating a home can be a great way to increase living space, improve functionality, and add value to a property. They have become an increasingly popular way to increase living space without the costs associated with moving.
However, there are some legal conditions to meet with certain conversion or renovation projects, as many require legal permission known as planning permission.
76% of UK homeowners spent money on renovations in 2021, explains Premier Lofts, a company that has been specialising in loft conversions in London since 1990.
Many of these will not have required planning permission, as this is only required in cases where there might be an impact on the surrounding area or community. In this article, we will explore the different types of conversions that require planning permission.
Change of Use of a Building
This refers to any conversion that involves changing the primary purpose or function of a building. This can include conversions such as:
- Residential to commercial: For example, converting a single-family home into a commercial office space or a retail store
- Commercial to residential: For example, converting a warehouse into a set of flats
- Agricultural to residential: For example, converting a barn or other agricultural building into a residential property
These conversions typically require planning permission because they may have an impact on the local community and infrastructure. For example, a residential area may become more congested and noisy if a warehouse or office block suddenly appears in it.
These conversions may also require changes in the infrastructure such as water supply, sewage, and parking.
Conversion of a Building into Multiple Units
You will likely need planning permission if you plan on converting a single-family home into multiple units such as apartments. Similarly to the last point, this is because the conversion may have an impact on the local community and may be subject to specific regulations.
Addition of a New Extension
Adding a new extension to a building, such as a garage, a conservatory, or a second story, may require planning permission. This is because the extension may change the overall appearance of the building and may have an impact on the surrounding area.
The planning permission process for an extension might involve assessing the design and layout of the proposed extension, as well as its impact on the surrounding properties. The extension will need to comply with specific regulations such as building codes, zoning laws, and heritage protection laws.
Removal of Architectural Features
You may need planning permission if you plan to remove features such as a fireplace, a chimney, or a porch, especially in a listed building. This is because removing features like this may alter the character and appearance of the building and may be considered to be damaging to the heritage of the area.
The planning permission process for this typically involves assessing the impact of the proposed changes on the building’s historical and architectural significance. The removal of certain architectural features may be considered to be a “heritage crime” and may require specific permissions from the local authorities or heritage organisations.
Changes to the Layout
Making changes to the layout or internal configuration of a building that impact its structural integrity will likely require planning permission. This includes changes to the load-bearing walls, the electrical or plumbing systems, or the roof.
The building’s structural integrity and safety will be assessed, as well as the impact of the proposed changes on the building’s functionality. The proposed changes must comply with building codes and regulations. If the proposed changes involve the removal or relocation of load-bearing walls, you may need a structural engineer’s assessment and a building permit.
Installing New Utilities
Installing new utilities or services, such as water, electricity, or sewage, may require planning permission. This is because the installation may have an impact on the surrounding area and may be subject to specific regulations. If you plan on installing new utilities, your building may require a professional assessment and permits.