Recent planning appeal successes for first floor extensions to bungalows

Adding a second floor to a bungalow is a great way to add extra space, often doubling the floor area without increasing the footprint. Planning permission is required for a full second storey, but not necessarily for a loft conversion or dormer roof extension (which may be permitted development).

Bungalows are not always the most attractive buildings – most are 1960s and 1970s and architecturally nondescript – but they sit on large plots with generous gardens and can be more affordable than much larger detached, family houses. Canny homebuyers can buy a bungalow and add an upwards extension to create their own grand design to accommodate a growing family.

The easiest way to extend a bungalow upwards is a loft conversion. Many bungalows have tall roofs and permitted development rights allow fairly large rear and side dormer extensions, roof lights and new upstairs bedrooms.

However, to really add value and space, it may also be possible to remove the roof and add an entire new floor (building directly upwards, with a new roof on top). However, this is not something the planners are always keen on, and several applications come to us every year for a planning appeal.

Planners generally dislike any substantial change to a dwelling that can be seen from the street and they are especially concerned where alterations are proposed to a bungalow in a street of similar bungalows.

In recent months, we have had several appeal successes for this kind of development, including a planning appeal allowed this week at 60 Searchwood Road against Tandridge District Council. The house was on a street of similar bungalows, but at the end of the row. It was set well back from the street and up above street level. The houses were on a staggered building line and set at a slight angle to the street. All this created tolerance for the extensions our clients had proposed.

The council objected to the height and bulk of the extensions but the inspector agreed with us that it would fit in comfortable with the street scene and cause no harm to the surrounding area.

If you have been refused planning permission for your upwards extension, contact us for a free assessment. We will review your case and provide initial advice on your chances of success at appeal.