Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?

LOOKING to give your home a new lease of life with a conservatory out back but don’t know if you’ll need planning permission?

Here’s all you need to know about what to do before starting your project.

There are changes you can make to your house without planning permission, but failing to check could prove costly


There are changes you can make to your house without planning permission, but failing to check could prove costlyCredit: Getty

Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?

There are some additions you can make without planning permission, but failing to check – and falling foul of the the rules – could cost you dearly.

It’s also important to check that your home is suitable for development, and that your foundations are deep enough.

Ultimately it’s your responsibility to get approval before you start work on it, if it doesn’t meet the regulations you may be forced to pay to demolish it, and it could affect your house sale should you choose to move.

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The short answer is you don’t necessarily need planning permission for a conservatory or extension, but regulation approval will generally be required for any work you do.

However, you will need to get permission if:

  • Over 50 per cent of the land around the “original house” will be covered (other buildings included)
  • Your proposed extension is facing the road or if your house is sitting in a corner plot with the sidewall facing the road

Some glazed structures may be exempt from regulations if:

  • They’re constructed at ground level
  • It’s less than 30 square metres in floor area
  • It is separated from the house by an outside wall or by windows
  • Any fixed electrical installations and glazing comply with regulations requirements
  • It has an independent heating system with separate on/off and temperature controls

A modern open-plan conservatory will need regulatory approval. In order to get it, you will have to show that its energy efficiency is at the same level as the rest of the property.

The rules are fairly complex, so get expert advice and consider getting a planning consultant to help you.

You can find out if your project will need planning permission by contacting your LPA (local planning authority) here.

To apply for planning permission, contact them through your local council.

You can also find the Government’s guide to these rules here.

How long does planning permission last?

After you’ve decided what you’re going to add and made sure the build meets the requirements, you’ll likely be wondering how long you’ve got to complete the work.

In most cases, you will have three years to start the work.

There are rare exceptions to this, but if you’re one of them it will be clearly stated in your letter of approval from your council.

It means you’ll have three years from the date that consent is granted to begin construction.

The limit is only on when building starts, and you can reapply for permission if it expires.

Do I need planning permission for a shed?

Sheds are a great place to retreat to and keep your garden gear in, but you need planning permission to build one?

The good news is that, due to the rules on “permitted developments”, doing so normally DOESN’T require planning permission, according to Checkatrade, as long as you adhere to the rules.

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These also apply to other garden buildings like garages and greenhouses.

According to the tradespeople experts, if you want to construct one without planning, it must fulfil the following:

  • It can’t be located in front of your property
  • Its floor area mustn’t exceed 15m2
  • It needs to occupy less than 50% of the total area your property comprises
  • If it’s within 2m of the boundary of the property, the height of the building mustn’t be over 2.5 metres
  • The height of its eaves mustn’t be over 2.5 metres and it needs to be single storey
  • It must be for domestic use and not contain sleeping accommodation
  • It can’t have a balcony or veranda attached, and decking can’t be over 30cm from the ground


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