Planning Applications and Permissions in Southwark

Southwark Planning PermissionSee below to find out more about architecture and successful applications to Southwark Planning


Planning & Architecture in Southwark



The London Borough of Southwark is home to communication hubs such as London Bridge station, the UK’s tallest high rise, and weekend finds such as Borough Market or Bermondsey Antiques Market. There is plenty for visitors and residents to see… from the Golden Hind 16th C galleon and Southwark Cathedral to the Tower of London, The London Dungeon, HMS Belfast and the Tate Modern. Living in the borough can be as affordable as the vibrant market buzz of Deptford; as artistic as Camberwell, with the South London Gallery extending to the old fire station, and the new face of Camberwell College of Art with its extensive interior and exterior reconfiguration and refurbishment complete; or as exclusive as East Dulwich, with neighbours: West Dulwich and Peckham looking similar – in places – but being more affordable.


Southwark Planning

Designing applications for Southwark

photo of green roof for Southwark planning pageGreen roofs provide microhabitats for insect life, and reduce flood risks.

Southwark Planning encourages brown and green roofs and walls, which – like meadows – provide eco-systems and for diverse insect microhabitats. They also help reduce flood risks. It may be worth including one as part of your planning application design.


Points to consider:


Loft Conversions

Southwark Planning has 19 scenarios in which they resist loft conversions. If you have been thinking of converting your loft, do call us and we can check if any of these apply to your property. Where permission is given, there are 8 conditions to observe in order to pass (Section 3.4 of Southwark Supplementary Planning Document). Get in touch and we can design your proposal to meet those conditions.


Extensions should:Extensions should not:
  • look as though they were part of the original host building in terms of materials, windows etc;
  • be subordinate to the host building in terms of size
  • Consider a successful modern design contrast, which can be discussed with the planning officer
  • Have side roofs in similar pitches and shapes
  • Have rear roofs where the eave and ridge level is lower than that of the host
  • be overbearing in their massing;
  • take up over 50% garden space;
  • obstruct daylight to neighbours;
  • compromise the original house in terms of loss of windows
  • have a poor design – Southwark Planning mentions a feeling of enclosure caused by inadequate, mismatching designs.
  • Infill gaps between houses if this is a feature of local character.


Flat Conversions

<th “width:45%” align=”left”>Important points <th “width:45%” align=”left”>Comment:

  • Southwark Planning’s minimum size is 130m2 net internal floorspace
  • Internal amenity space minimums should be met
  • Of single dwelling house, due to known shortage of small family homes with gardens in Southwark
  • See Sections 2.6, 3.1, 3.2 of Southwark Supplementary Planning Document
Basements in Southwark:
  • Do not convert as one unit but join to the above floor as maisonette or duplex.
  • Have adequate natural light via a light-well or similar.
Lofts / Attics in Southwark:
  • Do not convert as one unit but join to the floor below as maisonette or duplex.



In addition to the above recommendations, Southwark Planning rigorously observes the following aspects of residential development applications:

<th “width:45%” align=”left”>Construction and design points <th “width:45%” align=”left”>Comment:

Housing densitywhen assessing the number of possible units
PTAL (Public Transport Accessibility Rating)*when assessing the number of possible units

*[For example, a PTAL rating of 6b means you would not need to provide parking, since public transport is sufficient.]


Planning aspects, continued:
Design standards:
  • exterior façade to fit with surrounding context and character, flow and traffic…
  • Good quality accommodation…
…if it is in:
  • an ‘opportunity area’
  • an ‘intensification area’
  • an ‘action area’
  • above maximum housing density range


Other Standards:
Room and dwelling size minimumsSee Section 2.3 of Southwark Supplementary Planning Document
Lifetime Homes StandardFor access adaptability, see Section 2.3 of Southwark Supplementary Planning Document
Standards of privacy, overlooking, adequate front and rear spaceSee Section 2.3 of Southwark Supplementary Planning Document
Standards of daylight and sunlightSee Section 2.7 of Southwark Supplementary Planning Document
Standards of ventilationSee Sections 2.1, 2.4 and 2.7 of Southwark Supplementary Planning Document



Safety and security requirements such as having windows onto open spaces (for ‘passive surveillance’) – and lighting up dark – secluded areas to reduce crimeConsider obtaining Secured By Design certificate, necessary for council and housing association residences.
Provide well-designed amenity space minimums in flatted developmentsSee Section 2.6, 3.2 of Southwark Supplementary Planning Document
Pollution limitationSee Southwark Supplementary Planning Document on Sustainable Design
Incorporate good landscapingFor successful fusing of various residential densities
Incorporate a green or brown roof or wall to your designTo help the environment and your chance of approval


Larger developments

Southwark Planning also observes the following in larger (‘major’) residential block developments of 10+ units:

<th “width:45%” align=”left”>Construction and design points <th “width:45%” align=”left”>Comment:

Comprise of 2-3 bed units60+%
Studio flats< 5% maximum
Units with disabled access10+%
Comprise of 2-3 bed units60+%


Larger Units
3, 4 and 5 bed family units with gardensProvide the minimum 10% to address shortfall in Southwark.See Sections 2.3, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4 of Southwark Supplementary Planning Document



Intensification AreaWhere density can be increased, e.g. the location of a new high rise.Canada Water, Surrey Quays
Opportunity AreaWith good capacity for commercial or housing development and transport improvement.Potters Field, London Bridge, Elephant & Castle, Blackfriars Road
Action AreaWith plan to regenerate dated core areas, creating new town centres, family attractions, leisure facilities, open spaces, and better transport links.Peckham, Nunhead, Aylesbury Estate, Canada Water, Old Kent Road


Southwark Conservation

Southwark Planning Department conserves the historic aspect of the borough by ensuring the saved policies in the Southwark Plan are followed. For more information, you can consult the Core Strategy (Strategic Policies 5, 7) and the Southwark Plan (Saved Policies 4.2, 4.3). See also the London Plan, the Development Plan, the Supplementary Planning Document and area action plans in the Local Development Framework. See also “Planning: A Guide for Householders” available from this link, for details on Permitted Development and other planning news.



Extension Architecture can provide these architects’ services in Southwark:



  • Planning Application Drawings (Plans, Sections & Elevations)
  • Retrospective Planning Applications
  • Building Regulation Drawings for Building Control
  • Commercial Applications
  • 3D Renders (Immersive Design)
  • Interior Design Service
  • Internal Space Planning and Layout Design
  • Feasibility Reports
Southwark Planning Applications


& The London Area

We can help and give free advice in the following Southwark Wards & post codes: Get in touch for a free consultation

BanksideCrystal PalaceNunheadThe Lane Ward
BermondseyEast DulwichPeckham RoadSE1
BoroughEast WalworthPeckham RyeSE15
Brunswick ParkElephant & CastleRiversideSE16
Camberwell GreenFaraday WardRotherhitheSE17
CamberwellGrange WardSouth BermondseySE21
Cathedrals WardHerne HillSouth CamberwellSE22
Chaucer WardKenningtonSurrey DocksSE5
College WardLivesey WardSurrey Quays 


Further Information & Case Studies


If you need planning permission in South-wark, we have done several projects in that area. Our teams are in touch with planning revisions to get you the best chances of approval in the shortest time feasible. We can also make the submission on your behalf.

You can call us on 0203 409 4215 to get you started, or simply leave your details via the button and the planning team will contact you shortly. We can help with free planning advice to give you a realistic idea of how much you could apply for.

Extension Architecture has sizeable teams of planning consultants, architectS and creative interior designers who are happy to guide you from initial design ideas through the planning process, building control and the final construction of your project. Have a look at our CASE STUDIES for an idea of what we can get for you too.



Get Southwark Planning Permission for loft extensions
Southwark Loft Extension

Extension Architecture were granted planning permission by the London Borough of Southwark for a proposed loft conversion for modern terrace house.

New Build Semi Detached House in Southwark
New Build Semi Detached House in Southwark

The brief included design for a newly built semi-detached house with an open space ground floor accommodating the kitchen, living and dinning rooms, as well as three bedrooms.



Our Process

For any project we start in Southwark, we do a site assessment of the history and context of the property, relative to its surroundings. In relation to the latest policies, we create a sympathetic design proposal which either matches or tastefully contrasts the character of the neighbouring buildings. If we make a contemporary solution, we would match the adjacent hues with natural materials.

Because we have invested in planning consultants, our success rate for extensions, basements, loft and garage conversions, new builds and commercial change-of-use applications is high. Our architectural team have completed many planning applications, which has given them valuable experience and efficiency. Your planning application will be stronger if you request our 3D Immersive Render service.

As well as creating your building regulations drawings, we can commission structural engineer’s services for you. If your builders request construction drawings, we can make those too. We can take care of the aesthetics for your residential work or commercial fit-out with our interior design service. Have a chat with our planning team on 0203 409 4215, or leave your details and they will come back to you.

Get in touch for a free consultation




Double Storey Rear Extension and Loft Conversion
Double Storey Rear Extension and
Loft Conversion

The brief for the project included enlargement of a detached house.

Skylight feature for single storey rear extension
Skylight feature for single storey
rear extension

The project involved a conversion of a semi-detached house in the urban area, into 3 flats consisting of 2×2 bedroom and 1×1 bedroom with existing parking space for 2 cars.

Side Extension & Loft Conversion
Side Extension & Loft Conversion

Property is a detached Victorian building located in an area with mixed residential and commercial developments.

Restoration & Extension of a Mid-19th Century Terrace House
Restoration & Extension of a Mid-19th Century Terrace House

The project involved restoration and extension of a mid-19th century terrace house the property is a Grade II listed building.

Roof Conversion
Roof Conversion

We were appointed to produced a number of visualizations for our client for a property which our Interior Designer re-designed and presented to the client for approval.

Planning application for a Cafe
Planning application for a Cafe

We are experienced in creatively collating ideas and translating your brief(s) into actualisations with our Architectural and Interior Design services.


Other Case Studies



Single Storey Extension

Single Storey Extension

Double Storey Extension

Double Storey Extension

Convert to Flat

Convert to Flat

Loft Conversion

Loft Conversion

Basement Extension

Basement Extension

3D Visualisation

3D Visualisation


Change of Use

Change of Use

Book a free video meeting

Book a free video meeting