Do You Need Planning Permission For A Conservatory?

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Do You Need Planning Permission For A Conservatory?

We’ve recently been looking at rules and regulations you’ll need to be aware of when building your conservatory. Last week we had a quick look at building regulations, which basically ensure that your conservatory is safe and secure for anyone using it. This week we’re looking at planning permissions, which are more concerned with the location and aesthetic value your conservatory has on the surrounding area, and whether it impacts on your neighbours. At RTE Fabrications, we’d strongly advise familiarising yourself with both before you get started!

The Planning Permission Rules

planning a conservatory

We’ll kick off with the good news – generally, you won’t need planning permission for your conservatory. Unless it’s particularly ambitious in its size or scope, it often comes under ‘permitted development’, which allows it to be built as long as it’s mainly your home it’ll be affecting. This is true whether it’s one of our popular Edwardian conservatories, or your own bespoke conservatory. However, in order to be exempt from planning permission, your project does have to follow these rules:


  • Your extension (conservatory) can’t be higher than the highest part of your existing house’s roof, including the extension’s maximum eaves and ridge height
  • When it’s within 2m of any boundary the eaves can’t be higher than 3m, and no more than 4m in height otherwise
  • The maximum height of the conservatory (or a single-storey rear extension) can only be 4m

Width and Depth:

  • Rear extensions or conservatories can be no more than 4m in depth (on a detached house) or 3m (on a semi-detached or terrace)
  • If your conservatory is a side extension it can only be single storey, with a maximum height of 4m
  • No more than half the area of land around the original house could be covered by additions or other buildings (which means the width of the extension can’t be bigger than half the width of the original building)

Other stipulations:

  • The extension shouldn’t sit forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway. (Essentially, this means that an addition that’s very close to a public footpath or right of way will probably need planning permission.)
  • Listed Building Consent might be needed if your home is a listed building
  • You can’t have verandas, balconies or raised platforms

Unless you have particularly big plans for your conservatory – or you’re situated in a conservation area – you’ll probably find that your conservatory falls well within these limits.

Why Do These Rules Exist For Conservatories?

A new roofline fitted

As we mentioned above, these limits (and planning permissions in general) are designed to stop one individual’s home improvements from overly affecting the surrounding countryside or neighbourhood. They give everyone plenty of space to enjoy their homes, as well as acting in the interests of buildings or areas that might need protecting. If you find that your conservatory does fall outside one of these limits, you’ll likely have to apply for planning permission at your local authority. This costs about £150 in England, and can take up to two months to process – so it might be worth sacrificing some of that ambition instead. We’ll leave it to you to decide!

To keep yourself clued in on the rules and regulations for your conservatory, you can read up on last week’s blog about Building Regulations, to make sure you have the complete picture. Once you know the rules you have to abide by, give us a call on 01254 873002, and we can begin building your dream conservatory!

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