What permissions do you need for a garage conversion?

Garage Conversion Interior

A garage conversion is the perfect way to make the most of your space and unleash the potential of your home. As well as being a convenient way of expanding your space without the need for an extension, they can add value to your home. Many garages are underused and just full of bits and bobs that could go elsewhere; especially if you don’t need them for parking. Ideal for a spare bedroom, they can be easily converted into a habitable room. However, like many types of building work, you may have concerns over whether they require planning permission. What planning permission do you need to do this?

Ensure you’re allowed to convert

The first thing you’ll need to check is if your property has any restrictions for your garage. Check your property deeds as some newer properties state that the garage must remain a parking area. This is particular common in cities and areas where there is a shortage of parking space. Some developments are also restricted from any work that changes the external appearance of your home. If this is the case you can just change the inside of the garage without affecting the exterior. This can be easily done if you intend to leave part of the garage untouched and used for storage. If your home is listed or you live in a conservation area, you will also have restrictions on what work you can do so check with your local authority if unsure.

Planning permission

Planning permission is not normally required if the work is all internal, you’re not extending the size of the building and it’s attached to your home. If the garage is separated from your house, change of use planning permission may be required. If you want to turn the garage into a separate residence, planning permission will be required. Your local authority should be consulted to ensure you are following all the rules. Find out more about the perils of retrospective planning permission here.

Planning permission in the South of England

If you plan to convert your garage without altering the structure of the building, planning permission is usually not required. However, there are some scenarios where it can be:

  • If you convert your garage into a separate house (regardless of who’ll occupy it), planning permission may be required, regardless of how little work is involved.
  • Detached garages are more likely to need planning permission when converted into a habitable living space. This is because they’re more likely to be deemed a ‘change of use’ than attached garages.

New builds garage planning permission

Certain new builds have conditions written into the deed where the garage is required to be used for parking. These types of stipulations are known as restrictive covenants and require planning permission to be removed. Others may be in place which also require removal before a garage conversion occurs.

Conservation Areas & Listed Buildings planning permission for garages

If you live in a conservation area or a listed building, article 4 directions are likely to be in place. These restrict the alterations you can make to your property and can include large and very small changes. In such cases, check with your local planning authority before a conversion takes place. If work is carried out without the necessary permission and the historical character of the building is affected, this is a criminal offence.

Building Regulation Control

Building Regulations approval is different to planning permission. It needs to be complied with when converting part of your home into a habitable room. This includes a building notice being sent to your local council before work commences. Unlike planning permission which is concerned with the effect of a development on your neighbours, the local area and the environment, building regulation deals with safety, energy efficiency and habitability. The garage will need to be insulated, moisture and weather proof as well as provide adequate ventilation and structural integrity.

The perfect garage conversion for your home

Oakley will work with you to acquire all the necessary planning permission for a proposed garage conversion project, prior to any work being undertaken. Any work performed by us will also be fully compliant with Building Regulations. This means you can sit back, relax and once permission has been granted, let us get on with it.

We can transform your garage into the perfect bedroom, playroom or anything else you want. We will take care of all permission needed so please get in touch if we can help expand your space and one of our friendly team will be happy to speak to you.