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Do I need planning permission or Building Control Approvals?


To help you understand these issues we detail below some of the "conditions" attached to planning permission and Building Regulations. (These apply to England only) Wales Scottish, Northern Ireland, Eire regulations are quite different - You should in all instances take local advice.

PLANNING PERMISSION


A conservatory is treated exactly the same as any other extension under planning regulations, regardless of the materials used. Since the 1st October 2008 new rules apply to whether or not you can extend or add to your house without having to apply for planning permission.

The new limits and conditions for what is allowed without the need for planning permission apply largely to the dimensions of the proposed addition, its position on the house and its proximity to your boundaries.

  • No more than half the area of land around the "original house"* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Maximum depth of a single-storey rear extension of three metres for an attached house and four metres for a detached house.
  • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.
  • Maximum depth of a rear extension of more than one storey of three metres including ground floor.
  • Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.
  • Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.
  • Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.
  • Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • On designated land* no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey; no cladding of the exterior; no side extensions.

Where work is proposed to a listed building, listed building consent may be required.

* The term "original house" means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

* Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.

BUILDING REGULATIONS


Generally speaking conservatories/sun rooms on residential property are exempted under Building Regulations.

Below are some of the Exemption Criteria - under the Building Regulations 1991 (as amended). These criteria must be met for a conservatory extension to be classified as exempt:
a) The extension walls are substantially glazed. Must have at least half the area of the walls formed of windows. Must have at least three quarters of the area of the roof formed of glazing, polycarbonate sheets or similar translucent material.
b) The extension has a floor area not exceeding 30 sq m.
c) The extension is sited at ground level.
d) The extension is permanently separated from the remainder of the property by means of an external quality door.
e) Any radiator within the conservatory is controllable. (If fixed heating installations are proposed, they should have their own separate temperature and on/off controls).
f) The glazing satisfies the requirements of part N, Schedule 1 (toughened/safety glass).
g) The electrics comply with the Building Regulations.

Integral conservatories are no longer allowed. Conservatories must be separated by an external quality door.

Conservatories should not be located where they will restrict ladder access to windows serving rooms in roof or loft conversions, particularly if any of the windows are intended to help escape or rescue if there is a fire.

Any new structural opening between the conservatory and the existing house will require building regulations approval, even if the conservatory itself is an exempt structure.