If you are planning to add a conservatory to your property, it is your responsibility to find out whether planning permission applies. The vast majority of conservatories will be exempt from planning permission provided they meet a series of limitations and conditions.
Once you have a good idea of the size and type of conservatory you are going to install, you should be able to ascertain whether permissions are required.
If your design does not meet the standard limits, it may be necessary to complete a planning application prior to the installation.
Planning permission for a conservatory should not normally be required, provided the following conditions are met.
- The conservatory should not take up more than half of the land, which surrounds the property.
- Single storey conservatories on the rear of properties are not permitted to extend more than three metres from a semi-detached house, and four metres from a detached house.
- The conservatory must not be constructed so that any part of it is higher than the highest point of the roof of the original house.
- The maximum height of a conservatory on the rear of a property is four metres.
- If the conservatory is being built within two metres of a boundary, the upper limit for the eaves height is three metres.
- Conservatories cannot be built on the front or side wall of a house if that wall faces a highway.
- The width of a conservatory built on the side of a house is not permitted to be wider than half of the width of the main property.
- A conservatory installed on a single storey property should not have an eaves height, which is higher than that of the house; nor should the conservatory itself be higher than the line of the roof ridge of the original house.
Further conditions apply to houses, which are built on designated land such as areas of outstanding beauty and conservation areas. A conservatory will not be considered a permitted development if it includes cladding of any part of the exterior of a property on designated land. A full guide to all the conditions can be found on the governments planning website:
Applying for conservatory planning permission
Conservatory planning permission could be required for several reasons, if your conservatory does not meet the conditions detailed above, it will be necessary to make a planning application.
Most types of building work are subject to planning permission and the decision to grant or refuse permission falls to your local planning authorities; which in most cases is the planning department at your local council.
Several things can affect the success of a planning application and you should think about how your planned conservatory will impact the environment, people and wildlife around it.
Building a conservatory could have an effect on your neighbours and it is worth discussing your plans with them at some point to make sure there is no negative impact. If your conservatory will impair the view from their house or garden or directly face one of their windows, it may not meet with your neighbours, or the planners, approval.
Animals and the surrounding natural environment will also be taken into consideration. Some habitats, plants and wildlife are protected by the wildlife and countryside act, and a proposed conservatory could be refused on these grounds.
The local planning authorities can offer advice on whether any legislation applies in this respect; even if your conservatory meets all the other development criteria, the protection for wildlife will still apply.
The design of your conservatory will be another factor, which is taken into consideration by the planners, they will look for a design, which is in keeping with the style of the existing building.
You should have an idea of what your property will look like when the conservatory is finished; think about whether this is what the planners will find acceptable. It is always a good idea to use the same, or similar, materials to those used in the building of the original house.
Making the application
A planning application can be filled out and sent by post to the local planning authority, but it is also possible to apply online. There are a variety of application forms, which cover each different type of planning permission, so it is important to make sure you complete the correct form.
One advantage to applying online is that the form will automatically change to suit the type of development you are proposing; which ensures you complete it correctly.
For most people a ‘householder planning consent’ form would be suitable for a conservatory application, as it should be used when there is a proposal to enlarge or alter a single property.
If you think your conservatory will require planning permission it is wise to make the application as soon as possible. It could take up to eight weeks to get a decision from the planners, which could be extended to thirteen weeks if the development is particularly complex.
The building of a conservatory is classed as an extension in terms of planning permission, and is subject to the same regulations. If you are planning to add a conservatory to your home, part of the process is to find out whether you need to apply for permission.
Fortunately, most conservatories do not require any permission as long as they meet the conditions laid out by the planning authorities and it is worth making sure at the design stage that your conservatory meets these requirements. Applying for planning permission can be a lengthy process, but if you plan to construct something unusual, or your property is on designated land, it may be unavoidable.
If you find that you have to go through the process, bear in mind the kind of things that planners will look for in an extension. Overall the design should be sympathetic to the style and aesthetics of the property, and should not impact severely on any part of its surrounding environment.