Are London Boroughs Relaxing Rules on Loft Conversions?

March 10, 2015 11:27 am

A lot of things can be more complicated in London – finding a flat, arranging a night out with friends, and – unfortunately – getting planning permission for a loft conversion.

However, it looks like some London boroughs may well be relaxing their rules and making it easier for residents to add loft conversions to their homes. The London Borough of Lambeth is one of these – they recently held a meeting and approved a plan to change their approach.

The Draft Building Alterations and Extensions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) states that “In recent years, Lambeth has seen a significant change in its housing market. Rising property prices and stamp duty are discouraging many residents from moving to larger properties and there is increasing interest to enlarge existing properties rather than move. This ‘don’t move – improve’ approach is one that is increasingly common across London and the South East.”

As a result, the council has considered a more ‘pro-development’ approach to extensions. As a result rules have been relaxed on extensions and conversions, especially mansard loft conversions which were previously deemed ‘not acceptable where it is not a part of the established character of the street or where it would harm the appearance of the building.” Mansard conversions will also be allowed on non-heritage buildings, as long as the property still follows traditional design rules.

The document also discusses dormer loft conversions, and allows home owners to add two individual dormers, two individual dormers with a thin linking part, inset dormers, or one subordinate box dormer if their home isn’t a heritage property.

We hope that other London boroughs will follow Lambeth’s lead and allow their residents to improve their properties rather than moving.

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