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Do I Need To Get Planning Permission For A Conservatory

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  • Planning Permission, Conservatories, Planning Guide
  • Posted date:
  • 12-07-2022
Do I Need To Get Planning Permission For A Conservatory

Is planning permission required for conservatories? This article covers the laws around conservatories in the UK and answers related questions you might have.

Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?

If you are on the lookout for ways to add more space to your home, then a conservatory is not only a very effective route to go down but is also a fairly budget-friendly option too. Conservatories are typically much cheaper than a classic rear extension. This is why conservatories have been so sought after across the UK for decades.

Even though we all know conservatories when we see them, the process of how to purchase or create one can be quite a mystery. One of the biggest questions, when homeowners are looking to extend with a conservatory, is whether planning permission is necessary. So, will you need planning permission for a conservatory?

In short, it is very unlikely. Conservatory extensions to your home come under your permitted development rights. This is a government scheme that allows for homeowners to extend their properties without having to go through the awkward and often lengthy planning permission process. 

However, it is not just that simple. In order for your home to qualify for permitted development rights, your conservatory will need to follow a strict set of rules and requirements.


No one likes filling out applications for full planning permission, it is long, arduous, and the rules are ever-changing. In order to avoid this process, you will need to ensure that your conservatory follows these regulations:

 Sit at the rear of the house, rather than the front

The conservatory must not extend any further than the rear wall of the existing property by three metres if an attached house or four metres if a detached home

I Must use similar building materials to the existing house

The conservatory must take up less than fifty percent of the size of the land around the original house. Original meaning the latest of when the property was built. If the property was built before 1948 then as the property stood on 1st July 1948.

The conservatory structure must be less than four metres in height, or less than three metres if the conservatory is within two metres of a property boundary.

The structure's eaves and ridge must be no taller than the existing property. 

Exceptions to the rule

There are some properties that do not come under the permitted development rights ruleset. It is important to remember this when thinking of having a conservatory attached to your home. Permitted development rights cannot be used on the following:

 Listed buildings

Flats or maisonettes

Some new developments

If you are planning on adding a conservatory to a new build home, then you will need to contact your developer and ensure that there are no restrictions within your contract for additions such as a conservatory.

Homes that reside in conservation areas are not completely excluded from permitted development rights, but you will find that they hold much greater restrictions. It is also worth remembering that certain homes and areas have not been included in the 2020 extension of permitted development rights. These are the following: 

Homes within Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland

Homes built before 1948

In many of these cases, some projects will still be permitted development rules, just not all. In order to fully understand your planning options, you should speak to an expert.

Conservatory Planning Permission Guide


The possible size of your conservatory will depend on the specific size of the property that you are extending. If you wish to build a conservatory without needing to go through the long process of planning permission, the conservatory cannot be bigger than fifty percent of the area around the original property.

This includes sheds and outbuildings. The amount you can build outwards from the back and sides of the property is also restricted if you wish to on avoid the process of planning permission:

 A conservatory can extend backwards from the rear wall of the 'original house' by up to six metres for a semi-detached home or up to eight metres for a detached home. But if the structure is more than four metres, then the neighbour consultation scheme applies, and the local planning authority needs to be informed.

A rear conservatory cannot be higher than four metres, but if it is within two metres of the boundary, it must be three metres or less in height.

A conservatory built to the side cannot be any wider than fifty percent of the size of the original property. 

As a separate entity to planning permission, building regulations will apply to a conservatory that is more than thirty square metres of floor area.

How close can you build a conservatory to a boundary?

The rules on conservatories state that as long as the conservatory is less than three metres high, it can go right to the edge of the property's boundary at the back and to the side. 

This is as long as the structure does not cover more than fifty percent of the area surrounding the house. Extensions of more than one storey cannot be within seven metres of the boundary located at the rear of the house.

This does not necessarily apply to a conservatory, but it is definitely worth remembering. If you are planning to excavate or build near a boundary, then you need to be aware of the following. The Party Wall Act 1996 will come into play in addition to the usual planning and building regulations.

If your conservatory is built right up to a boundary and a wall, or foundations sit on top or near a boundary, then you are required to contact and notify your neighbour in advance and seek approval. 

Do you need building regulations for a conservatory?

Glazed structures are exempt from building regulations if they are deemed a 'conservatory' by falling within the following rules and guidelines:

 Not more than 30 square metres were measured all around in the floor area

Constructed at ground level

Separated from the property by an external wall or windows

A separate heating system to the house, with its own controls to turn on and off

Any fixed electrical installations must comply with all of the necessary and relevant building regulations. The same rules apply to glazing.

If the extension is an open-plan style modern conservatory then building regulations approval is necessary. In order to get this, you will need to prove that your conservatory space is as energy efficient as the rest of the home. You should also remember that building regulation approval is compulsory for any glazing replacement works.

If you are using an installer that has registered itself with a trusted person scheme then in all likelihood the work will automatically be approved. The installer should give you a certificate when the work has been completed that breaks down the work done and says that it all met standards. 

Part F building regulations and conservatories

Due to the worldwide effect of climate change, additions were made to building regulations and have recently come into effect in June 2022. The Part F building regulations will affect glazed structures that are not deemed as conservatories. A structure considered a conservatory is determined through the guidelines displayed above.

If your structure is exempt, then the new regulations within Part O and Part F do not apply. As part of a movement towards gradually reduced emissions created, the new regulations are intended to reduce the unnecessary overheating that happens in homes across the country. The regulations make this happen by limiting unwanted solar gains in the summer months, as well as providing an adequate means of removing excess heat from a building.

New conservatories that are over thirty square metres may need to have background ventilators fitted to the windows or purge ventilation, windows openers subject to a minimum opening area, or a mechanical extractor network. All and any extraction systems used must meet the performance standards that were set out in the Part F section of the document.

To ensure you are following all the guidelines, consult the full documentation of Part F.

Do I need planning permission to change my conservatory roof?

If you were to change a conservatory's roof from glass to a different material such as tile, then this would change the entire nature of the structure. It would go from being a conservatory to a single-storey extension. If the extension meets all the requirements for permitted development then you will not need to apply for planning permission.

But, due to the structure no longer being deemed under the exemption of a 'conservatory' then it does need to meet all of the necessary and relevant building regulations.


Do I need planning permission for a conservatory with a radiator?

A conservatory does not need planning permission for a standalone radiator, but planning permission will be required if the heating system is going to be connected to the rest of the home. To ensure that your conservatory is deemed as being a conservatory and doesn't need building regulations, it must have its own heating system that is completely separate from the house.

This is defined by having separate heating controls in the conservatory, one example of this would be a standalone electric radiator. If you are confused or concerned about any of these guidelines, regulations, or rules then we would recommend contacting and asking a fully trained and competent professional. They will be able to guide you through the process.

Are you considering conservatory insulation? We offer professional thermal insulation solutions for domestic and commercial conservatories throughout the UK.


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