Do You Need Planning Permission and Building Regulation Approval for a Conservatory?
If you’re thinking about expanding your home with a new conservatory, you may be wondering if you’ll need to apply for planning permission first.
Legal documentation isn’t the most exciting part of home improvement, but it is an important one. It proves that your home’s construction abides by local laws and regulations – something you’ll need confirmation of when the time comes to sell.
The rules on what requires planning permission and building regulation approval aren’t always clear. To help you figure out which steps to take, we’ve created a guide on everything you need to do to make sure your new conservatory is legally above board.
Do I Need to Get Planning Permission for a Conservatory?
Planning permission refers to getting consent from your local authority for a proposed building. It’s usually required when building a new dwelling or making extensive changes to an existing one.
You don’t normally need to apply for planning permission when building a conservatory, although exceptions do exist.
In England, conservatories fall under a specific set of planning rules for home extensions called ‘permitted development’ rights. These rules permit you to extend your house without needing to apply for planning permission.
However, this is only the case when the following criteria are met:
- Less than half the land around the ‘original house’* is covered. This includes any other buildings, like sheds or summer houses.
- The conservatory does not extend beyond the side wall of the house.
- The conservatory is not forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
- The eaves and ridge height are not higher than the house.
- The eaves within two metres of the boundary do not exceed three metres.
- The conservatory does not include balconies, verandas, or raised platforms.
- A single-storey rear extension does not exceed four metres in height. It does not exceed three metres in depth for an attached house, or four metres in depth for a detached house.
- A multi-storey rear extension does not exceed a maximum depth of three metres (including the ground floor).
- Side extensions must be single storey and cannot exceed four metres in height.
- The roof pitch on conservatories higher than one storey must match the roof on the house.
Most conservatories do not meet these conditions, so it’s unlikely you’ll need to request planning permission when building one. Still, it’s still a good idea to check with your local authority before the construction process begins, just to give yourself peace of mind that everything is being carried out legally.
Note that these rules apply to detached and semi-detached houses only. Rules may be different in Wales and Scotland, so make sure to be aware of planning regulations specific to your local area.
Do I Need to Get Building Regulation Approval for a Conservatory?
Building regulations are the minimum standards set for design, construction, and alterations to buildings, as defined by the UK government. Building regulation certification is supported by Approved Documents along with detailed practical guidance.
You usually don’t need to apply for building regulation approval when building a conservatory, so long as it meets several conditions:
- At least 50% of the new wall and 75% of the roof is glazed or uses translucent material.
- It is single storey and built at ground level, with a floor area of no more than 30 square metres.
- The conservatory is separated from the rest of the house with external walls, doors, or windows.
- The heating system is independent from your home, and has its own separate temperature and on/off controls.
- The glazing and any fixed electrical installations meet the requirements of the applicable building regulations.
However, you’ll need building regulation approval if you’re creating a new structural opening between a conservatory and the rest of your home.
As with planning permission, we recommend checking with your local authority about building regulations before you start work.
Bespoke Conservatories from Trade Price
Now that you’re aware of the legal requirements behind building a conservatory, you can move onto the next step: finding the perfect conservatory for your home!
At Trade Price, we have a huge variety of high-quality DIY conservatory designs available to choose from. All our conservatories come tailor-made to your own requirements, so you can be rest assured that your beautiful new extension will fit onto your home perfectly.