Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?

uPVC Gable conservatory with a black roof

Conservatories remain one of the most treasured UK home improvements. Planning your conservatory or orangery upgrade or installation should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for the whole family. However, the initial process can become quite baffling for renovators who don’t have the support of a local expert to answer the plethora of questions that this type of installation can bring. A common question we’re asked is do I need planning permission for a conservatory?… With this in mind, we thought we’d start at the very beginning.

Do I need planning permission for a conservatory in the UK?

Generally, the quick answer to whether planning permission is needed for a conservatory is no. Conservatory development is normally categorised under ‘permitted development rights’.

Do I need planning permission for an orangery UK?

As long as you build an orangery within permitted development rights, you won’t need to apply for planning permission.

What is permitted development for a conservatory? And what about a conservatory on front of house?

Permitted development rights cover common home improvements and extensions (for houses), that can be carried out without the need to apply for planning permission. However, there are certain limits and conditions that must be followed to comply with permitted development rights. These are:

  • No more than half the land around the original house can be occupied by the conservatory.
  • Conservatories on the front or side of a house cannot be situated closer to a public highway than the original property.
  • The conservatory roof, eaves and ridges cannot exceed the height of the original building.
  • Attached house conservatories must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original property by more than 3 metres. Detached house conservatories must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original property by more than 4 metres.

For more information, contact one of our experts who can provide information specific to your property and requests.

White uPVC edwardian conservatory

Further information on conservatory planning permissions:

Subject to the neighbour consultation scheme, outside Article 1(5) designated land (e.g. national parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)* conservation areas and World Heritage sites) & Sites of Special Scientific Interest, the rear wall extension limit is permanently increased to 6m for attached houses and 8m for detached houses in England only.

  • Rear single-storey conservatory structures must not exceed 4m in height.
  • Conservatories with more than one storey must not exceed the rear wall of the original building by more than 3m or be within 7m of any boundary opposite the rear wall of the house.
  • Conservatory eaves must not exceed 2m in height of the boundary of 3m.
  • Single storey side conservatories cannot exceed 4m in height and the width should be no more than half of the original house.
  • Conservatory roof pitches higher than one storey must match the existing house.
  • Verandas, balconies or raised platforms do not qualify for permitted development.
  • On designated land *(see above) rear conservatories with more than one storey, exterior cladding or side conservatories do not qualify for permitted development.
  • These restrictions only apply to houses in England, not to flats or maisonettes.

So, if your conservatory project includes any of the restraints listed above, or falls within an Article 4 area, you may need to seek conservatory planning permission from your local authority.

What about a front conservatory?

If you like the idea of installing a conservatory on the front of your house, as long as the area surrounding the original house isn’t covered by other buildings or additions by more than 50% (and the conservatory isn’t situated closer to a public highway than the original property), it should fall within permitted development guidelines. Don’t hesitate to contact us to clarify this for you.

A uPVC Conservatory

Helpful links

Suffolk Planning permission guidance

Ipswich Planning applications and pre-application advice

Oxford City Planning application permission advice

Essex Planning application guidance

Cambridge planning application guidance

Plan the perfect conservatory installation with SEH BAC

With an impressive range of conservatories to choose from, if you require any further information or advice on planning permission for conservatories don’t hesitate to get in touch. For more information on conservatory installations, read this great guide from Which? – it includes images of our very own conservatory installations!

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