What type of conservatories require planning permission in the UK ?


Glass conservatory roof system

photo Alex Frames Trade

Glass conservatory roof system

Conservatories remain a popular addition for many homeowners throughout the UK. Illuminating, spacious, and comforting, they might be one of the most demanding home improvement pursuits installers are required to offer, but what can make them even more challenging occurs before the foundation has even been laid: Planning permission.

Thankfully, we at Alex Trade Frames remain committed to giving our dedicated installer network all the information required to make their job easier. So, when it comes to assessing whether your planned conservatory design will need permission from local council authorities, we’ve put together a few handy guidelines you can refer to.

It’s all about size, not design

The first thing to make clear is that planning permission is not dictated by style, contrary to popular belief. This means you can offer your customers any classic style, including Combination, Edwardian, Gable, Lantern, Lean-to and Victorian, as long as it adheres to specific size requirements. Obviously the larger the conservatory design (a la P-shape/Combination), the higher the chance you will need to seek local authority approval, but it’s not always the case.

One of the most recent advances made regarding conservatory developments, happened in 2013 when the government doubled the size of what’s tolerable. At least until May 2019, detached properties can be extended by up to 8 metres while other houses can be extended by up to 6. Terraced houses, flats and maisonettes are still a special case, meaning they’ll absolutely need to get planning permission.

Simple factors to consider

Should the planned conservatory fall into any of the below categories, planning permission will more than likely be required.

- Exceed the current height of the highest part of the roof
- Consist of a veranda, balcony or raised platform
- Cover over half the area of land around the “original property”
- Be a single-storey rear extension that will extend beyond the wall of the original house by more than 3 metres (4 metres if a detached house)
- Be a side conservatory with a width greater than the original property
- Be a side conservatory higher than 4 metres
- Extend beyond the front or side elevation of the main property

What about listed buildings and period properties?

Conservatories are by no means off the table if you’re catering towards homeowners who reside in a listed, conservation, or even period home. Such properties are subject to ‘Article 4 Directions’ like they always are when any external alterations are being made, but generally, they can equally be extended providing that the conservatory design is in-keeping with any established character or aesthetic style. 
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