Attic conversions - exempt development

Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby brianrochford » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:11 pm

About 3 years back I checked with Dublin City Council to see if an attic conversion could be exempt development . The answer was NO - NEVER , for good reasons relating to fire safety .

Adding a third storey to a 2 storey building changes the fire risk and the building regulations contain very specific requirements . So exempted development = no commencement notice = no building control dept input = not safe .

The officer noted that the exempted development regulation ( SI 600 2001 schedule 2 Class 1) is carefully worded ( extension to side or coversion of garage to side or rear ) to specifically exclude attic conversions . He further pointed to Condition 4 (of Class 1 ) which relates to heights of extensions being specifically worded to exclude attic conversions

This all makes perfect sense to me .

So..........

Imagine my surprise to see items 4 + 5 here on the Dun Laoghaire web site

http://www.dlrcoco.ie/planning/oftenasked.htm

In a nutshell , it says not only that attic conversions can ( conditionally ) be exempt BUT ALSO that the area of the conversion does not have to counted against the 40m2 total !

I have done a quick check on the South Dublin , Meath and Fingal sites and they appear to be in line with the DCC interpretation .

Do any members from other parts have any views / ecperience to compare ?
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby tommyt » Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:59 pm

Aren't attic conversions nearly always done for 'storage space' for the reasons you outlined,? even if such works involve a dormer window. I also think you can put in 2 velux windows to the rear along with other internal works for the 'storage' area in DCC's functioning area.
You often see estate agents trying to dance around this in their sales spiel
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby brianrochford » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:36 pm

They are Tommy but I had not before seen an official "sanction" of these conversions as stated here on on the DLRCC site .
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby tommyt » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:30 am

brianrochford wrote:They are Tommy but I had not before seen an official "sanction" of these conversions as stated here on on the DLRCC site .

One could make a prejudicial guess that the larger semi-D's commom in DLR have more generous floorplates and roof clearance?
The demograohics of DLR are pretty bad too and there is a raft of 'densifying' nuances in the dev plan for mature suburban areas (23 of the 69 DEDs in DLR experienced continual population decline from 86-2002, i.e. all of clonskeagh, churchtown, foxrock, cabinteely etc.) you could probably fit a 2 bed apartment in some of the attics in those neighbourhoods! I am surprised that house division into 2 units hasn't been sanctioned for in the DLR dev plan. It's a very common occurence in edwardian semi-D's in London for example
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby henno » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:37 am

if you convert an attic to habitable space with fixed access then it needs planning permission...

if you change the construction to give yourself 'storage space' with no fixed access then you do not need planning...

if you add velux rooflights or dormer windows to a roof, these require planning permission.

Those guidelines on the Dun Laoghaire are incorrect and misleading.
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby wearnicehats » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:52 pm

the "guidance notes" state

"These notes are for guidance only; the relevant Regulations should always be consulted where doubt exists"

ie your conversion must conform with all parts of the building regs, in this case Part B is very clear on all aspects of converting your attic. Joe Soap probably wouldn't know / care though so the webpage is too vague, almost dangerous in fact
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby sinnerboy » Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:18 pm

[quote="wearnicehats"]the "guidance notes" state

"These notes are for guidance only]


The page , at points 4 + 5 , is not vague . It Is very simply worded - and wrong . The stuff about "doubt" existing ..... sure what doubt would any reasonable person have about converting their attic having read such clear , simply worded but ( unknown to them ) wrong information
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby esterelle » Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:05 pm

The Dun Laoghaire website is correct and the others are wrong. Attic conversions do not need planning permission. The area involved is part of the dwelling house. All internal works are either not development or exempt under S 4 (1) (h) of the 2000 Act. Velux windows to rear and sometimes to the side and front also exempt.
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby henno » Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:37 pm

esterelle wrote:The Dun Laoghaire website is correct and the others are wrong. Attic conversions do not need planning permission. The area involved is part of the dwelling house. All internal works are either not development or exempt under S 4 (1) (h) of the 2000 Act. Velux windows to rear and sometimes to the side and front also exempt.


Therein lies the problem....

you are correct to say that internal alterations are exempt under section 4.1.h

however, nowhere in the regulations does it state that rooflights are exempt. !!!!

This is a grey area which different building control sections have different view points. Some consider rooflights internal alterations and thus exempt, however others consider them as a change to facade and thus require permission... theres no straight answer.....

An attic cannot be converted into habitable space without it complying with TGD B fire regs. These regs require an alternative means of escape, usually rooflights.

The best thing to do is apply for a declaration....
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby esterelle » Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:58 pm

henno wrote:Therein lies the problem....

you are correct to say that internal alterations are exempt under section 4.1.h

however, nowhere in the regulations does it state that rooflights are exempt. !!!!

This is a grey area which different building control sections have different view points. Some consider rooflights internal alterations and thus exempt, however others consider them as a change to facade and thus require permission... theres no straight answer.....

An attic cannot be converted into habitable space without it complying with TGD B fire regs. These regs require an alternative means of escape, usually rooflights.

The best thing to do is apply for a declaration....



Rooflights are also exempt under 4 (1) (h) and have been deemed by An Bord Pleanala to be so on many ocassions. Rooflights to the rear are always exempt, to the side they are mostly so and even to the front they may well be. There was a relatively recent one in Killiney where 6 rooflights were deemed exempt by ABP.
Nothing to to with the planning and development regulations. All under 4 (1) (h) of the principal act. So my point would be that it is pointless going for further declaratins when they have already been done.
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby wearnicehats » Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:02 am

esterelle wrote:Rooflights are also exempt under 4 (1) (h) and have been deemed by An Bord Pleanala to be so on many ocassions. Rooflights to the rear are always exempt, to the side they are mostly so and even to the front they may well be. There was a relatively recent one in Killiney where 6 rooflights were deemed exempt by ABP.
Nothing to to with the planning and development regulations. All under 4 (1) (h) of the principal act. So my point would be that it is pointless going for further declaratins when they have already been done.


a sweeping statement and a wrong one - rooflights are not exempt but are judged on individual merit based on the application. ABP decides on a case by case basis not on precedent.

The conversion of an attic without regard to Part B is, by the way, a breach of legislation.
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby henno » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:11 am

my local authority do not consider attic conversion to be exempt from planning permission, therefore i apply every time....
any attempt to justify their 'exemption' simply stretches too many opinions..... in my own opinion...

also, i agree with WNH above, an bord pleanala do not make wholesale determinations, but rather deliberate on a case to case basis... their directions do not create planning law.....
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby esterelle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:43 pm

wearnicehats wrote:a sweeping statement and a wrong one - rooflights are not exempt but are judged on individual merit based on the application. ABP decides on a case by case basis not on precedent.

The conversion of an attic without regard to Part B is, by the way, a breach of legislation.



I beg to differ with you there. An Bord Pleanala have ruled that the conversion of an attic is not development at all. Velux windows on the rear roofslope are with very few exceptions, exempted development. On the side of houses they are very often exempted development and sometimes they are exempted development on the front roofslope (32 Ballinclea Heights in Killiney being such a case under Referral 06DR2284) An attic in an existing dwelling forms part of that dwelling and works to convert the attic do not require planning permission as they are all internal.
From a Planning point of view no permission is required. How difficult can that be to understand. If you want to go outside planning and into the Building Control area that is something different but no planning permission is needed to carry out the works involved in converting an existing attic.
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby wearnicehats » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:31 pm

esterelle wrote:I beg to differ with you there. An Bord Pleanala have ruled that the conversion of an attic is not development at all. Velux windows on the rear roofslope are with very few exceptions, exempted development. On the side of houses they are very often exempted development and sometimes they are exempted development on the front roofslope (32 Ballinclea Heights in Killiney being such a case under Referral 06DR2284) An attic in an existing dwelling forms part of that dwelling and works to convert the attic do not require planning permission as they are all internal.
From a Planning point of view no permission is required. How difficult can that be to understand. If you want to go outside planning and into the Building Control area that is something different but no planning permission is needed to carry out the works involved in converting an existing attic.


you say that no planning is required and yet your own text states:

Velux windows on the rear roofslope are with very few exceptions, exempted development ie there are occassions when they are not exempt therefore to state that velux's are exempt is patently incorrect. You then say that they are "very often" exempt and "sometimes" exempt

It's like saying someone is only slightly dead.

If you made any sense I could understand you but you don't and I can only hope that you're not a planning consultant
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby esterelle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:25 pm

wearnicehats wrote:you say that no planning is required and yet your own text states:

Velux windows on the rear roofslope are with very few exceptions, exempted development ie there are occassions when they are not exempt therefore to state that velux's are exempt is patently incorrect. You then say that they are "very often" exempt and "sometimes" exempt

It's like saying someone is only slightly dead.

If you made any sense I could understand you but you don't and I can only hope that you're not a planning consultant





I will say it again for you. An existing attic is part of the dwelling house and the works to convert this space does not require a planning permission. The Dun Laoghaire council website is correct in stating this. Despite your reservations it is unlikely that a case could be found where such an attic could not be provided with a rooflight which would be exempted development under 4 (1) (h) of the planning act. This rooflight or lights could be at the rear, side or even the front of the dwelling as per previous Bord Pleanala referral declarations. To be stating otherwise is quite wrong and misleading.
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby wearnicehats » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:21 pm

esterelle wrote:I will say it again for you. An existing attic is part of the dwelling house and the works to convert this space does not require a planning permission. The Dun Laoghaire council website is correct in stating this. Despite your reservations it is unlikely that a case could be found where such an attic could not be provided with a rooflight which would be exempted development under 4 (1) (h) of the planning act. This rooflight or lights could be at the rear, side or even the front of the dwelling as per previous Bord Pleanala referral declarations. To be stating otherwise is quite wrong and misleading.


again, you say "unlikely". If they were exempt there would be no doubt, no cause for words such as "unlikely", "mostly", "may well be"

And I will say it again for you - previous ABP decisions are not legislative. Out of interest, perhaps you could show me a decision where ABP invalidated an appeal because roof lights are exempt under the legislation as opposed to it being their opinion that the rooflights are not out of character with their surroundings
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby wearnicehats » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:28 pm

esterelle wrote:I beg to differ with you there. An Bord Pleanala have ruled that the conversion of an attic is not development at all. Velux windows on the rear roofslope are with very few exceptions, exempted development. On the side of houses they are very often exempted development and sometimes they are exempted development on the front roofslope (32 Ballinclea Heights in Killiney being such a case under Referral 06DR2284) An attic in an existing dwelling forms part of that dwelling and works to convert the attic do not require planning permission as they are all internal.
From a Planning point of view no permission is required. How difficult can that be to understand. If you want to go outside planning and into the Building Control area that is something different but no planning permission is needed to carry out the works involved in converting an existing attic.


would that be the decision where ABP conditioned that the attic be used for storage purposes only?
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby esterelle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:35 pm

wearnicehats wrote:would that be the decision where ABP conditioned that the attic be used for storage purposes only?



No, habitable use. Not development.
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby esterelle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:42 pm

wearnicehats wrote:again, you say "unlikely". If they were exempt there would be no doubt, no cause for words such as "unlikely", "mostly", "may well be"

And I will say it again for you - previous ABP decisions are not legislative. Out of interest, perhaps you could show me a decision where ABP invalidated an appeal because roof lights are exempt under the legislation as opposed to it being their opinion that the rooflights are not out of character with their surroundings



Are we talking about appeals or Section 5 Declarations. You appear a little confused between the two.
S5 Declarations may not be legislative in the strictest sense but they do clarify the planning and development regulations and Section 4 of the Act. When planning authorities attempt to prosecute people under planning legislation the board decisions are accepted by the courts as being final in respect of any matters raised. Thats what really matters, I think you will agree
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby wearnicehats » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:03 pm

esterelle wrote:Are we talking about appeals or Section 5 Declarations. You appear a little confused between the two.
S5 Declarations may not be legislative in the strictest sense but they do clarify the planning and development regulations and Section 4 of the Act. When planning authorities attempt to prosecute people under planning legislation the board decisions are accepted by the courts as being final in respect of any matters raised. Thats what really matters, I think you will agree


with such an extensive knowledge of the system it should be easy enough to provide me with the decision where ABP invalidated an appeal because roof lights are exempt under the legislation as opposed to it being their opinion that the rooflights are not out of character with their surroundings
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby henno » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:04 am

esterelle wrote:I beg to differ with you there. An Bord Pleanala have ruled that the conversion of an attic is not development at all. Velux windows on the rear roofslope are with very few exceptions, exempted development. On the side of houses they are very often exempted development and sometimes they are exempted development on the front roofslope (32 Ballinclea Heights in Killiney being such a case under Referral 06DR2284) An attic in an existing dwelling forms part of that dwelling and works to convert the attic do not require planning permission as they are all internal.
From a Planning point of view no permission is required. How difficult can that be to understand. If you want to go outside planning and into the Building Control area that is something different but no planning permission is needed to carry out the works involved in converting an existing attic.



esterelle.....

i think you need to read the inspectors report on that file....

NOWHERE in the report does it state that the velux rooflights constitute exempted development.

see here: http://www.pleanala.ie/casenum/220205.htm

"I consider that as the six roof lights face towards the public road and are not overly obtrusive or otherwise at odds with the design of the building, they do not create cause for concern from a planning viewpoint."

This was simply an application to retain... there was no suggestion that the applicant was arguing that the developement was exempt...


since you like to refer to that DLRcoco document..... have you seen this one???
http://www.dlrcoco.ie/planning/oftenasked.htm

look specifically at Q 4...
4.If I build an attic conversion do I need permission?

Normally no. However, if work involves dormer windows, permission is needed. If velux windows proposed to the rear, it is exempt. If velux windows proposed to the side/front elevation it is not exempt.


:)

personally i would still argue that velux rooflights to the rear are technically NOT exempt... but common (mis)conception has made an assumption...
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby esterelle » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:33 pm

henno wrote:esterelle.....

i think you need to read the inspectors report on that file....

NOWHERE in the report does it state that the velux rooflights constitute exempted development.

see here: http://www.pleanala.ie/casenum/220205.htm

"I consider that as the six roof lights face towards the public road and are not overly obtrusive or otherwise at odds with the design of the building, they do not create cause for concern from a planning viewpoint."

This was simply an application to retain... there was no suggestion that the applicant was arguing that the developement was exempt...


since you like to refer to that DLRcoco document..... have you seen this one???
http://www.dlrcoco.ie/planning/oftenasked.htm

look specifically at Q 4...
4.If I build an attic conversion do I need permission?

Normally no. However, if work involves dormer windows, permission is needed. If velux windows proposed to the rear, it is exempt. If velux windows proposed to the side/front elevation it is not exempt.


:)

personally i would still argue that velux rooflights to the rear are technically NOT exempt... but common (mis)conception has made an assumption...



It does not matter what anyone personally believes or disbelieves. I suugest you guys and anybody else who is interested email An Bord Pleanala and request a copy of 28.RF.0794 (the Board Order) This states quite clearly that the conversion of an existing attic is not development (ie not regulatable under planning legislation) Part of the same order deals with velux windows and they were exempted development in that case as they nearly always are. What was interesting about this Order though was that it seperated the works involved in the conversion of an attic from the provision of velux windows. One not dvelopment, they other development but in this case as in most cases exempted development under S 4 (1) (h) of the principal act.
I must declare a vested interest here, I have been converting attics all over Leinster for the last 10 years. No planning permission required. Extra habitable space created, exempted development or rather not development at all. And I have yet to meet a case where a Velux window could not be provided under S 4 (1) (h) I have declared my interest and I sincerely hope that you guys will do the same and for goodness sake stop spinning the yarn that attic conversions need planning permission because they dont. My guess is that you chaps are in the business of drawing up plans for attic conversions. Just a guess.
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby esterelle » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:57 pm

esterelle wrote:It does not matter what anyone personally believes or disbelieves. I suugest you guys and anybody else who is interested email An Bord Pleanala and request a copy of 28.RF.0794 (the Board Order) This states quite clearly that the conversion of an existing attic is not development (ie not regulatable under planning legislation) Part of the same order deals with velux windows and they were exempted development in that case as they nearly always are. What was interesting about this Order though was that it seperated the works involved in the conversion of an attic from the provision of velux windows. One not dvelopment, they other development but in this case as in most cases exempted development under S 4 (1) (h) of the principal act.
I must declare a vested interest here, I have been converting attics all over Leinster for the last 10 years. No planning permission required. Extra habitable space created, exempted development or rather not development at all. And I have yet to meet a case where a Velux window could not be provided under S 4 (1) (h) I have declared my interest and I sincerely hope that you guys will do the same and for goodness sake stop spinning the yarn that attic conversions need planning permission because they dont. My guess is that you chaps are in the business of drawing up plans for attic conversions. Just a guess.



And henno may I suugest that you read the Board Order in respect of 32 Ballinclea Heights. That will set you straight on whether or not these windows were exempted development or not. The Board Order is what is important not the Inspectors report. Their view on things may or may not be accepted by the Board.
This link will take you to the Order

http://www.pleanala.ie/casenum/RL2284.htm
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby henno » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:40 pm

very interesting...

saved and highlighted!!!
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Re: Attic conversions - exempt development

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:03 pm

esterelle wrote:It does not matter what anyone personally believes or disbelieves. I suugest you guys and anybody else who is interested email An Bord Pleanala and request a copy of 28.RF.0794 (the Board Order) This states quite clearly that the conversion of an existing attic is not development (ie not regulatable under planning legislation) Part of the same order deals with velux windows and they were exempted development in that case as they nearly always are. What was interesting about this Order though was that it seperated the works involved in the conversion of an attic from the provision of velux windows. One not dvelopment, they other development but in this case as in most cases exempted development under S 4 (1) (h) of the principal act.
I must declare a vested interest here, I have been converting attics all over Leinster for the last 10 years. No planning permission required. Extra habitable space created, exempted development or rather not development at all. And I have yet to meet a case where a Velux window could not be provided under S 4 (1) (h) I have declared my interest and I sincerely hope that you guys will do the same and for goodness sake stop spinning the yarn that attic conversions need planning permission because they dont. My guess is that you chaps are in the business of drawing up plans for attic conversions. Just a guess.


At least we know who's to blame for the preponderance of the poxy things all over the place

How many of those conversions complied with Part B when you'd finished by the way?
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