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roomoutsideuk Room Outside Admin
03rd June, 2020

Do I need planning permission for a conservatory or orangery?

Building a Conservatory or Orangery is a fantastic way to create space and light within your home, whilst making a connection with your outdoor space and increasing the value of your property. The trouble is, many homeowners are put off by the thought of having a Conservatory built, often out of confusion surrounding the planning permission rules.

Permitted development rights

“Permitted development rights allow householders to improve and extend their homes without the need to apply for planning permission where that would be out of proportion with the impact of works carried out.” Permitted development rights for householders – Technical Guidance – 2019

New regulations came into effect in 2008 which give homeowners the right to build a Conservatory, Orangery or Garden Room under ‘permitted development rights’ and this was updated again in May 2019 making this ruling a permanent regulation. This means that in most cases you do not need to seek planning permission to extend your home within certain parameters and limitations.

What are your permitted development rights for building a Conservatory or Orangery?

Generally, building a conservatory under permitted development is subject to certain conditions. These are as follows for Conservatories, Orangeries and Glass Extensions:

  • No more than 50% of the area of land around the original house will be covered.
  • A Conservatory or Orangery will not extend forward of the fronting highway, (often known as the “Building Line”)
  • They must not be higher than the roof of your home and only a maximum of four metres high.
  • Single storey rear Conservatories and Orangeries must not extend beyond the rear wall of a house by more than three metres if the house is attached, or by four metres if it’s detached.
  • Two storey Conservatories and Orangeries must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than three metres or be within seven metres of any boundary opposite the rear wall of the house.
  • The house is not in a conservation area, national park or designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If it is any of these apply, there may be restrictions on permitted development rights, or you may be required to gain full planning permission.

These are only the main points and as with all Government regulations often there are more complicated exceptions and rules. It is always best to get professional help to ascertain what your rights actually are and to get confirmation whether planning is required or not. There are other limitations that also apply to Conservatories and for more in depth information on Conservatory Planning Permission, please visit the Government Planning Portal.

Building Regulations

Planning permission and building regulations are often confused. “Planning permission is concerned with the visual impact and size of the structure and not the technical integrity.” Building regulations, on the other hand, covers all aspects of building construction to ensure building standards are maintained and are constantly being reviewed. Building regulations are statutory instructions that seek to ensure that the policies set out in the relevant legislation are carried out. Building regulations approval is required for most building work in the UK, however a Conservatory or Orangery is usually exempt from building regulations provided it is: 

  • Built on to a domestic dwelling and divided from the rest of the house by a door that complies with the requirements for an exterior door. 
  • Under 30 square metres in floor area. 
  • A single storey. 
  • Built at ground floor level. 
  • Glazed in compliance with safety glazing requirements of approved Document N of the Building Regulations BS6262 Part 4 
  • Not built within 1m of the boundary. 
  • Fitted with a roof that is 75% glazed and with walls that are 50% glazed.
  • There should be an independent heating system with temperature on off controls

There are other limitations that apply to buildings constructed as Glass Room Extensions and for more in depth information on building regulations, please visit the Government website with information on Planning-Development Building-Regulations.

Listed Buildings

Listed Buildings or homes within an area of outstanding natural beauty require close attention to detail with regards to planning and Listed Building Consent. Although some Permitted Development Rights may apply for Listed Buildings and homes in an area of outstanding natural beauty, there will be more restrictions and you may still need to get planning permission for some aspects of the work. In almost all situations, you are likely to need Listed Building Consent to add a Conservatory or Orangery onto a listed building. Listed Building Consent is granted by your council. It is vital to consult with your Local Planning Authority to decide the best course of action. Remember that building a Conservatory without permission onto a listed building is a criminal offence. Permission is also required to replace an existing structure. For more in depth information on conservatory listed building consent, please visit The Planning Portal-other permissions-listed.

The information contained within this article is strictly for guidance only. Your local planning authority will be able to advise you of any additional restrictions in your area and we recommend that you consult an independent Planning Specialist who can ascertain exactly what is required for your own property before going ahead with any work. We have decades of experience in adding conservatories, Orangeries and Glass Extensions on to existing homes, including listed buildings and in areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and will be more than happy to discuss you project with you to advise further and provide you with a complimentary, no-obligation quotation to help you begin planning your glass extension project. We can also refer you to any relevant specialists who can advise you on your specific planning and consent requirements.

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