Planning Permission for Conservatories

The common perception is that conservatories do not require planning permission, whilst this is true in many cases, in an increasing number of instances planning permission is required.  Anyone considering having a conservatory built should check with the local council or a suitably informed conservatory specialist to see whether it is required.


Permitted Development Rights

These rights allow you to build conservatories and small extensions without the need for planning permission.
In many cases these rights are not available because they were removed when the house was first built. This is often the case in new developments where house builders try to fit as many dwellings as they can in a given area of land and the local authority restricts any further expansion.

Under  new rules that came into force on October 1st 2008, a conservatory is considered as “permitted development” and will not need planning permission, subject to the following criteria:-

The points above are the most relevant, dealing with the projection away from the house, the development of the plot and the visibility from a road.

The last four points relate to the height, whilst we do build two-storey conservatories, in is fairly rare for the height to be an issue.


Building Control (Building Regulations)

Currently, most conservatories built across the country are exempt from building control. However, if the conservatory is large and/or will be open to the house, building control will be required.

The criteria for exemption:-

There are several pros and cons to the current policy. Clearly if every conservatory was required to have building regs then the cost to the consumers and council tax payers would be large. On the other hand if they had to conform to building control, the quality of conservatories built nationwide would increase, as would their insulation properties.

Overall, we believe building control do a good job and their involvement in conservatories should be expanded.

We would always obtain building control where it is required, however customers are often faced with the choice of removing existing doors thereby bringing building regulations into play, or keeping them in place and making the conservatory exempt

The main advantage of being exempt from building control is cost; there are no fees to pay the council, architects, structural engineers or SAP assessors. Whether these are included in the price of the conservatory or not, they have to be paid somehow!

The other benefit is timing, it is normally best to do a full plan submission for a conservatory and often advisable to wait until planning has been approved to do so. This can delay the start for several weeks/months depending on the council’s workload. One the project has commenced, there can be delays in construction waiting for building inspectors to arrive.

Obtaining building control has the following advantages; you get a completion certificate to pass on to new owners. Spending hundreds on councils and architect’s fees is nothing compared to the thousands that might be haggled-off the price of your house is you don’t have the required documentation when you come to sell.

Secondly, you have the confidence of knowing it is built to modern standards. If you choose the correct conservatory company (like us!) this should not be an issue. They will need to approve the foundations, insulation properties, damproofing, ventilation, fire-escape and structural integrity.


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Your local conservatory experts

Conservatory Planning permission and building regulations information.