Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?

A quick guide about planning permission

Put off by the high price of estate agent fees and stamp duty, more and more of us are deciding to improve rather than move but that comes with its own set of costs.

An average single storey extension could cost anywhere between £40,000 and £60,000 – that’s assuming you get planning permission.

Conservatories and glazed extensions come in at a fraction of that cost, they deliver the highest return on investment of any home improvement – up to 108 per cent according to peer-to-peer lending service Zopa -  and you can even cut out all the hassle of planning.

That’s because the addition of a conservatory to your home is classed as a ‘permitted development’. The legislation was introduced in 2008 to cut the bureaucracy for homeowners wanting to make home improvements and to get the UK building again.

It means that within certain limits, you don’t need to apply for planning permission to add a conservatory to your home. These are in summary as follows.

  • Any extension is limited to a single storey and the height of that extension cannot exceed the height of the roof of the existing property or a maximum of 4m
  • There are also a series of restrictions on how far you can build out from your property depending on its type and if your development is at the side or the rear of the property.
  • Rear - your new conservatory must not extend beyond three metres from the original property in an attached house and four metres in a detached property. It also can’t exceed more than half the space around the original property
  • No more than half that of the original house. The same restrictions apply on space around the original house.
  • Extensions at the front of your property or those facing your main road or street are not allowed under permitted rights
  • Where work is proposed on a Listed Building, Listed Building consent may also be required.

This is not meant as an exhaustive list but in summary, most properties, can have most conservatories installed without having to go through planning permission. However we would always recommend that you check with your local planning office before commencing with any work. Some houses do have removal of permitted development rights, so this means all work requires permission.

Conservatories are - unlike extensions - also exempt from Building Regulations as long as they are:

  • Built at ground level and have a floor area of less than 30m2
  • At least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is glazed
  • The conservatory is separated from the house with doors
  • Glazing and and fixed electrical installations comply with Building Regulation requirements.

We offer an extensive range of energy efficient hardwood timber, PVC-U and aluminium conservatory and orangery systems plus also a number of ‘conservatory/orangery hybrid’ products.

These increase the affordability of a more substantial orangery-type installation. This is achieved using a core glass conservatory structure but by bringing more brickwork into the design and by adapting the conservatory roof, they emulate the appearance of an orangery but at far lower cost.

Using thermally efficient and solar control glass, in common with other conservatories, they create space year round living space at a fraction of the cost of a traditional extension and without the time and delays that have a habit of going hand-in-hand with traditional planning applications. 

Of course, if your development falls outside of the legislation, you can still go down this route and we work with lots of homeowners to manage their applications and support them through this process.

But the positive is that in the vast majority of installations, this simply isn’t necessary, which means that you could be enjoying your new conservatory or glazed extension is just a few months from now!

For more information visit www.kjmgroup.co.uk/regulations email sales@kjmgroup.co.uk or call 01264 359355.