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Do You Need Planning Permission for a Conservatory?

A conservatory can increase your living space and improve your quality of life. But do you need planning permission for a conservatory? What about following building regulations?

In this article, we'll tell you all you need to know.

Conservatory Planning Permission Explained

Whether you need planning permission to build a conservatory depends on a few things. This includes the size and nature of the conservatory. The size of your home is important too. Your local authority might also have some regulations of their own as well.

Often conservatories class as "permitted developments". This means you’re free to build them without applying for planning permission from your local council. But only if your plans meet all the requirements.

When Do You Need Planning Permission for a Conservatory?

You’ll often need it if your conservatory is at the front of side of your home. You will need planning permission if:

  • The conservatory is higher than the highest point of the roof.
  • The eaves are higher than three metres.
  • The conservatory is within two metres of the boundary of your property.
  • It is higher than four metres (rear conservatory).
  • The footprint of the conservatory is over 50% of that of your existing house.
  • It extends further than six metres from the house (or eight metres for detached homes).
  • The conservatory is wider than your house (side conservatory).
  • If you live in a listed building.

When is Conservatory Planning Permission Not Required?

You don’t need planning permission for a “permitted development”. This means a conservatory that:

  • Covers less than 50% of the area your home covers.
  • Is at the rear of your home.
  • Extends less than six metres from the back of your house (up to eight metres for a detached house).
  • Has eaves that are less than three metres if it sits less than two metres from your property boundary.
  • Has eaves lower than the highest part of your home.
  • Is less than four metres high and narrower than the width of your home (side conservatory).
  • Is less than four metres high at the back of your home.

What is the Maximum Size of a Conservatory Without Planning Permission?

To build a conservatory without planning permission it must cover less than 50% of the area your home covers. It must also be lower than four metres high at the back of side of your home. If you build it at the side, it must also be narrower than the width of your home.

Conservatory Building Regulations Explained

Building regulations also come into play when you add a conservatory. If you fall foul of them, it may mean that you have to make costly alterations down the line or even remove it altogether.

What’s the Difference Between Conservatory Planning Permission and Building Regulations?

Planning permission focuses more on how your conservatory looks and fits in with your home. Building regulations cover how safe and comfortable to live in it is. Think of planning permission as the style of the conservatory and building regulations as the way it’s built.

Do Conservatories need Building Regulations Approval?

Most home extensions need building regulations approval. Some conservatories won’t need building regulations approval, but a lot probably will. You might not need approval if:

  • The conservatory is on the ground level and covers less than 30 square metres in total.
  • It has its own independent heating system and separate temperature controls.
  • Glazing and electrical installations follow all applicable building regulations requirements.

Any new structural opening in your home will always need building regulations approval. This includes a new doorway connecting your living room with the conservatory.

How to Apply for Planning Permission For Your Conservatory

When you get your new conservatory through us, we take care of everything for you. We make all the necessary enquiries for your project, make any planning applications and follow building regulations. All you need to do is design your dream addition with our helpful experts, we'll do the rest.

With some companies, it is your responsibility to check if you need planning permission and apply for it. Contact your local authority's planning department and have your project details to hand. They’ll be able to help you with the process and may flag up any issues so you can deal with them early on.

If you do need permission, submit an application to your local authority through the Planning Portal. There is usually an upfront application fee. Make sure the plans you apply with are the plans you use.

What Happens if I Fail to Get Planning Permission?

If you do need planning permission and you don’t get it before you build, the local council could serve you with an Enforcement Notice. This can mean a costly process involving retrospective applications and appeals. The council can even force you to remove your conservatory.

If your conservatory is a permitted development, you’re free to build without planning permission. Nothing will happen if you don’t apply, as you don’t need to.

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Conservatory with a Solid Roof?

A solid roof conservatory comes under the same rules for planning permission as a glass roof. If the size and dimensions of your conservatory mean it isn't classed as a permitted development, you still need to apply for permission. Have another look at the rules at the top of this article if you're still unsure.

How Close Can you Build a Conservatory to a Boundary?

You can build your conservatory as close to a boundary as you like, as long as its under three metres in height. The rules state that if a conservatory is within two metres of a boundary, it must be less than three metres high.

If you plan to build it right up to the boundary, be aware of The Party Wall Act 1996. This is also the case if the foundations sit or near a boundary. Under the act, you need to let your neighbour know in advance and get their approval.

Building Your Conservatory with Anglian Home Improvements

With more than 55 years of experience in the home improvement industry, we know our way around a planning application. In fact, we submit more applications to the government's Planning Portal per year than any other company in the UK.

We do this because we know you would rather spend time planning your new conservatory than filling in paperwork. Plus, we know exactly what information planning departments need to make their decisions. Your conservatory won’t get held up by any unnecessary delays.

Browse our conservatories online or fill out our online form for a free no-obligation quote.

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