LATEST NEWS ALERT - PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT GUIDELINES FOR LOFT CONVERSION 200mm SET IN
When dealing with the local borough authorities, we find that not all of them are consistent in their approach in dealing with applications especially Permitted Development applications. The reason is the council have their own way of interpreting the rules set out by the government which is very annoying as we try to keep the design consistent based on the Permitted Development policy set out by the government and find that in some council's will change the design principles coursing confusion for homeowners and builders trying to understand what is right and what is wrong.
Waltham Forest District Council's Policy on Loft Conversion 200mm set in rule - Jan 2021
WORRYING NEWS FOR HOMEOWNERS THAT MAY BE IN BREACH OF PLANNING
Fig - 1.1
Today we received an email from Waltham forest District Council for a request for an amendment needed to get plans approved for a Hip to gable Loft conversion design with a rear Dormer. The council asked for our team to set the rear dormer cheek wall in by 200mm from the main house rear external face wall as opposed to the normal 200mm set in from along the roof plane as noted in the Permitted development framework.
Our team was quite surprised by this request so we then replied to the
case officer in charge explaining that all of our loft conversion designs are
based on the measurement across the roof plane set in by 200mm.
We stressed that this design principle has always been the case and that
all other 31 borough planning departments have had no objections
with the dormer design being set across the roof plane in the past.
This demonstrates that all the other borough councils keep it consistent
across the board interpretation in design the same way. We advised
Waltham Forest council that we have on record evidence with 1000's
of approved certificates being issued by all 31 other boroughs based
on this design principle by means of our clients obtaining a certificate of lawfulness with plans being issued and approved as per the guidelines written in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Technical guidance Booklet - Sep 2019
See diagram above, Fig 1.1, and text from the guidelines published set out below:
The Guidelines Published State the Following:
Text from page 35 Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government Technical Guidance - Sep 2019
THE RESPONCE FROM THE COUNCIL
Thank you for your email.
We have recently been reviewing PD developments, and also the legal position on how assessments are made, and the current position on dormer PD assessments is based on the following:
A High Court Ruling has provided a clear ruling relating to the matter of where the 200mm set back from eaves should be taken on roof for dormer– a summary of this ruling is given at the link below
The High Court judgment, which was handed down on 18/06/2013, found that the advice in the DCLG "Technical Guidance" document (August 2010) was incorrect in relation to condition B.2(b) of Part 1 Class B of the GPDO 1995:
The High Court judgment found that that the 20cm set back should be measured from the closest point of the projecting eaves (which is the intersection with the wall), rather than from the outer edge of the projecting eaves.
It should be noted that the DCLG, having since issued various version (recently 2019 version), and has failed to issue an update to "Technical Guidance" document to correct its position to comply with High Court Decision. This is very disappointing, because anyone not aware of the High Court Judgement would only be looking at the advice that is still currently provided by the government about its own legislation, only to subsequently find out that their roof extension is unlawful (and potentially subject to enforcement action).
The interpretation set out by the above High Court judgment takes precedence over the technical guidance. Please note that the technical guidance is what the name suggests, a guidance note and not a legal document. In assessing application, you would look at the GDPO legislation, any legal decisions (ie. High Court Decisions), and then refer to technical guidance for guidance purposes only.
Please also note, Section A of the Technical Guidance for Permitted Development rights for Householders (2019) gives clarification on where the measurements for eaves should be taken, as referenced in page 11 and 12. If this is applied for purposes of working out eaves height from ground level, than to be consistent it would also be applicable when defining eaves to take the measurements for the dormer set back. This is consistent with the High Court Ruling.
I hope that this helps to explain the
background to the position taken by the
Council on the assessment of this issue.
In light of this please let me know when
you will be able to amend the submitted
plans in order that we can issue the
the decision for this application for the
due date of 15th February.
Mr **** ********
Development Management Team
THE STANDARD DESIGN
MOST LOFT CONVERSIONS ARE BUILT TO
OTHER Borough councils Interpretation of the above guidelines where a 200mm set in demonstrated from the "eves" is created 200mm along the roof plane as acceptable
Note the dormer being set in 200mm along the roof plane as you see in most loft conversions designed and built across the board. The rear dormer wall construction is built on the existing external inner wall leaf of the property giving you maximum space (still complying with the PD allowed volumes) and saving a steel beam to support the dormer rear wall. See Fig 1.3 & 1.4
Fig - 1.2
Fig - 1.3
Fig - 1.4
The new loft floor is supported on hangers fixed to the existing wall, with dormer sitting on the internal inner leaf for support
Loft wall sitting on wall inner leaf
Our team have no intention to carry out designs that do not follow The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 so this puts us in a position to advise all clients in need of Loft Conversion designs to register and Submit the chosen design of there choice, either by going for
1. Setting the proposed dormer 200mm in across the roof plane. See Fig 1.2. or
2. Setting the proposed dormer 200mm in from the external wall face of the property. See Fig 1.5.
and then applying for a Certificate of Lawfulness for the proposed use class to get the council to review the proposal. The council will then review what design is Permitted or not on their own internal judgements. Because of Waltham Forest decision to take a different stance on the Permitted Development interpretation from other borough councils no same design can be selected as the "RIGHT ALLOWED DESIGN". The submission process will take 8 weeks and will cost the homeowner £103 for a legal document being given stating all is Granted, this gives peace of mind with no headaches further on down the line.
THE REVISED DESIGN GIVEN TO WALTHAM FOREST COUNCIL FOR APPROVAL
Waltham Forest councils Interpretation of the above guidelines where a 200mm set in is taken from the "eves" from the external wall set in 200mm as acceptable
Note the dormer now being set in further along the roof plane but now is set in 200mm from the external rear wall face. The new rear dormer wall construction is now being built on an additional steel beam spanning side to side just before the existing external inner wall leaf. This design has made the dormer smaller in size making the total footprint of the loft space smaller by a fraction. See Fig 1.5
Fig - 1.5
Fig - 1.6
The new Steel Beam needed is added to support the rear loft cheek wall as well as accomodating the floor Joists loading.
See Fig 1.6
TYPICAL SECTION THROUGH
JOIST AND BEAM LAYOUT DESIGN
The summary of this conclusion will be that working for any client that is located in Waltham forest area will be to design the loft conversion under Permitted development in a way that the rear dormer will be set in from the WALL instead of along the roof plane by 200mm. This will affect the development in two ways:
1. The added cost of an additional steel beam designed to support the rear face dormer wall will make a pricy conversion.
2. The reduced size in dormer footprint making a smaller total living area for the proposed bedroom for the homeowner.
THE FOLLOWING REVISED DESIGN WILL BE GIVEN TO ALL WALTHAM FOREST RESIDENTS IN NEED OF A FUTURE LOFT CONVERSIONS WHICH FALLS UNDER PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RULES SET OUT CURRENTLY BY WALTHAM FOREST
NO DESIGN IS OR FALLS UNDER PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT UNTIL
APPROVED BY THE LOCAL COUNCIL ISSUING A CERTIFICATE
CONTACT OUR TEAM TODAY FOR A QUOTE
I hope you understood this article and find it useful for your proposals we just want you to get the right results and not to make a mistake in doing the build the wrong way around as this could affect the sale to the next purchaser. Regards John. D.
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