Town & Country Loft Conversions & Extensions
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Loft Conversion & Home Extension Planning Laws

What you need to know

Planning a loft conversion or housing extension should be an exciting time for you. In general, loft conversions in London or Essex most likely will not need planning permission. However, as the owner of the property you are responsible for keeping up to date with the planning rules and regulations.

The planning laws have recently changed in 2014, so it is important to take a quick review to see if you will need to apply for planning permission. You need not waste time worrying about whether your loft conversion will require applying. Here are a few helpful points to check about the updated planning law before you start building.

Roof Space

Below are a few considerations to keep in mind if you want to alter your roof space in any form:

You will need permission if you are planning to extend or alter your roof so that it will exceed the given limits and conditions. Roof extensions in general must be set back as far as possible, but at least twenty centimetres from the original eaves.

You may not extend your roof at all if you live on designated land such as National Parks or World Heritage Sites. You may not extend your roof so that it is higher than the pre-existing highest part, and cannot extend it beyond the plane of the pre-existing roof slope.

If you own a terraced house, you may add a 40 cubic metres of extra volume to your roof space. If you have a detached or semi-detached house, the limit is 50 cubic metres. Remember to check to see if a previous owner has created additional space as that counts towards the volume. Keep in mind that balconies of any kind are not allowed as well.


When choosing your material, make sure you know the current materials of your home. The new materials you use must blend in with what is existing so that the appearance is not drastically different.

If you are considering adding in side-facing windows, the glass material must be obscure-glazed. This is also meant to ensure privacy for you so that light will come in but no one can view into your home.


There is an off chance the work you plan to do will influence other species, most commonly bats. In this case, you may need a license for the work. The best thing to do in this situation is to contact Natural England for a survey of your house to ensure proper treatment. 

If you have any questions about a specific alteration, you should contact the Local Planning Authority. The last thing you want is to face the consequences of unknowingly breaking the given rules. Actions could be as drastic as demolition or restoration. The Town & Country team is also more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Please feel free to give our friendly, personable team a call on 0800 112 3994. Alternatively you may email us on or simply use our contact form.