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A guide to conservatory planning laws
Planning permission – do you need it?

Do you need planning permission for a conservatory? This is often one of the first questions asked by anybody wanting to add a conservatory to their home, and in most cases, you will not need planning permission. This is because conservatories are considered permitted development and are therefore exempt from Planning Permission. In fact, planning legislation has been relaxed in recent years making it a far more straightforward process for you to add a conservatory to your home. The range of conservatories that don’t need planning permission has significantly grown, providing a range of styles and designs to suit your property.

This is brilliant news for homeowners in the East Midlands and beyond, as it makes life a lot easier, and it means adding an extra room to your property doesn’t come burdened with any extra paperwork. In fact, even if you live within an elegant conservation area, you are still fine to proceed without an application for conservatory planning permission.

Do I need planning permission for a conservatory in 2022?

Small conservatory in Branston.

Is planning permission required for a conservatory? This is one of the most commonly asked questions we receive from homeowners looking for a new conservatory in the UK. So, here’s our expert answer!

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Conservatory planning permission 2022

If you want to add a conservatory to a house, then this falls within the same set of planning rules as any other home extension. These rules, known as ‘permitted development’ rights, allow you to extend a house without needing to apply for planning permission if specific limitations and conditions are met.

Planning permission IS needed for a conservatory if:

  • More than 50% of the land around the ‘original house’ is to be covered (this includes any other buildings)
  • The extension is forward of the front or side of the ‘original house’ that faces onto a road

When you use a local expert installer, such as Stormclad, we will take care of any planning permission and Building Regulation concerns for you.

Conservatory size limits

The updated planning consent for conservatory installation regulations means that a single-storey extension (not based in designated land) won’t require planning permission as long as the glazed extension doesn’t exceed a certain size. The conservatory size limits on the dimensions of the conservatory depend on the property;

  • If the house is detached, the conservatory should be no longer than 8 metres
  • If the house is semi-detached or terraced, the limit is reduced to 6 metres.

In either case, planning permission for conservatory extensions in the UK has a maximum height limit of 4 metres for a single-storey extension. So, if you’re wondering about the planning permission for conservatories on a semi-detached house, the conservatory size limit is 6 metres and it can only be one storey high. Although, new planning rules that came into effect from September 2020 now allow families to add two storeys without full planning permission.

How large can a conservatory be without planning permission?

General conservatory planning permissions include conditions such as:

  • The conservatory may not take up more than half of the area around the original house – for example, the house as it was first built, or as it stood on the 1st July 1948 (if it was built before that date)
  • If it’s being built on the front of a house, or the side facing a highway.

Do you need planning permission for a lean to conservatory?

Cream all glass conservatory built after planning permission.

Planning permission for lean-to conservatories is a little different. Along with the 4 metre limit on height, the width of the conservatory can be no bigger to half that of the house. So, the maximum conservatory size is different from a normal shaped conservatory.

You can add a lean-to conservatory without planning permission to your home, as long as it is within the boundaries of your property and doesn’t cover over 50% of the total area. The extension can’t be higher than the eaves of your existing house, and if it’s a side lean-to extension, it must be less than four metres in height or wider than half the width of the existing property.

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Do I need planning permission for a conservatory with a tiled roof?

Green brick and glass conservatory built with planning permission in Nottingham.

As long as you stick to the other criteria we’ve previously explained, you shouldn’t need to apply for planning permission if you opt for a modern tiled conservatory roof.

More about tiled conservatory roofs

Planning permission for areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB)

These conditions vary slightly if building on ‘designated land’, which includes national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. For more information, you can visit the Government’s Planning Portal website, which details the current legislation.

Of course, there’s still plenty of guidance requirements so it’s well worth speaking to one of our design experts to make sure that your double glazed conservatory not only looks good but that it’s actually safe too.

Do conservatories need Building Regulations approval?

Building regulation approval.

As discussed, conservatories are considered permitted development unless they fall within specific criteria highlighted above. The same is true of Building Regulations approval, with most new conservatories being exempt. However, there are some conditions in which it will be required.

  • The conservatory must be built at ground level and must be smaller than 30m²
  • It must be separated from the main house by substantial walls, doors, and windows, and have its own separate heating system
  • Building Regulation approval is required if fixed electricity points or a toilet or sink are going to be installed.

If your new conservatory spans the whole width of the property or home, it must be ensured that it won’t restrict ladder access to any upstairs windows so that a fire escape route is maintained.
Even if the conservatory itself is exempt, it may still require Building Regulations approval if an opening is being created between the conservatory and the existing house, rather than having doors separating the two. In this eventuality, it will be necessary to engage the services of a registered energy assessor to carry out an energy survey. They would seek to provide a feasible solution to ensure that the new conservatory complies with Part L1B of the regulations.

They will come up with a solution for you that demonstrates that any additional heat loss from the new conservatory can be offset by making improvements to the property. For example, this could be the installation of A+ rated windows, better insulation or replacing an old boiler for a more energy efficient one. In essence, this means the total extended property will have the same thermal efficiency that it had prior to the work being completed. This makes perfect sense because it ensures your home is as energy efficient as it was before the installation.

What’s the difference between conservatory planning permission and building regulations?

Two people looking at planning and building regulations on site.

Building Regulations are designed to ensure that buildings are designed and constructed in such a way so that they’re safe, energy efficient, and accessible. For example, new builds must have robust foundations, have the correct insulation and be tested to ensure their electrics have been installed properly. For public buildings, it may be factors such as wheelchair access and the inclusion of sanitary facilities.

Planning Permission, on the other hand, is designed to preserve the area in which the building is located. After all, when changes are made to buildings, they not only impact the homeowner, they also impact on neighbours and the general public as well. Through the Planning Permission system, an unregulated free-for-all is prevented.

To summarise, Planning Permission aims to control the way that towns and cities develop and to control their appearance. Building Regulations are concerned with the specific construction techniques and materials on the building in question.

Planning portals

Here are some helpful links to the local planning portals covering the East Midlands:

How to apply for planning permission for your conservatory

When going ahead with a project, your first point of contact is your local council’s Planning Department. In order to give them an idea of the extent of a project, it’s possible to fill out a pre-submission form detailing what the project entails. From this, they’ll be able to offer you advice about whether or not conservatory planning permission is required, and anticipate any potential pitfalls.

The next step is to complete an application form, along with drawings demonstrating exactly what is being built. At this point, you will be required to pay a fee to cover the administrative costs. The size of this fee will depend largely on the scale of the project and where it is being completed. In Wales, for example, you can expect to pay slightly more than in England. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own systems.

This application will then be put on public display at the planning register at the local council’s offices. Typically, it takes around two months for a Planning Department to make a decision – but this can vary depending on the complexity of the project.

If a Planning Application is refused at the first submission, the appointed Planning Officer can be consulted to discuss if any changes can be made to secure its future success. The amended designs can be submitted within 12 months at no extra cost.

Alternatively, the decision can be appealed against. This needs to be done within 6 months of receiving the reply – though the process might take a long time, and the deadline might expire before the appeal is dealt with.

This may seem like a minefield of information to the householder, and for this reason, it can be increidbly beneficial to employ a specialist company that is familiar with the regulations to take care of the planning and building approval, if required, for a nominal fee.

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What happens if I fail to obtain planning permission?

It is important not to start any work until it has been established whether Planning Permission and Building Regulations are required. If something is built and then declined permission, the council has the right to challenge the construction. This could result in the structure being demolished if retrospective Planning Permission is not granted. Obtaining statutory approvals from the council is an absolute necessity for new conservatories. The best advice is to apply well in advance.

It is key to stress that adding a conservatory to your home is typically considered permitted development and does not require Planning Permission or Building Regulations. Don’t worry if you are in any doubt, as a reputable home improvements company such as Stormclad can advise you, and take care of all Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval as part of their service when supplying a new conservatory. Stormclad is registered with the Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF) which means we have been independently inspected to ensure we work to a strict code of conduct within the industry.

Do you need help with your conservatory planning permission?

Grey LivinROOF conservatory aerial view.

We’ve built countless conservatories of all sizes for all manner of properties, and understand that bespoke projects have their own quirks – which can relate to planning too. So, our Designers are happy to explain the ins and outs of what’s required for your own project and advise on your home’s direction and how that will affect a conservatory installation.

As leading double glazing installers across the East Midlands, we will happily take care of any planning permissions required for your glazed extension. We offer this service at an additional cost, which includes a designated project manager who will take responsibility for the paperwork, measurements, and gaining approval. All you’ll need to do is work with us to design your dream conservatory and wait for us to let you know that you’ve gained approval – it’s that simple! Get in touch with a member of our friendly team who will be more than happy to help.

Conservatories that don’t need planning permission – Conservatory on front of house?

As we’ve explained above, with the relaxed building regulations in England, many conservatory extensions and single-storey extensions won’t require planning consent. So, if you’re asking ‘do I need planning for a conservatory?’, as long as the extension adheres to the conservatory size limits, all of our conservatory styles can be installed without requiring any planning permissions. Whether you’re looking for a conservatory on the front of your house to add a real wow factor, or a lean-to conservatory on the rear of your property, the design options open to you are very broad.

Take a look at our range of conservatory extensions to get inspired on how it will transform the appearance of your home, whilst adding much-needed living space.

Do you need permission for a conservatory?

Planning permission is required for conservatories in the following circumstances: if they exceed the highest point of the roof, if the eaves and ridge height are greater than that of the existing single or two-story house, or if the eaves height surpasses 3 meters and is within a 2-meter distance from the boundary.

Read our related planning permission blogs:

Our comprehensive guide to orangery planning permission

Do I need permission to change windows in the Peak District?

Do I need planning permission for a carport?