When planning permission is needed
Unlike an extension, a conservatory is a simpler and more affordable solution to adding space to your home. Building a conservatory is considered as ‘permitted development’, so you typically do not need planning permission. There are limitations and you will need to make a planning application before starting your project if your conservatory goes beyond these limits.
To be exempt from seeking planning permission, your conservatory can not occupy more than half of the area around the existing building. It must stay within the principal or side elevation facing a public road. A single-story rear conservatory can extend up to three metres from an attached house or four metres for a detached house. If you are building a conservatory with more than one storey, it can extend up to three metres and be within seven metres of any boundary.
Your conservatory must be lower than the highest part of the existing roof. Planning permission is not necessary for a single-storey conservatory with a height of four metres or less, or a maximum eaves height of three metres when it is within two metres of your property’s boundary. Generally, conservatories can be up to four metres high and half as wide as your existing house. The roof pitch of a multi-storey conservatory must match the existing house. There can also be no verandas, balconies or porches.
If you are building a conservatory in a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the new structure can extend six metres for an attached house and eight metres for a detached house, although neighbours need to be consulted. A conservatory of more than one storey is not permitted on designated land, which includes national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas, The Broads, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
What about Building Regulations?
Like other building projects, a conservatory needs to comply with design and construction standards set out in the Building Regulations. These regulations ensure that your project is safe whereas planning restrictions allow local authorities and government to regulate the appearance and protection of buildings and landscapes.
Conservatories are exempt from building regulations if they are built at ground level and have a floor area of under 30 square metres. The conservatory also needs to have its own heating system with separate controls and be separated from your house by external walls, doors and windows. All glazing on the conservatory’s doors and windows as well as electrical installations must comply with building regulations. A new structural opening between the existing house and the conservatory will also need building regulations approval.
Navigating various requirements related to planning permission and building regulations approval can be complicated. Our experienced family-run business provides the support you need to ensure your conservatory project goes smoothly. If you are planning to build a conservatory in and around Gloucestershire or need more information, give us a call.