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Exempt development to detatched dormer style bungalow Query ...

  • 08-05-2017 8:01pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ CrankyPrincess


    Can I ask a 'planning' question please that is wrecking my poor head and I cannot find a straight answer to it anywhere...! Maybe because it’s not a straight-forward question. If we build a 40m2 extension within exempted planning but leave our upstairs (attic) 'unfinished'. Can we then convert that attic without planning or do we have to apply for planning to convert attic (converting attic is exempt but it doesn’t specify if it’s in extension or not). House style has no actual dormer windows just velux.

    Current house: Detatched dormer-style bungalow with gable roof - but no dormer style window, just velux skylights.

    Hope to build: 40m2 extension on ground level but incorporate an attic under a hip and valley roof to height of original roof.

    Hope to then: Convert attic to bedroom…

    Can we do this within exempted planning…

    I know if you increase your floor space by more than 40m2 you have to apply for planning… but you can convert an attic within exempt development…


Comments

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 15,958 Mod ✭✭✭✭ DOCARCH


    The reason you can't get a straight answer is that it is a little bit of a grey area/question! :)

    It would be generally accepted that you can build your 40 m.sq. extension, as exempt development (subject to meeting criteria for same).

    You can also convert your attic too, as exempt development, as long as you do not alter the existing roof shape/add dormers. Dormers require planning permission.

    Having stated the above, you should check with your local planning office (in the local authority) and/or seek the advice of a professional.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ CrankyPrincess


    Docarch ... I could kiss you!

    I've been playing with designs (while we save) and just get so downhearted when I read up on the rules. I like grey areas if they are in my favour! I have read up on the criteria and am confident all other aspects are within exempted planning. No dormer windows, extension at rear of property, plenty of garden so more than 25m2 remaining etc etc...

    So, we could go straight ahead and convert the attic as such without waiting - if we can afford it that is ... I will check with local planning office (County Cork) but delighted with that vote of confidence in the grey areas of life!

    I did ask a professional who couldn't answer it for me! Or else he avoided the topic due to the grey area!

    Thanks again :-)*


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,497 ✭✭✭✭ Poor Uncle Tom


    How do you propose to provide the required lighting for the converted bedroom in the attic? If you are providing roof lights, are they being put in from the start with the aim of a future conversion? If so, how many do you already have and how many do you propose to put in?

    Just curious.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 808 Angry bird


    We've had that discussion before and it is a grey area. I think if that attic on the original floor plans shows that it can be converted, i.e. enough space, then it would be exempt, but if this space is not shown on the original plans (and condition 1 of the planning permission always states 'carry out in accordance with the plans', then it may not be exempt. However, this is opinion only and I have not come across a court case deciding on this issue and the relevant regulations are vague in this area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ CrankyPrincess


    Thanks Poor Uncle Tom
    We currently have four skylights. 3 on front elevation - bedroom bedroom bathroom. 1 on rear - stairwell. We would propose to put in 2 skylights to the extension and will re-alight stairwell skylight.

    As to wether they will be in from the start - that will depend on cost. If not from the start then they will be planned in the structure of the roof for later conversion.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ CrankyPrincess


    Thanks Angry Bird
    The house is in a small estate. Didn't buy from plans - bought second hand. Some houses in the estate had 'attic' converted - others had it prepared with stairs and skylights but converted it later on.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 808 Angry bird


    For peace of mind, submit a section 5 declaration to the council, to issue cert of exemption or not as the case may be. 4 week turnaround, 80 bills plus basic drawings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,497 ✭✭✭✭ Poor Uncle Tom


    Thanks Poor Uncle Tom
    We currently have four skylights. 3 on front elevation - bedroom bedroom bathroom. 1 on rear - stairwell. We would propose to put in 2 skylights to the extension and will re-alight stairwell skylight.

    As to wether they will be in from the start - that will depend on cost. If not from the start then they will be planned in the structure of the roof for later conversion.

    This is the key, imo.

    Under S.I No. 128 of 2004 in determining the floor area of a structure items that must be included in the floor area include...
    all areas within the external walls which are capable of being converted into habitable space, even if there is not direct access from them to the dwelling, irrespective of their state of finish;

    ...because the attic space is designed for future conversion it should be included in the floor area, bringing your overall proposed floor area in excess of 40m2 and therefore not an exempted development.

    ..just my opinion though...:)


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 15,958 Mod ✭✭✭✭ DOCARCH


    ...just my opinion though...:)

    Devil's advocate I would suggest. :)

    See: http://www.dublincity.ie/main-menu-services-planning/frequently-asked-questions-planning

    Q: Is the area of an attic conversion reckonable in assessing the 40sqm exemption limit for domestic extensions?

    A: No


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,497 ✭✭✭✭ Poor Uncle Tom


    DOCARCH wrote: »
    Devil's advocate I would suggest. :)

    See: http://www.dublincity.ie/main-menu-services-planning/frequently-asked-questions-planning

    Q: Is the area of an attic conversion reckonable in assessing the 40sqm exemption limit for domestic extensions?

    A: No

    Isn't that for the attic of the original house though? not the attic of the proposed extension?

    It really is a grey area, that's why I always err on the side of caution. Get planning permission, if the house is ever to be sold there can't be anyone dispute that decision.


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  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 15,958 Mod ✭✭✭✭ DOCARCH


    Isn't that for the attic of the original house though?

    Yes.

    As far as I can make out, that's what the OP is talking about?

    They want to convert their attic now, and then build an extension, as an exempt development, at a later stage.

    Maybe I'm wrong!


  • Registered Users Posts: 425 ✭✭ tipping


    We're converting the attic of our bungalow soon and have recently submitted planning. There is one front velux but we could have lived without.

    We were advised by all 3 architects that quoted us that planning is required. This was due in main to the large increase in floor area. As it's a bungalow there are 3 large bedrooms and an bathroom going up there.

    All builders who have come to quote have asked why did we bother with planning.

    Essentially we did to prevent any problems down the line if we did ever decide to sell. The planning cost added about 1k all in to design fees.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,497 ✭✭✭✭ Poor Uncle Tom


    Yes.

    As far as I can make out, that's what the OP is talking about?

    They want to convert their attic now, and then build an extension, as an exempt development, at a later stage.

    Maybe I'm wrong!

    Sorry, I thought the objective was to construct a 40m2 ground floor extension as an exempted development and then convert the attic of that extension at a later date all as exempted development.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ CrankyPrincess


    DOCARCH wrote: »
    Yes.

    As far as I can make out, that's what the OP is talking about?

    They want to convert their attic now, and then build an extension, as an exempt development, at a later stage.

    Maybe I'm wrong!

    Sorry if I didn't specify earlier: we currently have 2 beds and bathroom upstairs in our current footprint. I was enquiring can I extend the 40m sq now and convert the attic of the extension also within exempt planning as attic conversion is exempt! That is why I'm confused.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 15,958 Mod ✭✭✭✭ DOCARCH


    I was enquiring can I extend the 40m sq now and convert the attic of the extension also within exempt planning as attic conversion is exempt! That is why I'm confused.

    Hmmm....different to what I understood you meant!

    This really has descended into the depths of very very dark greyness!!! :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ CrankyPrincess


    Ah now Docarch, I was kissing you earlier today with my delight at your positive answer! And as a Moderator in the Construction & Planning section - it carried even more weight!

    I've asked the question to Cork County Council Planning through their online enquiry system. Let's see if they can bring a bit of light back to that greyness... Fingers crossed it's very light grey :)


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