Planning Permission Process: How to Obtain Planning Permission for Loft Extensions

At present, the loft extensions are a great opportunity to expand living space and increase the value of your home. However, navigating the planning permission process is essential for ensuring the legality and smooth execution of your project. In this blog article, we will explore the various types of loft extensions and discusses the steps involved in obtaining planning permission.

Loft extensions come in several forms, each offering different benefits and considerations. From the straightforward rooflight conversion to the more elaborate hip-to-gable transformation, homeowners have a range of options to suit their needs. Rooflight conversions, for example, are cost-effective solutions ideal for smaller spaces requiring additional rooms such as bedrooms or home offices. On the other hand, dormer conversions provide increased headroom and floor space by extending the roof vertically, often with windows for natural light and ventilation.

Mansard conversions are characterized by their flat roof with a sloping rear wall, making them popular choices in urban areas like London where maximizing space is crucial. Hip-to-gable conversions involve converting a sloping “hip” roof into a vertical “gable” wall, creating more internal space and larger rooms, particularly suitable for detached or semi-detached houses. Pitched roof conversions maintain the existing roof shape but add dormers or rooflights, offering versatility adaptable to various house styles. Additionally, bungalow loft conversions utilize previously unused loft space to transform single-story bungalows into two-story homes, adding both space and value.

While loft conversions typically fall under permitted development, certain limitations and conditions must be met to avoid the need for planning permission. These regulations, outlined in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended), cover aspects such as enlargement volume, height restrictions, and materials used. Failure to adhere to these criteria or the removal of permitted development rights in your area may necessitate an application for Householder or Full Planning Permission.

To navigate the planning permission process effectively, homeowners must assess their need for permission by consulting with contractors or relevant authorities. If planning permission is required, submitting an application to the local planning authority via the page is the next step. In most cases it takes around 8 weeks for the local authority to make a decision, however, for some large or more complex application it might extend to around 13 weeks. If the decision takes longer, you have a chance to appeal.  The cost of a householder planning application in England is £206 and for full planning permission application from £258, related to alterations or extensions to a single dwelling house or a flat, or £509 if two or more dwelling houses/flats are involved. Also, there are additional costs e.g. site assessment (average from £300-£1000), processing the planning application (average £750-£2000) or written appeal costs (average £1000-£3000). All prices depend on the local authorities, so it is recommended that you contact the appropriate one for your location. Approval is necessary before work can commence. Additionally, it is necessary to comply with building regulations to guarantee the safety and quality of the conversion. Hiring professionals for high-risk tasks is advisable to ensure compliance and peace of mind.

In conclusion, loft extensions offer a valuable opportunity for homeowners to expand their living space and enhance property value. By understanding the various types of loft extensions and the planning permission process, homeowners can embark on their projects confidently, knowing they are proceeding legally and responsibly.

Note: Portions of the information provided were sourced from Planning Portal. To access the original content, visit