Everything you need to know about UK planning permission when installing or building a conservatory – updated for 2016

When undertaking a new-build conservatory project for a homeowner, it’s important to adhere to the required building regulations whilst also gaining planning permission from local authorities when necessary. Not only does this ensure that your services can be provided legally, but it will also avoid government dispute at a later date.

Not every conservatory requires planning permission, but at Alex Trade Frames we always advise researching before undertaking such a project. Much like our commitment to providing our trade customers with sufficient sales support and high quality products, we’ve put together a list of considerations to help understand the conservatory planning permission requirements.

Planning permission only needs to be acquired should the planned conservatory:

  • Exceed the current height of the highest part of your roof
  • Consist of a veranda, balcony or raised platform
  • Cover over half the area of land around the “original property”
  • Be a single-storey rear extension that will extend beyond the wall of the original house by more than 3 metres (4 metres if a detached house)
  • Be a side conservatory with a width greater than the original property
  • Be a side conservatory higher than 4 metres
  • Extend beyond the front or side elevation of the main property

Should any of the above factors be desired by the homeowner, planning permission will indeed be required. Please note however that these conditions only apply to houses and not to:

  • Flats and maisonettes
  • Converted houses or houses created though permitted development right to change use
  • Other buildings

Building regulations for conservatories

Building regulations will generally apply if your customer wants to build an extension to their home. However, conservatories are normally exempt when they meet a number of conditions. Conservatories are normally exempt from building regulations when:

  • They are built at ground level and are less than 30 square metres in floor area
  • At least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is either glazed or translucent material
  • The conservatory is separated from the house by external quality door(s)
  • Glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the applicable building regulations requirements

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 a fire.
Any new structural opening between the conservatory and the existing house will require building regulations approval, even if the conservatory itself is an exempt structure.
Disclaimer: this is an introductory guide and is not a definitive source of legal information.

Help from Alex Trade Frames

For those unsure about whether or not their required project is subject to planning permission, Alex Trade Frames are here to help! Simply get in touch online, and we’ll advise you of your responsibilities before you start work on your conservatory installation.
Please note that every local authority is different, so it’s worth checking with your planning officer before embarking on an installation project.