Garage conversion planning permission

If you are considering a garage conversion you will need to find out if planning permission is required for any of the work that you intend to carry out on the building. Many people assume that planning permission is required as standard for all garage conversions – however, only around 10% of all garage conversions will require local authority planning permission. To this end, it's important to check with your local authority before you commence with any garage building or conversion work.

Planning permission rules have changed somewhat in recent years. New regulations came into effect on 1 October 2008 specifying that the majority of garage conversions do not require planning permission, providing that the work is internal and that the conversion does not involve making the garage any larger in size. Generally speaking, the majority of properties will have permitted development rights allowing for certain types of work.

Permitted development is a categorisation of any work that can be performed without the need to obtain planning permission first. The majority of garage conversions will automatically fall into this category. However, some properties may have had their permitted development rights removed at the time of their original build. In these cases, planning permission will need to be applied for prior to a garage conversion.

If you are planning a garage conversion project and you are not sure about planning permission, if it is required for your project, or what it means, you will need to contact your local authority for more advice. Naturally, planning permission rules will differ depending on a number of factors, including the type of garage that you own, its location (i.e. if it is attached to your home or it is an independent structure) and the work that you are intending to carry out on it (i.e. the intended purpose for the space).

It is very important to check if planning permission is required before you commence with any conversion work on your garage. If you fail to do this, and find out at a later date that planning permission was required – you may be required by law to reverse any work that you have already completed. This must be done at your own cost so it can obviously be a very expensive and time-consuming task. Your local authority should be able to answer any questions that you have about planning permission in relation to your conversion.

Prior to starting the project, you will also need to check any building regulations that apply to your conversion and how you must adhere to them. Again, failure to check legalities at the start of a job can prove to be a very costly mistake further down the line. Again, your local authority will be best placed to provide you with advice about building regulations. Don't be tempted to skip either of these steps – many people have done so in the past and have regretted the decision at a later stage! You can refer to our other articles for more information about building regulations and other aspects of your garage conversion project.

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