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Loft conversion question - permitted development

(12 Posts)
catmadmum Fri 21-Apr-17 10:53:04

After what feels like forever our loft conversion is due to start next week. I had the first meeting with the loft company and builder yesteday and we went over the plans. There are lots of questions I'll try and post into one thread soon but just just a quick one for now. We live in a Victorian semi so our permitted development is 50 sm. We're having an L shaped dormer which will give us a large bedroom at the front, small separate bathroom and then a small 2nd room (office, bedroom). I have mentioned to loft co that I'm disappointed 2nd bedroom so small (9.24 X 8.03) as I'd expected it to be bigger and he said that if we sign a disclaimer they can try to go a bit bigger - over the 50sm permitted development. I was a bit shocked tbh and asked if many people do this and he said yes. I don't think he's talking much - he mentioned 50cm but I don't know if he was joking. Has anyone done this and did you get 'found out'. There will be space over the L shaped big of the 1st floor to go out much further. TIA

BumbleNova Fri 21-Apr-17 11:43:47

I think the issue is that you may have a problem when you come to sell because you are effectively breaching planning law.

Is there a reason you cant apply for planning permission?

HiDBandSIL Fri 21-Apr-17 13:01:44

I would.

I don't think you would have a problem on resale because nobody checks that. Are you getting / have you got a lawful development certificate? If you have that to present to a buyer I don't think anyone is going to go around checking the measurements of what was built vs. the plans submitted for the lawful development cert.

I have heard that some planning authorities carry out spot checks following development to check conformity to plans but I don't even know if that is true and even if it is I'm sure there's an allowance such that if you're just a little off plan they won't take any action. And then of course after 4 years they won't enforce anyway.

You're also at an advantage for it being a loft conversion - i.e. beyond the reach of people like neighbours who might casually measure and complain!

If anything does happen, you can always apply for retrospective permission. I don't think there's any penalty for failing to obtain it pre-construction.

I'll be nibbling a bit more when work starts on my extension

HiDBandSIL Fri 21-Apr-17 13:02:22

Apologies for the offence my post will cause to those more law abiding than me!

HiDBandSIL Fri 21-Apr-17 13:03:48

p.s. Please post your other questions soon. I'm having a loft conversion done too and like discussing loft conversions grin

Butterflies27 Fri 21-Apr-17 13:10:03

Were at the end of a loft conversion (hopefully) we have had the building inspector out 2 times and a third by the time we're finished. We have raised our steels perhaps a tad higher than meant to, to he the head height and it's all gone through. We didn't sign anything though.

Butterflies27 Fri 21-Apr-17 13:11:08


Mishmishmish Fri 21-Apr-17 13:14:44

Maybe I can provide a word of warning. We bought a house last year where the loft conversion was done in 2015 under PD. They didn't go over the set limit but a fault was made by the vendor/builders re a setback of 20cm. We didn't get a certificate of lawful development because we didn't know it existed, nor did our v experienced conveyancing solicitors even mention we should have got one. Lo and behold someone made a complaint to the council back in 2015 about the conversion, it only just got followed up this past winter by the planning department. We had no idea about this before purchasing. Now the council wants us to rectify the fault which is going to cost thousands in architect/builder/building control.

I would tread very very carefully and I wouldn't touch this idea with a bargepole. All it takes - as in our case - is some troublesome neighbour to make a complaint, the council will come and investigate and down the line you will have to rectify the fault. Either get full planning permission or stick to the PD rules.

Indaba Fri 21-Apr-17 15:18:49

Would echo what Mish MM said too. If and when you sell this could cause an issue. Just going through conveyancing ourselves and our vendor had to find loads of certificates re PP and PD. You can call building control at your local council on a no names basis.

Indaba Fri 21-Apr-17 15:20:43

What I meant is you can call the council yourself without disclosing your address for advice.

catmadmum Fri 21-Apr-17 15:31:29

Thanks for all of your replies. We've got the Certificate of Lawful Development and my loft company are employing a company that will do the inspections (rather than the council). Planning permission didn't seem necessary as we get 50sm. We've no plans to move and our neighbours are lovely. Still, I will think carefully before agreeing to anything. So many decisions to make now regarding, rooflights, veluxes, upvc vs aluminium windows etc.

catmadmum Fri 21-Apr-17 15:33:12

The loft company said that they check for things like insulation and beams but not going to measure to see if it's 50sm bigger than it should be. The 50 sm must be difficult to measure acurately to the centimeter.

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