Are double storey loft extensions achievable?
In 2020 the UK government introduced sweeping new rules (in theory) allowing upward extensions, categorised under Classes AA, AB, AC, and AD. These classes can allow for generous upward extensions under permitted development rights to existing properties without requiring full planning permission. This guide provides an overview of the key provisions for each class.
Class AA permits the conversion of commercial properties to residential use. The building should be solely used for commercial purposes on or before January 1, 2020. The change of use must be completed within a specified timeframe. There may be restrictions on certain types of commercial properties.
Class AA: Change of Use from Commercial to Residential
With the new 2020 PD rights, you can convert the entire building, or part of it, to residential use without full planning permission.
Class AB: Demolition and Rebuilding for Residential Use
Class AB allows for the demolition of some commercial buildings and their replacement with residential buildings. The existing building should have been used for specific commercial purposes on or before January 1, 2020. The replacement building should be for residential use only.
Upward extensions under the new 2020 permitted development rights, allow you to demolish the existing building and replace it with a residential building, provided it complies with size and design restrictions.
Class AC: Change of Use from Storage or Distribution to Residential
Class AC permits the change of use from storage or distribution facilities to residential use. The building should have been used solely for storage or distribution on or before January 1, 2020. The change of use must be completed within a specified timeframe.
Under permitted development you can change the use of the building to residential without full planning permission.
Class AD: Additional Storeys on Detached and Terraced Houses
Class AD allows for the construction of additional storeys on certain types of houses. Applies to detached, semi-detached, or terraced houses. The house must be at least two storeys in height.
Under PD upward extensions of up to two additional storeys to the house without full planning permission, subject to height and design restrictions.
To summarise classes AA-AD
Upward extensions under the new 2020 permitted development rights offer opportunities for property owners to make specific changes to their existing properties without the need for full planning permission. However, these rights come with strict eligibility criteria and limitations.
But are upwards extensions practical for the average homeowner?
City Lofts London are the accepted standard bearers for loft conversions in the industry. When upward extensions under the new 2020 Permitted Development Rights were first released, we were over them like flies on the proverbial, and wasted no time in submitting test cases across three different London local authorities, to test the practicalities of the new rights and the appetite local Planners had for this shiny new box of tricks.
We submitted upward extension applications for mid-terraced houses in Newham, Lambeth and Hounslow councils (see sample images below). Cutting to the chase, the results were negative in all test cases and the applications rejected. On a positive note, we discussed the principles of upward extensions at length, with Planners in Hackney and Camden councils, where analysis shows these types of developments be to supported, and were more encouraged. If you are curious and want to know if upward extensions might work for your house, get in touch to find out more of what we discovered firstname.lastname@example.org / 020888988299.