Monday, 14 October 2013

Application for certificate of lawfulness for proposed development.

This type of application does not concern itself with the design but rather, to confirm that the proposed loft conversion work fall within the general permitted development order of October 2008 or GPDO.  

Certain types of roof space conversions will not require a full planning application and there is no legal requirement to apply for a Lawful Development Certificates (LDC). More commonly known as a certificate of lawfulness for proposed development. Some examples of the types of conversion that normally fall within PD rights could be flat and pitched roof dormers and hip-to-gable loft conversions.

Flat roof dormers
Pitched roof dormers


The planning portal has very useful guide called the interactive house. You can compare your own property and what type of loft conversion you have in mind.

However if you contact your local planning authority and perhaps fill in a "do I need full planning form". At best, their reply will be along the lines of. “We consider your application to be permitted development and will not require a full planning application based upon the information provided. However for a formal determination please apply for lawful development certificate.”
Therefore for conclusive proof that a full planning application is not required we will apply for the LDC on your behalf. This document is also invaluable in any future house sale as one of the first question and purchases solicitor would ask is the loft conversion require planning permission. This will answer that question immediately and avoid any other confusion should planning laws change in future.
The main criteria to be within permitted development rights for a loft conversion are as follows.
  • A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres for terraced houses
  • A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres for detached and semi-detached houses.
  • No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway.
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
  • Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas*.
  • Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the eaves.
*Designated areas include national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.

The application takes the format of an on-line form on the planning portal too which we attach our Architectural plans.

 Fee is a half planning fee. This will have existing and proposed elevations, floor plans and roof plans.  Also a site location map for confirmation of property location. Different authorities do seem to treat these applications in different manners. However the main trust being that the planners are not there to comment on design, purely to confirm that the proposed conversion. As shown on the detailed and scaled plans does in fact fit within the PD rights criteria. Once application has been validated we are issued a planning reverence number and the application information can be viewed on-line.  The process can take up to 8 week as a full planning application. However generally as we provide detailed information we often receive earlier certificates earlier.
The certificate will have an on-line record plus a copy you can lodged with your deeds.  

So, let’s us take care of the form filling and get your COL. Contact us for more information