Do You Need Planning Permission and Building Regulations for a Conservatory?


A conservatory can make a beautiful addition to your home, providing a versatile and aesthetically pleasing space to let in natural light and create a connection with nature.

Conservatories can serve as an extra living room, home office, or a children’s playroom, enhancing your living space and increasing your property value.

If you are considering adding a conservatory to your property, it is important to be aware of planning permission requirements and building regulations before you begin your planning.

Should local planning authorities find your conservatory does not meet regulations, you might be ordered to halt construction or even demolish and remove what has already been built.

In this blog, our expert team at Cook Brown Building Control explore the key factors you need to consider before you begin your conservatory project, including specific regulations and the planning permission you need to obtain.



Planning Permission for Conservatories


What is Planning Permission?

Planning permission is the official approval given to you by your local council or planning authority for certain types of construction projects.

The purpose of planning permission is to ensure the proposed changes to a property, such as building a conservatory, are designed in compliance with local planning regulations.

This is to prevent any adverse effects on your surrounding neighbourhood or local environment, such as a conservation area or area of outstanding natural beauty. Obtaining planning permission ensures your project aligns with any policies or relevant considerations before construction begins.

When Do Conservatories Need Planning Permission?

Most conservatories are considered a ‘permitted development’, which means they can be built without the need for planning permission. However, there are specific circumstances when planning permission is required:

Coverage limitations

  • If more than 50% of the land around the property is to be covered
  • If you are building the conservatory forward on the front side of the property facing the road.


Height and Size Restrictions

  • If the conservatory is higher than the highest point of the roof
  • When the eaves and ridge height exceed the main property (for both single-storey and two-storey conservatories)
  • If the eave height is higher than 3 meters, and within 2 meters of the property boundary.

For Conservatories Built to Side of Your Property

  • You will need planning permission if they are more than a single storey or more than 4 meters.
  • You will also require permission if they are wider than half the width of the main property.

For Conservatories Built to the Rear of Your Property

  • You will require planning permission if the conservatory extends beyond the rear of your main property by more than 6 meters (for a semi-detached property) or 8 meters (for a detached property).
  • Just as with conservatories built to the side, rear conservatories also cannot be more than 4 meters in height.

It is worth bearing in mind that if your property is a listed building, you will require a Listed Building Consent. This is to ensure that any alterations or extensions planned will not affect the heritage of the building.

Learn more about permitted development in the UK >

What are the Building Regulations for Conservatories?

Building regulations are a set of nationally recognised requirement. They specify standards for the design, construction and alteration of buildings, covering various aspects such as energy efficiency, fire safety and structural stability.

Compliance with building regulations ensures your structure is safe and habitable. Most conservatory projects aren’t required to meet building regulations as long as you meet the following criteria:

  • The floor area of your conservatory does not exceed 30 square metres.
  • No permanent heating or comfort cooling is provided.
  • It is built at ground level.
  • It has a thermal barrier to separate the property from the rest of the conservatory, such as an external quality door or window.

However, there are certain cases when you will need to obtain building regulation approval, for example, for an open-plan style conservatory.

If any of the exterior doors or walls separating your property and your conservatory are removed you will need a building regulations application to ensure that the new opening in the structure is properly supported and does not have an impact on the energy efficiency of your home.

Changes in the building regulations could mean your works need additional considerations before starting, learn more about these changes >

How to Apply for Planning Permission

If after reading this article you have discovered your conservatory design will require planning permission, here is how to apply:

Contact Your Local Planning Authority

Before you begin your application, you may want to get in touch with your local planning authority to find out what measures you can take to improve your chances of having your conservatory project approved.

86% of planning permission applications are granted, but it never hurts to ensure that your plans meet all the necessary criteria.

Complete Your Application

Once you have spoken to the local planning authorities, you can fill in your application. This involves sharing all the necessary information about the construction project, including details about:

  • Your property location and the site plan
  • Your ownership certificate for the property
  • Agricultural holdings certificate

You will also need to pay an application fee. The amount will vary depending on the type of project you are applying for.

Await Decision

Once your application is submitted, all that is left to do is wait for the local planning authority to review it. The time frame for this can vary, but you can typically expect a response within eight weeks.


Building Regulation and Planning Permission Consultancy from Cook Brown Building Control

Navigating the intricacies of building regulations and planning permission for your conservatory project is a crucial step towards creating the space you have envisioned for your home.

At Cook Brown, we understand the importance of ensuring your conservatory meets regulatory standards. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today.