Embarking on a loft conversion in Edinburgh is an exciting project, but it’s essential to understand the planning permissions involved. Navigating the rules can seem daunting, but with the right information, you can proceed confidently.

Find out: Can loft conversion companies in Edinburgh help with design and planning?

Understanding Permitted Development:

In many cases, loft conversions fall under “Permitted Development.” This means that you may not need formal planning permission if your project meets specific criteria. These typically include:

  1. Volume Limits: The extension must not exceed 40 cubic meters for terraced houses or 50 cubic meters for detached and semi-detached houses.
  2. Height Restrictions: The conversion should not go beyond the highest part of the existing roof.
  3. Materials: The materials used should be similar in appearance to the existing house.
  4. Windows and Balconies: Side-facing windows must be obscure-glazed, and no verandas, balconies, or raised platforms are allowed.

Edinburgh’s Unique Considerations:

In Edinburgh, especially within conservation areas or listed buildings, the rules can be more stringent. The city’s rich architectural heritage means that any alterations should respect the existing style and character of the building.

When Planning Permission is Required:

You will need to apply for planning permission if:

  1. Your Home is Listed: Special consent is needed for alterations to listed buildings.
  2. You Live in a Conservation Area: Additional regulations may apply to maintain the area’s character.
  3. Your Plans Exceed Permitted Development: If your design goes beyond the set limits, formal permission is required.

Seeking Professional Guidance:

It’s always wise to consult with an experienced loft conversion company in Edinburgh. They can provide clarity on whether your project requires planning permission and can often handle the application process on your behalf.

Building Regulations Approval:

Regardless of whether you need planning permission, your loft conversion will need to comply with building regulations. These ensure the safety and quality of the work, covering aspects like fire safety, insulation, and structural integrity.

Find more about: How do I choose the right company for my loft conversion in Edinburgh? 


While many loft conversions in Edinburgh fall under Permitted Development, it’s crucial to verify your specific circumstances, especially in conservation areas or with listed properties. Professional loft conversion specialists can offer invaluable guidance, ensuring that your project complies with all the necessary regulations and permissions, paving the way for a smooth and successful home improvement.