Refused planning permission for a dormer loft extension? It pays to appeal…

It can be been tricky to get full planning permission for a loft conversion with a dormer roof extension. These extensions are usually permitted development (where planning permission is not required), but permission is required for extensions to all flats and to some houses in certain areas (see our article on permitted development for houses vs flats).

Planners are hostile to large dormer extensions. Where a dormer loft extension is not permitted development, Councils generally require that the dormer be reduced dramatically in size. They will ask for it to be set in from the sides, down from the ridge and well back from the eaves, meaning that much less space is created in the new second floor.

Recently, however, we have had several important successes in planning appeals relating to loft extensions. In Newham, we obtained planning permission for a large rear box dormer to a flat at 117 Wakefield Street. In Bracknell Forest, we had a successful appeal for a large dormer, visible from the street, at 28 Horatio Avenue. In Luton, planning permission was refused for a full-sized rear dormer at 52 Gooseberry Hill, and we won at appeal. most recently, we obtained planning permission at appeal for an ‘L’ shaped dormer (or double dormer) to a converted flat at 16 Huntingdon Road in the London Borough of Barnet.

Loft conversions are one of the most popular ways of extending your home and often the only way to add bedrooms and bathrooms. A loft conversion also represents the most lucrative home alteration we can make in terms of adding value to our properties. The Nationwide Building Society reckons that converting 300 square feet of loft space into an en suite bedroom could add more than 20 per cent to the value of an average property.

About 80% of dormers are built under permitted development rights. If you cannot build a dormer under permitted development (perhaps because you live in a flat), but you would like a large, converted loft to provide you with maximum extra space, you will need to apply for planning permission. If it is refused, contact us for some free advice on your chances of successfully getting permission at appeal.

To find out more about permitted development rights for householders, check out the government’s ‘interactive house’ on the planning portal.

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PLANNING ADVICE & TIPS