Do Conservatories Need Planning Permission?

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3D Rendered Lantern Conservatory

Thinking of adding a new conservatory to your property? Maybe your simply researching for a possible project in the future? Whatever your property plans, we know a development such building a conservatory takes a lot of careful consideration and preparation. One of the first and most important steps in the planning process for any home renovation is considering planning permission.

Before any construction can start, its your responsibility to research whether planning permission is required and ensure your new conservatory will meet all necessary regulations. But what exactly does this entail? Is planning permission actually needed when building a conservatory? To get up to speed on the rules and avoid any costly mistakes, take a read through the handy article below for all the information you need.

What is Planning Permission?

In basic terms, planning permission is simply a request to carry out a certain construction job such as adding an extension, re-constructing part of a property or even building a structure from scratch. This request can be granted or refused, but work must not commence until approval has been given. Your first point of call for all queries about planning permission should be your local planning authority.

So, Do Conservatories Need Planning Permission?

In most cases, you typically DON’T need planning permission for the construction of a conservatory as long as the rules and conditions of permitted development are met.

What is Permitted Development?

Permitted development rights are a set of limits and regulations that allow you to renovate or extend your home without the need to apply for planning permission.

When DO You Need Planning Permission?

You DO need planning permission for a conservatory IF:

  • It covers more than 50% of the land around the original house (including any other buildings)
  • It’s built to the front or side of the original house that faces onto a road
  • It’s higher than the highest point of the roof
  • The eaves & ridge height is higher than the existing house (single-storey & two-story properties)
  • The eaves height is more than 3 metres if within 2 metres of the boundary

Side-Built Conservatories

A conservatory constructed to the side of the property WILL need planning permission IF:

  • It is more than single-story or over 4 metres in height
  • It is wider than half the width of the ‘original house’

Rear-Side Conservatories

A conservatory constructed to the rear of the property WILL need planning permission IF:

  • It extends beyond the rear of the ‘original house’ by over 6 metres (semi-detached house) or 8 metres (detached house)
  • It is more than 4 metres in height

Do You Need Planning Permission to Change a Conservatory Roof?

When a conservatory roof is switched from glazing to tile, the structure changes from a conservatory to a single-storey extension. As long as the extension meets all rules and requirements for permitted development, you won’t need to apply for planning permission. Bear in mind, however, that as the structure will no longer be classified as a conservatory, you must ensure it meets all required building regulations.

Do You Need Building Regulations for a Conservatory?

In terms of planning permission, conservatories are generally regulated by the same rules as single-storey extensions, however there is a difference when it comes to building regulations

Conservatories typically WON’T need building regulations as long as the following guidelines are met:

  • Constructed at ground level
  • Separated from the house by an external wall or windows
  • No more than 30 square metres in floor area
  • Has a heating system independent to the main property with on/off control
  • All glazing and electrical components meet the required building regulations

Conservatories WILL need building regulations approval in the following cases:

  • If the conservatory is an open-plan style conservatory, you will have to prove that the extension space is as energy efficient as the rest of the property.
  • Glazing replacement work will need building regulations approval, although this is usually automatically approved if an installer registered with a competent person scheme is used for the work.

For more information on building regulations, check out the planning portal guide here.

What is Meant by ‘Original House’?

The term ‘original house’ refers to your house as it was first built or as it stood on July 1948 (if built before this date).

Listed Buildings & Designated Land

As stated by the planning portal, you will need to apply for ‘Listed Building Consent’ if you plan to alter or extend a listed building in a way that would “affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest”. This includes the construction of a conservatory or extension. Remember, it is a criminal offence to carry out construction work on a building that needs listed building consent without receiving approval beforehand.

In specific parts of the country (known as designated areas), permitted development rights are more restricted. This includes areas such as a:

  • Conservation Area
  • National Park
  • AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
  • World Heritage Site
  • The Norfolk or Suffolk Broads

You may need to apply for planning permission for certain types of construction in these areas. Always check with your local planning authority to discuss your proposal before commencing any work.

Article 4 Direction

Before commencing construction or planning the build, make sure to check with your local planning authority that there are no additional injunctions in place that may override permitted development rights.

Restrictive Covenants

If you have any restrictive covenants placed on your property, this may stop you from carrying out any construction or development work on the property or surrounding land. You should have been informed of this by your solicitor as part of the conveyancing.

Local Planning Authority

As previously mentioned, you should always contact your local planning authority for advice and approval before commencing any building work. 

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