Can I use Zinc, Steel or Render as a Loft material finish?
Under "The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015" all material finishes need to be of the same matching material as the existing roof. This has always been the case and will remain. In most cases, roofs are built with either a tiled or slate finish, if this is the case then the proposed dormer when applying for a certificate of lawfulness needs to present that all materials will need to be of the same matching kind. Slate for Slate, Tiles for Tiles comparison, this article will explain example situations which have fallen outside the PD parameters.
LOFT CONVERSIONS FINISHED IN STEEL SHEETING
Steel sheeting was refused by the council
A tiled finish was needed to comply
Our client choose to construct his rear dormer out of a modern steel sheeting material spray painted with a dark grey powder-coated finish, the end product looked very nice we were very impressed in the office. The homeowner decided to build his loft conversion first and then when complete to apply for a retrospective PD application ("existing use class") so to obtain a valid Certificate of Lawfulness.
The rules under Permitted development are set in stone "Materials to be of similar appearance to the existing house" so when any application is sent in to be reviewed under the GPDO legislation a case officer will review all elements including the materials. If the proposed materials do not match that of the existing kind that the house currently has, like tiles or slate then the application will be refused based on non-compliance.
RETROSPECTIVE - APPLICATION "EXISTING USE CLASS" WITH THE INTENT OF ZINC CLADDING BEING USED
After a lengthy 8-week wait the applicant received the worst news which he did not want to hear. The decision came back as refused due to the non-compliance of materials not matching the existing material finish of the property.
Building control signed off all the works for compliance and issued a final completion certificate, however, the planning department is totally different from building control and has its own powers put in place for compliance.
RETROSPECTIVE - APPLICATION "EXISTING USE CLASS"
RE-APPLYING AFTER 4 YEARS OF TILE REPLACEMENT
The next steps the homeowner had to take was to replace the costly steel sheeting he had paid for and replace it with tiles that matched the existing property materials. Scaffolding was needed for the roofer's access which came at an additional cost, so the whole replacement from steel cladding to tiles did come in at a heavy price. The client replaced the tiles and waited 4 years to decide to again apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness as an "existing use class" to pay the council a further £103 for the application fee.
Good news all came back excepted and a PD certificate was issued.
Architectural Design Studio