When looking to build a conservatory or extension on your property, abiding by building regulations or obtaining planning permission can feel like a huge concern, that can often makes the whole project feel like too much of a hassle.
The difference between building regulations and planning permission
It’s no surprise that the definitions of the two are often confused. Both are the responsibility and are granted by your local authority. Building regulations define how the building must be constructed in terms of things like thermal efficiency for example, whereas planning permission takes into consideration the aesthetic value and effect of a new extension on the existing and surrounding homes and the neighbourhood as a whole.
Do I need planning permission for my conservatory?
Adding a conservatory to your house is considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions, that the company you go with should work towards/around.
- The construction must not cover more than 50% of the size of the existing house.
- It must not include any balconies, verandas or raised platforms.
- It must not be any higher than the highest part of the existing roof.
- It must not be more than 4 meters high.
- It must not front or obstruct a public road.
- No more than half the area of land around the original house would be covered by additions or other buildings.
- Single-storey rear extensions must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 3 meters if an attached house, or by 4 meters if a detached house.
- Where work is proposed to a listed building, listed building consent may be required which may differ slightly.
Can I build a conservatory without planning permission?
You can build a conservatory without obtaining planning permission usually only if your plans follow the rules and restrictions listed above, though it is worth remembering that the restrictions may differ in listed buildings and on World Heritage Sites. If it doesn’t comply with the above regulations, you’ll need to apply for permission by submitting an application to your local authority, which costs around £150 in England.
Failing to comply to these restrictions and not applying for planning permission can result in a £5,000 fine and your new conservatory being demolished. You should also take note that your new construction will need to comply with the UK’s building regulations.
Building regulations for constructing a conservatory
Building regulations may apply when building a conservatory for your home, but are generally exempt if they follow the following rules.
- The conservatory is separated from the house by external quality walls, windows or doors.
- It is built at ground level and is less than 30 square meters on the floor.
- It has an independent heating system with separate temperature controls.
- Window glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the existing building regulations.
Also, you are advised not to construct conservatories where they will restrict ladder access to windows serving rooms in roof or loft conversions, particularly if any of the windows are intended to help escape or rescue if there is ever a fire.