Petition details

Allow L-shaped Loft Conversions

We the undersigned petition the Council to allow L-shaped loft conversions.

Recently the Lambeth Planning Department made a unilateral decision to reinterpret the national permitted development (PD) rules such that loft designs with rooms built over rear outriggers (e.g. L-shaped dormers) on most terraced houses are no longer allowed. We request that the Council change their Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG; the rules for full planning applications) to allow these loft designs for the following reasons:

• Lambeth’s strict planning policy is at odds with the current housing crisis in London. The inability to add a loft room over a rear outrigger prevents growing families from adding a needed additional room.
• Neighbouring boroughs allow such loft extensions under PD and full planning applications. Families are better off moving to a different borough if they need to extend.
• This highly debatable interpretation of PD means that the size of the loft on most terraces must be less than what is actually allowed under the national PD guidelines (e.g. 40m3 increase for a terraced property).
• While the current SPG states that L-dormers have a ‘discordant appearance’, this is clearly not a common view as they are allowed in most boroughs in the country. Furthermore, they are already a ubiquitous loft design in Lambeth.
• There is recent precedent for relaxing loft conversion rules in Lambeth. In 2015 Lambeth changed their SPG to allow mansard lofts that replace London roofs, which are a more prominent change to roof-lines than L-dormers.
• As notifying the Council of a loft conversion under PD is optional, the decision to reinterpret PD with immediate effect without notifying residents has overnight created hundreds of illegal lofts. This leaves residents open to enforcement (i.e. forced removal), which is not an idle threat - they have already started enforcement proceedings on an L-dormer identical to neighbouring properties. Changing the SPG will give these properties the ability to make their lofts legal through a full planning application.

Started by: Brian Stramer

This Petition runs from 19/02/2019 to 30/09/2019.

160 people have signed this Petition.


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