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Conservation Loft Converting

One of the most popular ways nowadays to increase the size of your home is to add a bedroom or bedroom with en suite to your redundant attic space.

Depending on the age of your home and type of roof construction you have it can prove to be a very wise investment. Recently DMB Solutions were called to a property on Canning Street in Brighton to talk with a young mother about extending into her loft. 

The focus of the conversation was about how this could be done as the property was on the edge of a conservation area. Without knowing the rules and regulation she came to DMB Solutions to ask about what the planning law and building regulations allowed for. 

Brighton and Hove council have two departments that are relevant when talking about loft converting within a conservation area. First and foremost is the Brighton and Hove Councils building control department. This Brighton and Hove local government department is more concerned about how the loft conversion interacts with the rest of the house and also that it is structurally sound as well as being insulated correctly within fire regulations for means of escape. This is a very black and white process - it is either right or it is wrong. All of DMB Solutions' projects are always signed off by building control.

The Brighton and Hove council Planning department have a more grey view of developments within conservaton areas. It is more about the local environment, impact on neighbours, interaction with the street view and the amount of 'conservation' that needs to take place.

The general rule of thumb within a conservation areas is that an eaved loft conversion is acceptable with roof lights as long as they are conservation roof lights and there is not an article 4 policy protecting the front of the building.

If you are looking to locate a dormer onto the building then only at the rear will it be acceptable and it has to keep in the style of the building. This type of loft conversion will require a planning permission. Our advice would be to go to a pre-consultation planning meeting before entering the planning permission. At DMB Solutions we automatically do this for any planning permission we enter for our clients.

There are many conservation areas within the Brighton and Hove area, surrounding towns and villages. These include areas such as the West Hill and Clifton Hill conversation areas whose houses do also have listed buildings within them which takes the process to another hightened level of monitoring from the planning department.

We at DMB Solutions are more than happy to offer advice on any aspect of loft converting, give us a call to discuss and get a free estimate.


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