Converting a House into Flats?

7th January 2020

Thinking of converting a house to flats? – Depending on where you are in the UK this may not seem as simple as you think. So how can you check how likely planning consent for conversion to flats would be?

Check Policies – Your local authority would provide policies on this exact type of proposal, some council are quite clear that these types of developments would not be supported if the below factors can’t be met.

1. The original dwelling size may need to meet a minimum threshold. Some councils suggest 120 sqm which can rule out most terrace and semi detached properties. Please note however! This is referring to the original floor area, not the existing (current) with any additions added on.

2. Loss of family size units: conversions to flats usually requires the retention of a family unit with garden access. A family dwelling is usually considered to be a min in 3 bed.

3. The type of street; if your property is on a main road with examples of existing flats in the area then this is a good start! Properties are not usually suitable for conversion if located on a predominantly residential streets with larger homes not converted.

4. Space standards: this is a big one! The London Plan and Government Technical Housing Standards clearly provides minimum sizes for new build dwellings to comply with. For example, a 1 bedroom, 1 person flat must not be less that 37 sqm. For a 2 bedroom 1 person property then the minimum area should be 61 sqm.

5. Parking: If the property is located in an area with excellent transport links then parking may not be a concern. Sometimes, a S106 agreement may be necessary so any future occupier can not apply for parking permits. This would support green policies with a reduction on co2.

6. Outdoor Amenity: New dwellings would usually be expected to provide private outdoor amenity spaces. A one bedroom flat therefore may require a balcony to achieve this but would need to be carefully designed so not to overlook neighbours!

Contact Detailed Planning if you would like to discuss converting a home to flats. We usually suggest starting off with a desk top feasibility starting from £250+vat. This would seek to flush out any policies that would make the proposal a no go, or highlight where there are opportunities to convert!

Any other requirements post planning?

You bet! You’ll need full building control approval and to achieve this the property will need to be upgraded thermally as well as for acoustic performance. You may also require structural calculations, building regulation drawings, party wall agreements, SAP Test, sound assessments and of course full building control approval.

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