Planning permissions and conservatories – what should you know?

Published: Wednesday 17th March 2021 | Categories: House & Home

Let’s be honest; when thinking about planning permissions and conservatories, the lines between the two become pretty blurred. Any building regulation can be a complex matter unless, of course, you are well versed in the planning system.

This post will outline some of the main things you need to consider when thinking about building a new conservatory, replacing an existing one, or upgrading your current conservatory roof. It will also point you in the right direction of some light bedtime reading (the planning portal and government guidelines!) if you wish to learn more about the nitty-gritty requirements.

In short, conservatories fall under the same regulations as single-storey extensions – simple, that’s all you need to know! Frankly, we could end it here, but let’s go into a little bit more detail.

Limits and considerations for planning permission

If you want to add a conservatory to your home, you’ll need to ensure certain limits and conditions are met. If your build does not exceed these limits, you will not need to submit a planning permission application. Below is a summary of the planning portal’s guidance of these limits and conditions:

  • Conservatories must not extend beyond any sidewall of the original house.
  • Conservatories (including previous extensions) and other buildings must not exceed 50% of the land’s total area around the original house. Sheds and other outbuildings have to included in this calculation.
  • Conservatories forward of the principal elevation (front of house) or side elevation of the original house and fronting a highway are NOT permitted development.
  • Cladding of any part of a dwelling’s exterior (and extensions/conservatories) with stone, artificial stone, pebble dash, render, timber, plastic or tiles is not permitted development on designated land and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
  • Designated land includes national parks, the broads, World Heritage Sites, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and conservation areas.
  • A side conservatory must not be greater than half the width of the original house.
  • Any single-storey side conservatory must not have a height greater than 4 meters.
  • If a conservatory (at side or rear) is within two metres of a boundary, maximum eaves height should be no higher than three metres to be permitted development.
  • Single-storey rear extensions must not extend beyond the original house’s back wall by more than four metres if a detached house; or more than three metres for any other house.
  • If the development is between 4 and 8 meters, you must adhere to the neighbourhood consultation scheme.
  • The single-storey conservatory must not exceed the height of 4 meters.
  • The height of the eaves must be no greater than the eaves on the original house. A conservatory’s highest point must not be any higher than the roof ridge line of the existing home.

If your new conservatory meets all the above requirements, you’ll be well on your way to having a fast and fuss-free conservatory installation.

Do you require building regulations for your conservatory?

Building an extension for your home will often require building regulations. For conservatories, it’s different. They are exempt from building regulations if they fall into the below guidelines:

  • Ensure the conservatory is at ground level and are less than 30 square metres in floor area.
  • External quality walls, doors or windows should separate the house from the conservatory.
  • There should be an independent heating system with separate temperature and on/off controls.
  • Glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the applicable building regulations requirements.

Open plan conservatories require a little more attention and do require building regulations approval. To make sure your conservatory meets these requirements, you must show the conservatory is as energy efficient as the rest of the house.

We’ve also created a blog post helping you make a better-informed decision when comparing extensions and conservatories. If you’re struggling to make up your mind then it may be worth a quick read.

Do I require planning permission if I change my conservatory roof?

If you decide you want to change your conservatory roof from glass to tile, this will change the conservatory structure. If your conservatory meets the aforementioned requirements, it will not require planning permission. However, this does mean the structure will no longer have the same exemptions as a typical conservatory and will still need to abide by building regulations.

Our guidelines give you a better overview of planning permissions and conservatories to help you make better-informed decisions about what can and can’t be done. We’ve deliberately left out granular detail here, as it can be overwhelming at times.

The team at Elglaze are here to help and clarify any uncertainties or questions you may have regarding planning permissions and conservatories.



Secured by Design BSI Kitemark PWF Trusted Installer 2019-2020 Fensa MTC Registered BFRC Logo