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Conversion of a house into two flats

Conversion of a semi-detached, detached or terraced property from a family dwelling house to flats (C3 Use Class)

There are a number of considerations that the Planning department will make before granting permission for the conversion of a property into smaller flats, including impacts on neighbours, and the overall affect this might have on an area over time. Planning is concerned with ensuring that our towns and rural areas are designed in a functional way, and conversions of housing to flats can risk:

  • too many Houses of Multiple Occupation in one area, and reduce the number of family houses
  • adding pressure to local infrastructure (cumulatively, where lots of houses are converted into flats in one area)

These and other considerations are used to judge if an application will get planning permission or not. The decision will depend on the specific circumstances and planning history of an area, and as such it is difficult to provide general advice.

The conversion of existing dwellings into flats can have a cumulative effect that is damaging to the quality of the environment and detracts from the character of established residential areas. Conversions may be appropriate in certain types of property or street particularly where they are highly accessible. However, even in such locations they can harm the character of areas by changing external appearance and increasing activity. Such activity can often involve more people movements, increased car movements and parking stress, more rubbish to be collected and more deliveries.

Advice on feasibility to convert house into flats

Clients are therefore encouraged to use the council’s pre-application advice service if you are interested in taking on this kind of project. We can also offer pre-application advice with one of our Chartered Planning Consultants and advise on the feasibility of such a proposal in your location. There is an hourly rate to research this on your behalf (depending on the proposal).

4D Planning would only take on a project once we have established the feasibility of converting the property into flats and if we feel that the proposal is positive. If not, we would put our thoughts in writing and advise the client on alternative methods to achieve a desirable outcome if possible.


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