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Flat Loft Conversion Dormer-Downstairs Chimney!

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by sugarcoma101, 9 Oct 2021.

  1. sugarcoma101

    sugarcoma101

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    Hi all,

    Having a very stressful situation currently with my loft conversion due to start in two weeks..following a meeting with the loft company project manager, it’s only just come to light that there is a chimney right in front of a window on the planned new dormer, which the PM advised would need to be reduced by 8 courses and capped off. However…

    I live in a first floor flat, with the downstairs belonging to my freeholder (I am the leaseholder of the first floor flat, the roof and space is demised to me, and I have secured a Licence To Alter).

    Said chimney is connected to the downstairs flat. It is not in use, with chimney breasts plastered over downstairs. My freeholders surveyor is querying why the chimney even needs to be capped off.

    I understand one reason is that is obscures the view, which I would get over but my question is, is there any safety concerns here should the freeholders refuse me permission to cap off the chimney and the work went ahead?? Supposing (and it’s a long shot but possible) downstairs gets sold and they decide to open up the fireplaces, is there some regulation that states a working chimney needs to be a certain distance from a dormer?

    The loft company are saying we can just move the window so the view isn’t obstructed but when I ask about safety concerns should the chimney get put in use in the future, they just answer that it’s not currently in use so shouldn’t be a problem!

    Any advice here would be hugely appreciated. Have lost a certain amount of faith in my ‘hugely reputable’ loft company for not pointing this out in the first place and suspect they’ll just tell me what I want to hear to get the work done so impartial advice would be appreciated. Thanks all.
     
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  3. tony1851

    tony1851

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    For normal solid fuel appliances, there is no minimum distance between a chimney and a window. But if the chimney is within 2.3 m of an opening window, the top of the chimney must be at least 1m above the top of the window.

    If the fireplace openings downstairs have been blocked off, you have no legal responsibility towards future occupiers under Building Regs with regard to what they may do.
     
  4. sugarcoma101

    sugarcoma101

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    Hi Tony,

    Thanks so much for your reply, really helpful.

    Yes the downstairs fireplaces are blocked off and plastered over. Not sure what you mean about my responsibility towards future occupiers? Do you mean that building regs wouldn’t apply to the current situation as the chimney is not in use?

    In which case, I’m thinking I could just agree with the freeholders that in the unlikely event that the downstairs occupants decide at some point to open up their fireplace, I could agree to retrospectively increase the size of their chimney so it’s 1m above the top of the window…thinking more along the lines of safety and not wanting smoke blowing into my loft conversion than building regs in that situation!
     
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