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LOFT CONVERSION DESIGN IN FLATS MADE SIMPLE
Homeowners that own Flats are still entitled to have Loft conversions added to their properties, but need to follow the guidlines set out by the Planning Department. The rules for Loft Conversions for Flat varie from borough to Bourough so it is so important to be uptodate with the guidlines set out. There are 52 Borought councils in London and each Borough will have there own set of rules set. It can be difficult to understand the requierments as the rules are in some cases not explained or displayed fo public view. Below is an article for you to understand the process taken of one example of a Flat located in Wanstead which falls within Redbridge Borough council.
WHY DO FLATS HAVE DIFFERENT RULES TO HOUSES WHEN IT COMES TO LOFT CONVERSIONS?
When designing Loft Conversions for homeowners Discount Plans Ltd usually design the Loft Conversion following the Permitted Development guidlines set out by the GPDO as the property in question is usually a house. The design we consider is based on volomes, Semi detached and Detached Properies are entitiled to 50sqm3 additional allowance added to the exsiting roof space. Terreced properties however are entilited to 40sqm3 of additional roof space added to the exisiting roof. We ask the homeowner the following list of questions set out below to establish if the Permitted Developemnt rules apply to their property to understand which design is suitable?
QUESTIONS TO ESTABLISH THE CORRECT LOFT CONVERSION DESIGN
Is the property a House?
Is the Property a LISTED Building?
Has the property PREVIOUSLY been extended?
Have the PD rights been REMOVED previously on the property?
Is the Property located in a CONSERVATION Area or Natioanl Park?
If the answer is "YES it's a HOUSE" and "NO" to all the other questions then the PD rules apply
If the answer is "NO its a FLAT" or "YES" to all the other questions then the SPD rules apply
FLAT LOFT CONVERSION DESIGN
The rules and policies for Loft Conversion designs are similar across the board from all the councils. The council require the proposed dormer to be Suborbinate to the existing roof slope (side or rear), this may vary from borough to borough. No dormers are allowed on the front roof slope and No Hip to Gables are allowed on Semi's and end of terrace properties as this will cause an imbalance to the other (end) property.
LOFT CONVERSION DESIGN REQUIREMENTS WITHIN REDBRIDGE COUNCIL
which will be very similar to other borough rules
It is important that any roof alterations are subordinate in size to the roof of the house and do not appear as a dominant feature. To convert a hipped roof to a gable-end roof will generally be refused permission where this would be out of character with the prevailing pattern of development in the area, or harm the symmetry of a pair of semi-detached properties.
The erection of rear dormer windows and insertion of roof lights into the roof slope are in principle acceptable approaches for extending the roof of your house. Dormer windows or roof extensions must remain subordinate within the roof slope. Rear dormers should be symmetrically located and be at least 500 mm below the ridge of the roof, 1000 mm above the eaves and set in 1000 mm from shared boundary and from the edge of the roof (500 mm from the edge for hipped roofs).
The set-in measurements mentioned above should be increased on larger detached houses with larger roof face areas to ensure it remains subordinate. Where terraced houses have parapet walls on either side of the roof they should not be built up and any dormer extensions should be set in. Front and side dormers are generally not considered to be appropriate, unless they are an original or common feature of properties in that street.
Roof lights would be generally acceptable at the front of the property, reflecting the position of the windows at the first-floor level on the front elevation.
PREPARING YOUR DESIGN CASE TO GET MORE SPACE
The best approach in getting results from the planners for getting the maximum out of the size of the proposed dormer is to get the council team involved in the beginning. Preparing an Access and Design Statement carries weight as the information added helps the case officer understand the design put forward with all design considerations addressed. The Statement will have detailed information on other developments and what is understood by the designing meeting the setout policy etc.
Below is a detailed Access and Design Statement written up as a supporting document to get the case officer to comment on. The council provide a Pre-Application meeting with Applicants to review the proposal and discuss the design submitted.
DESIGN AND ACCESS STATEMENT
For a loft conversion consisting of a dormer to the rear roof slope and three Velux roof lights to the front roof slope at
First Floor Flat ** Mansfield Road, London E11
Grid Reference: TQ 40776 88198 X (easting) 540776 – Y (northing) 188198
Latitude - 51º34'30"N – Longitude - 000º01'48"E
Mansfield Road in Redbridge is in the London region of England. The postcode is within the Wanstead Park ward/electoral division, which is in the constituency of Leyton and Wanstead.
** Mansfield Road consists of an Edwardian style terraced family home and the subject property forms a first floor flat. The conversion of No. ** into two separate flats was granted over 15 years ago with no history being listed on the planning portal. The properties envelope is provided with a tiled pitched roof to the front and rear, the external walls are provided with a solid brick wall envelope. The majority of properties within Mansfield road are predominantly formed within a terraced row and of the same design and early 1900s type build and have been provided with additions to the lower floors and roof slopes. (see 3.0 design showing a large portion of housing stock within Mansfield Road provided with dormers to the rear slopes)
The following photograph below is viewed from the front and the rear of ** Mansfield Road
View of Front Elevation
View of Rear Elevation
THE SCOPE OF THE STATEMENT
Is limited to relevant sections of the local design and planning policy. We believe that this building proposal will follow the council’s guidelines, which states that any new development must be of a high standard of design and have regard for the existing architectural style, scale, proportion, position and materials. The First floor flat does not hold permitted development rights, so a carefully thought-out design has been put together.
The proposal is to create a loft conversion with a plain tiled clad dormer to the rear-facing sloping roof. 3No. Velux roof lights are also proposed to the front-facing slope.
The materials proposed are:
Vertical plain tile Clad to the dormer walls to similar existing roof slopes.
3 Layered felt system.
Velux windows in dark grey metal exterior finish.
White PVC-u/aluminium framed double glazed windows.
The projection of the roof lights will be kept as close to the plane of the roof as possible and will be low profile Velux’s not exceeding 150 mm from the existing front roof plane.
The dormer size is designed to be set away from each boundary by 800mm, 1000mm from the eves and 500mm set down from the exiting roof ridgeline.
The dormer has been designed to be lower than the existing ridgeline by 500 mm. The dormer has been set back from the eves by 1000 mm to provide an inset appearance to the existing rear roof plane. Due to the original high roof construction, the proposed dormer has been designed 500 mm lower from the existing ridgeline which coincides with Redbridge Housing Design Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) Adopted in September 2019. The proposed loft conversion has been designed to comply with Building Regulations by achieving more than 2000 mm internal headroom which is needed to pass Building Controls requirements. The internal ceiling on the 1st floor was saved so no internal works such as lowering the ceilings were necessary to achieve this proposed conversion. The dormer has been designed with materials to match existing to allow a continuation of materials to blend and appear sympathetic. The Staircase design is a sticking point where we needed an offset of the dormer external sidewall face to be 800 mm from the boundary line to fit the stairs in to comply with Building regulations. Redbridge SPD states 1000 mm is a recommendation for offsetting the side dormer from boundary’s, but we understand that this is a guide and if maintaining the existing roof to be subordinate to the exiting building proposal as well as keeping a high-quality design in place then this proposed loft conversion would be acceptable.
View of Front Elevation
View of Rear Elevation
A large percentage of housing stock within Mansfield road, Sydney Road and Camden Road have been provided with dormers to the main roof and outrigger roof structure. This has been done by following the “Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015” as the other properties are one household dwelling which holds Permitted development rights.
The proposed loft conversion does not increase the footprint area of the property. The addition of the rear roof slope will increase the useable floor area including the stairs by approximately 22 sqm2 however most of the loft conversion will remain under a sloping roof.