Building regs and Stairs to loft.

10 Feb 2015
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United Kingdom
Would this idea get around building regs for stairs if you don't have enough space for the tread and going.

Put in plans for lets say a kitchen extension, floor plan showing that stairs are already in position/e.g existing. (Up until this point loft room accessed by loft ladder).
Then build the kitchen and the stairs, but only getting building regs for the kitchen as per the plans.
Later put in plans for alterations to the existing loft room showing existing stairs.

The loft room with regard to the alterations would require building regs, but would the stairs, since in theory they are not part of the build and are already in existence.
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If the loft is to become a place of habitation I think your problem with the stairs may well be the least of your worries.
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Not asking about stairs to fit into a small area, I am asking if at any point during the re build of the loft room building regs will, or BC ask about the stairs that are to be used to gain access to the loft.

This scenario above is already a reality, and I'm asking can you get away with it. Will BC turn a blind eye and gaily climb steep narrow stairs, only suited to a mountain goat.
If you indicate that you intend to use the attic space as accommodation, such as a bedroom, the relevant authorities will be interested in the means of escape and any dubious staircase will form part of that "interest"
So the stairs will be queried even though they were not part of the planning application, but were snook in during the re-model of the kitchen a few years ago, replacing the loft ladder that was used in the original loft that was used as a hobby room.
The re-modelled loft will be a bedroom with shower.
So you've been using your loft illegally then? A hobby room is habitable and is notifiable. Surprised at you? Acting unlawfully.

Anyway they will likely take a view on it, though if there is space to fit a compliant stair then they will likely expect one.
In all probability they would not make you replace a non-compliant staircase.
But at the same time, they will not give you a completion certificate for any work relating to the loft, which may cause you problems if and when you sell.

Even if it contravenes regs, the time for them serving a Notice is long gone.
However, in exceptional cases, if the inspector sees the situation as a serious threat to life, they can apply for an injunction for you to remedy it - but these actions are rare.

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