Planning Permission and Building Regulations

Everything you need to know about Planning Permission and Building Regulations for your Conservatory


What is the difference between Planning Permission and Building Regulations?

Planning Permission and Building Regulations are often confused. Both are the responsibility of the Local Authority and basically, Planning Permission takes into consideration the aesthetic effect of a new building/extension on the surrounding homes and neighbourhood, whilst Building Regulations define how the structure must be constructed in terms of thermal efficiency etc.

Do I need Planning Permission?

Here is a summary of the basic facts. In most cases you will not require planning permission for your conservatory under the present legislation, unless you are adding a conservatory to a house that has already been extended. You may also need to check if your house is a ‘new build’ as developers sometimes place restrictions on them.

Listed below are some conditions that may attract planning permission:

  • If you build within 2m of the boundary line and the highest point at the junction is 4m or more high.
  • If your conservatory covers more than 50% of the original garden.
  • If your planning development rights have been removed
  • Grade II listed buildings. These may require a hardwood conservatory.
  • Where a conservatory is 20m or less from a road or public footpath

Will my conservatory need to satisfy Building Regulations?

Listed below are some of the exemptions requirements, these criteria must be met for a conservatory to be classified as exempt:

  • The conservatory roof must be made of at least 75% transparent or translucent material.
  • The conservatory walls must be at least 50% wall glazing
  • The conservatory floor area should not exceed 30 square metres.
  • The conservatory must be constructed at ground level
  • The conservatory must be separated from the property by means of a physical barrier/exterior lockable door.
  • The conservatory has thermostatically controlled heating.
  • The conservatory is not being attached to a listed building.
  • The glazing satisfied the Building Regulations Part N.Shed I (eg: toughness/safety glass)
  • The conservatory must not have any sanitary ware or drainage attached i.e. must not be used as a bathroom, toilet or shower room
  • The conservatory must not be used as a kitchen with a sink or cooker etc
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