Convert two houses into one

14 Apr 2009
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United Kingdom

I have brought two houses that used to be a single dwelling but were converted to two houses in the 1960's. I have two doorways that have been bricked up, one upstairs and another downstairs, these are orignal doorways and not one that were created to join the two. My questions are:

1) Do I need planning permission to open up the two doorways?

2) Would I need building regs?

3) Anything else to consider?

Many thanks,

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First of all, was the conversion to a single dwelling ever formalised? I mean was a planning application submitted and granted? If so you will certainly need planning to convert it back.

Assuming it never was then the situation is less clear. In theory you need planning permission just because it has been used as a single dwelling for so long and the use as 2 dwellings has been abandoned. Problem is the rules on abandonment are not exactly clear cut so the only way to be sure about that is to ask your local planning department and they won't be clear either so they will take the safe option and tell you that it is.

Some time ago I did a development where an important listed building had many years previously been knocked through to an adjoining building which was not originally listed. The conservation officer applied the listed rules to both buildings claiming they were now one. He was probably right but I blocked up the doorways, separated the services and proceeded as if they were separate buildings. Planners and conservation people grunted and snorted but ultimately weren't prepared to challenge it.

Either way you'll certainly need building regs.
Hi John,

Many thanks for your reply.

If I'm reading your post correctly I'm not sure you've read mine correctly :confused:

The house was originally one house but was converted to two houses in the 60's. This was done by bricking up two doors one upstairs one downstairs.

So I basically want to convert it back to one house i.e: reopen the two doorways.


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