Waveney Local Plan

Conversion of Properties to Flats

190 Lowestoft Flat Saturation8.27 Conversion of larger properties to flats and smaller units can provide much needed smaller units of accommodation. However, where high concentrations of conversions to flats or houses in multiple occupation have taken place this can bring about amenity issues. These include on street parking, bin storage and increased levels of activity and disturbance. In some cases high numbers of flats can be associated with low levels of owner occupation which can result in lower maintenance standards and environmental decline. The cumulative conversion of larger dwellings to flats can reduce the number of larger family dwellings in an area which can result in unbalanced communities.

8.28 Some areas of Lowestoft (as marked on the Policies Map) have been subject to high numbers of flat conversions and are considered to be at saturation point when considering the above issues. In these areas further conversions should be resisted. The point at which saturation occurs will vary according to historical and local characteristics of the street, but 20% of properties converted to flats has been held to be a general guide. 

Policy WLP8.4 - Conversion of Properties to Flats

Flat Saturation Zones are identified on the Policies Map.

No further conversions to self-contained flats/houses in multiple occupation will be permitted in Flat Saturation Zones on Lyndhurst Road, part of Denmark Road, part of London Road South and part of Kirkley Cliff Road, Grosvenor Road, Cleveland Road and Windsor Road where saturation levels are exceeded.

Outside the Flat Saturation Zones planning permission will be granted for conversion of existing buildings to fully self-contained accommodation where the saturation figure for the street does not exceed 20% and residential properties are above average size (i.e. above 160sqm original gross floor space and include at least 5 bedrooms), no longer suited to family occupation or have a long established use (i.e. 10 years or more) as a House in Multiple Occupation or flats. The property should be located in a commercial, mixed use or other area close to services and facilities, be able to meet existing standards for parking, amenity areas, refuse bin storage and sound insulation and have no significant detrimental impacts to adjoining family houses.

Exceptional circumstances will need to be demonstrated for the conversion to Houses in Multiple Occupation or bedsits, as opposed to self-contained flats, to be permitted.