Planning Permission for Conservatories
When you first decide on having a conservatory installed, you obviously need to consider the issue of whether planning permission is required from the local council. The good news is that most conservatory installations fall under the category of permitted development. There are, of course, a number of caveats to this and your build will need to meet certain requirements, including:
- If your property is on designated land such as a world heritage site or one that has been designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty then you will need to contact the local council before beginning work on any build, including your conservatory.
- The size of the conservatory installation should not exceed 50% of the entire land surrounding the ‘original’ house. This can be a little confusing because someone may have extended the house at some time during its life, all of which needs to be taken into account.
- Any side conservatory should not be more than half the width of the original house and should be limited to one storey and a maximum height of 4 metres.
You can find a full list of restrictions for building your conservatory on the Government’s Planning Portal.
Most new conservatory builds will not fall foul of any of the minor restrictions that are currently in place but your installer should have a clear idea of what is allowed and what isn’t. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you have any doubts whatsoever then it’s always a good idea to check with your local council.
There can be small differences in the restrictions whether you are in Ireland, Scotland, Wales or England. For all new building projects, the owner of the property is the person who is ultimately responsible for complying with building and planning regulations – that means even if your installer makes a mistake then you are the liable party. In other words, it makes sense to make sure you are covered if you are not sure that the build you have planned meets all requirements.
Most major builds are subject to additional building regulations but your new conservatory may well be exempt if, for example:
- It is built at ground level and is less than 30 square metres.
- The conservatory is separated by external walls, doors or windows of the right quality.
- It has an independent heating system that is operated by separate on and off controls.
- The glazing and the new electricals comply with current standards.
If you have engaged a reputable installer for your conservatory, then you should be reasonably sure that the right building regulations are being met during the build. This is largely a matter of ensuring the installation is safe and meets current standards.
A good place to get information about your proposed conservatory is the Planning Portal which was set up by the Government to ensure that people had ready access to all the necessary facts. It’s a good idea to have a look at sites such as this so that you can be sure your installer is on the ball when it comes to your new build. Getting it wrong can cause massive problems and may even lead to the council ordering you to take down the structure and return the surrounding land to its prior condition, obviously costing you money with nothing to show for it.