ePrivacy and GPDR Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent Do you need planning permission to convert your home into flats?

Do you need planning permission to convert your home into flats?

If you're looking to split your home into flats, you'll need to know precisely what planning requirements need to be met. Our planning team have everything you need to know.

3 min read

Whether you’re looking to downsize your existing property or you have your eye on a ‘fixer-upper’, it’s important to know what planning requirements you’ll need to fulfil before you can convert one home into two (or three!).

Luckily, as the UK’s largest residential architectural practice, we have plenty of planning experts to hand. We asked our team what rules you’ll be coming up against when it comes to dicing up a property…

Do you need planning permission?

Short answer: yes.

Any project that takes a large dwelling and splits it into multiple new units will need to undergo a full planning application before they proceed. Permitted development rights won’t apply here!

What’s more, if the building you’re looking to convert is a listed building, it’s highly likely you’ll also need to obtain listed building consent too.

Learn more about planning and listed buildings.

Pre-applications are your friend

The problem with splitting a property up into flats is that it’s contentious. Not only do you need to meet strict requirements on room/flat sizes, you’ll also need to consider local parking rules, and your council’s own policy on the matter. All councils set their own planning standards and its not uncommon for an area to have a strict policy on rejecting flat conversions.

This is where a pre-application comes in.

A pre-application involves having an informal meeting with your planning officer, either in person, on the phone, or by email. It’s a chance to discuss the feasibility of your ideas, alongside any problems you might be faced with.

By going through this early planning route, you and your designer will be able to understand what conditions you’ll need to meet before any costly work takes place. What’s more, if you’re buying a property for the sole purpose of converting it into flats, talking to your planning department before finalising the purchase can stop you investing in a dead-end.

Learn more about pre-applications here.

Building regulations

Alongside planning concerns, you should also be aware of UK building regulations.

What are building regulations, you may ask? They’re a set of statutory requirements that all buildings must meet in order to create a safe and healthy environment to inhabit. They cover everything from the structure, thermal performance, sound-proofing, drainage, all the way to fire safety - to name just a few!

To ensure your project is in line with UK building regulations, we recommend you commission a set of technical drawings of your proposed build, so your contractor has detailed instruction on meeting all legal requirements.

This will be extra important when it comes to your project, as each flat will need to individually meet these standards and failure to do so can result in costly fines and, in extreme cases, demolition.

Learn more about building regulations.

Construction issue drawings

Want to ensure your designs are properly realised onsite?

A construction issue upgrade might be just the ticket. By upgrading your building regulations package with Resi, our team will add in extra technical details on any part of your design you don’t want your contractor to be second-guessing how to build.

It’s important to note that while your building regulations drawings will tick off all the legal requirements you need to meet, they do leave off any of those purely aesthetic details. This might not be an issue for anyone using a premium contractor, but if you’re looking to protect your investment, it pays off in the long-term to be thorough.

At Resi, we allow our customers to pick out which areas of their design they want to show some extra love and care. This is a cost-effective way of getting the best build possible. However, this approach isn’t the standard and other practices might only provide construction issue drawings which map our your entire project - so brace yourself for a hefty price tag.

How Resi can help…

If you’re looking to convert your property but aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry! Resi provides a free consultation, so you can get an understanding of everything from planning, timings, to even budget requirements.

If you want tailored expert advice for your home, simply click here to get started.

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Track record in getting planning approval


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45 days

Average time from survey to planning