Loft conversion

Success and results

Miss Smith’s loft conversion, Bristol

Planning Permission

Miss Smith wanted to build a loft conversion on her Victorian terraced house in Bristol.

She said that "planning a loft conversion felt like a huge project, not to mention a big investment”.

Miss Smith consulted with an architect who drew up plans and submitted them to the local planning authority. The application was refused but Miss Smith and her architect altered the plans according to the recommendations made by the local authority and submitted the application for the second time, which was approved with conditions.

Building regulations

Quickly realising that planning rules weren’t the only specifics that had to be followed, Miss Smith used the Planning Portal to find out about her responsibilities regarding the building regulations that applied to her new loft conversion.

Miss Smith said: "when I applied for planning permission, I had no idea I would need to know about building regulations as well. I had assumed that this was something the builders would deal with.

“I would have preferred my plans to be available as a PDF as well as on paper, which would have made it easier to email to builders for quotes and so on.”

Top Tips

  • Look at the properties in your street to see if any have had a similar alteration to the project you are planning, although it doesn’t mean your application will be accepted
  • Submit planning and building control applications online, one of the many benefits of working electronically it the time it saves.

Mr Mistry’s loft conversion

Planning permission

Mr Mistry planned extensive work on his house, including a major loft conversion. He investigated the planning rules thoroughly before starting work and found that the loft conversion itself didn't require planning permission. The conversion didn't change the external appearance of the house, and was within the rules concerning permitted development.

Building regulations

There are two options to ensure that your building conforms to the relevant building regulations: submitting Full Plans for approval in advance, or doing the work By Notice. Mr Mistry and his builder chose to submit a building notice, this meant they didn't have to submit plans in advance but had regular on site meetings with the Building Control Officer who would approve the work as it progressed.

Mr Mistry says: “I was very happy with the progress of the project. The only thing I would have done differently would be to create digital plans instead of just having paper plans. That way we could have submitted our plans to the council online."

“My builder was excellent, which made the process a lot less painful. He had great local knowledge, and a good understanding of the appropriate laws."

Top Tips

  • If you require a building control officer to inspect the site, make sure you book one well in advance, as they are often very busy and in demand
  • Be confident about your choice of builder
  • Submit applications and supporting plans onlinePlaceholder