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Conservatory: Planning Permission & Building Regs

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Conservatory: Do I need Planning Permission and Building Regulations Approval?

Adding a conservatory to your home is not only an option to increase space but can be budget-friendly too. However, there are certain situations when you will need to apply for Planning Permission prior to the construction of the conservatory and / or obtain Building Regulations Approval before work commences and final ‘sign-off’ once it has been completed.

When do I need Planning Permission for a conservatory?

Construction of a conservatory  usually falls within your Permitted Development Rights.  Using the Permitted Development Rights, homeowners may alter their property without needing to apply for and obtain Planning Permission from their local authority beforehand*.

For the conservatory to be within Permitted Development Rights, it needs to be constructed in a way which meets set limits and conditions, these are:

  1. The floor area of the conservatory and other buildings (including previous extensions, sheds, and other outbuildings) must not exceed 50% of the total floor area of land around the original house.
  2. The conservatory, if at the front or side of the original house, must not face a highway.
  3. If the conservatory is to be constructed to the side of the original house, it must not have a width greater than half the width of the original house, it must be single storey and must not exceed a height of 4 metres.
  4. If the conservatory is to be constructed to the rear of the original house, it must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 4 metres (if the house is detached) or 3 metres (for any other type of house). It must also not exceed a height of 4 metres.
  5. If the conservatory is to be constructed within two metres of a boundary, the height of the side wall (eaves height) must not exceed 3 metres.
  6. For any conservatory, the height of the side wall of the conservatory should not be higher than the height of the side wall of the original house. The highest part of the conservatory should also not be higher than the highest part of the original house. This is especially relevant for bungalows.

*IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE - Permitted Development rights are excluded for listed buildings, flats, maisonettes, or properties on some new developments. The rules also differ if the property is within a Conservation Area or other designated areas or sits within an area affected by an Article 4 direction which excludes the rights. Also, it is possible that the planning permission for the property excludes the permitted development rights. Please ensure you seek advice from your local authority before constructing a conservatory.


When do I need Building Regulations Approval for a conservatory?

Building Regulations were established to ensure the health and safety of the works that are to be carried out. They also include requirements to ensure energy and power efficiency. 

As with Planning Permission, conservatories can be exempt from the Building Regulations requirements if the proposed works meet the following conditions:-

  1. The conservatory is built at the ground floor level.
  2. The conservatory has a floor area that does not exceed 30 square metres.
  3. The conservatory is separated from the house by external quality walls, doors or windows. 
  4. 50% of the new walls and 75% of the roof of the conservatory are glazed or are constructed with translucent materials.
  5. The glazing meets the requirements of the Building Regulations for glazing.
  6. Any fixed electrical installations (e.g. sockets, switches and light fittings) meet the requirements of their own separate Building Regulations.
  7. The heating system located within the conservatory is independent and separate from the original house and has its own temperature and on / off controls.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

When deciding whether to construct a conservatory, it is usual for individuals to be aware of the need to consult with their local authority in relation to Planning Permission and Building Regulations requirements but there can also be covenants contained within the Title documents of your property which may restrict alterations and extensions.

These are known as restrictive covenants and may contain provisions which prohibit you from erecting outbuildings and extensions on the property. Others may require you to obtain consent from a third party before making any alterations / extensions.

Another important consideration for a property owner is to ensure that the proposed location of the conservatory does not contain any underground drains or pipes as well as any manhole covers. It is important to consult with your architect and water company to identify the location of such amenities to establish whether you need to obtain a Build-Over Agreement with the water company.

We strongly recommend you seek advice from your local authority before constructing a conservatory 

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article or have previously erected a conservatory and are now considering selling your property and want to know what documentation will be required for the sale, please get in touch with one of our Residential Property Team who will be delighted to assist you. Please call 01242 574 244 and ask for Residential Property or email


The information contained on this page has been prepared for the purpose of this blog/article only. The content should not be regarded at any time as a substitute for taking legal advice.