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Planning & Permission

Before installing a conservatory you need to check and see what planning permissions you require.

Do you need planning permission for a Conservatory

Under new regulations that came into effect from 1 October 2008 adding a conservatory to your home is considered to be permitted development.

So you’ve decided on your new conservatory and can envisage yourself relaxing in the sunshine, reading the newspaper and looking out over the garden, the next step is hiring the builders, and of course, checking whether you need planning permission.
Planning permission is mind-boggling for most of us, and if we’re honest, a little inconvenient. We’ve probably all got a friend or family member who had a loft conversion built and then went on to have endless disputes with a neighbour.
But this isn’t always the case! Your dream conservatory isn’t too far away!

The Planning Portal is an online resource for planning and building regulations. It is a great first port of call when considering building work in England and Wales.

According to the Planning Portal, adding a conservatory to your house is permitted and does not need planning permission in England. That said, it must abide by the following guidelines:

1. The extension should not cover more than half the area of land around the original house.
2. The extension is not on the principal or side elevation facing a highway.
3. The extension is lower than the highest part of the roof.
4. If the conservatory is a single-storey rear extension, it must not go beyond the rear wall of the original house. It must not extend more than three metres if it is an attached house, or by four metres if it is a detached house.
5. The maximum height of a single-storey rear extension is four metres.
6. An extensions that is greater than one storey must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than three metres. Neither must it be within seven metres of any boundary opposite the rear wall of the house.
7. The maximum eaves height of the extension must be within two metres of the boundary of three metres.
8. The Maximum eaves and ridge height of the extension must be no higher than existing house.
9. Side extensions must be single storey with maximum height of four metres, and with a width that measures no more than half that of the original house.
10. The roof pitch of extensions should be higher than one storey to match the existing house.
11. There must be no verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
12. On designated land, there is no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey. There must be no cladding of the exterior and no side extensions.

The list of twelve guidelines above does not take into account all of the rules from the neighbour consultation scheme, but does give a good idea as to what conservatories are accepted without planning permission.

However, before you have your conservatory built (even though you have read this blog and visited the Planning Portal website), it is highly necessary to find out whether you need planning permission for your specific extension. Extra time spent now will save a lot of hassle in the future, and you want to enjoy your new conservatory (rather than battle with the neighbours!).

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What is the Neighbour Consultation Scheme?

The Neighbor Consultation Scheme (NCS) is a regulatory process in the UK that aims to promote open communication and consideration between homeowners and their neighboring properties during certain types of development projects. When an individual plans to make specific changes or additions to their property, such as building an extension or converting a loft, they are required to notify their adjoining neighbors about the proposed work. This notification allows neighbors the opportunity to raise any concerns or objections they may have regarding the development.

The NCS helps foster a sense of community and cooperation by providing neighbors with information about the planned changes and giving them a chance to express their views. This ensures that the impact of the proposed development on neighboring properties, such as loss of privacy or increased noise, can be assessed and addressed. By engaging in the neighbor consultation process, homeowners can demonstrate their willingness to consider and accommodate the concerns of those who may be affected by their construction plans.

Failure to adhere to the NCS guidelines may lead to strained neighbor relationships, potential disputes, and the possibility of legal action. It is crucial to follow the scheme to maintain positive neighborly relations and avoid any consequences that may arise from non-compliance, such as delays in the project or enforcement notices requiring modifications or removal of unauthorized development.

What are the consequences of not following the guidelines?

Not following the guidelines of the Neighbor Consultation Scheme (NCS) can result in several consequences. Firstly, it may lead to strained relationships with neighboring property owners. Ignoring the NCS can create a sense of disregard for their concerns and potentially damage the rapport between neighbors. This strained relationship could have long-term implications, affecting the overall atmosphere and harmony within the community.

Secondly, non-compliance with the NCS may result in legal consequences. Adjoining neighbors have the right to raise objections or concerns regarding proposed development, and if their concerns are ignored or not properly addressed, they may choose to take legal action. This can lead to costly legal battles, which may include fines, penalties, or even court-ordered modifications or removal of unauthorized development.

Additionally, disregarding the NCS can result in delays to the project. If objections are raised or legal action is taken, it can stall the construction process, causing unnecessary setbacks and potentially increasing costs. Furthermore, local authorities may become involved, in conducting investigations and issuing enforcement notices, which can further complicate the situation and lead to additional expenses and disruptions.

It is important to note that the specific consequences can vary depending on the nature of the development, local regulations, and the response of the affected neighbors. However, it is generally advisable to follow the guidelines of the Neighbor Consultation Scheme to maintain positive relationships, adhere to legal requirements, and avoid potential complications that may arise from non-compliance.

 What is and is not allowed under each guideline?

The specific allowances and restrictions under the Neighbor Consultation Scheme (NCS) can vary depending on local regulations and the nature of the development. However, here are some examples of what may be allowed and what may not be allowed under each guideline:

✅ Size and Scope of Development:

Allowed: Adding a conservatory within the specified size limits, and constructing a single-story extension within permitted development rights.

Not allowed: Building an extension that exceeds the maximum allowable dimensions, or constructing a multi-story extension without planning permission.

✅ Distance from Boundaries:

Allowed: Building a structure within the prescribed setback distances from neighboring boundaries.

Not allowed: Constructing a development that encroaches on or exceeds the specified distance limits from neighboring properties.

✅ Impact on Neighbors:

Allowed: Constructing a development that does not significantly impact neighboring properties in terms of loss of light, privacy, or amenity.

Not allowed: Building a structure that substantially blocks sunlight to neighboring properties, causes excessive noise or disturbance, or invades privacy.

✅ Permitted Development Rights:

Allowed: Utilizing permitted development rights to add certain types of extensions or conversions without the need for planning permission.

Not allowed: Exceeding the limitations and conditions outlined in the permitted development rights, or attempting development that falls outside their scope.

It is important to consult local planning authorities and relevant regulations to determine the specific allowances and restrictions applicable to a particular development project. Compliance with the guidelines and obtaining the necessary permissions will help ensure that the proposed work aligns with the NCS requirements and avoids potential consequences.

Other Popular Planning Permission Questions

It’s not just conservatories that require planning, in fact, any property development that is an addition to the existing property will be subject to regulations. Other popular questions people ask include

Do you need planning permission for an Extension
The answer to this is yes, however if the extension falls within standard guidelines where the extension does not exceed ccertain heights / dimensions and does not impede on light to surrounding properties then permission may not be required. Building regulations will generally apply if you want to build an extension to your home.

Do you need planning permission for an Orangery
An Orangery is similar to a conservatory, the style varies but the typical development factors are the same. If an Orangery falls within the accepted permitted development guidelines like the ones above for a Conservatory then planning will not be required.

Building Regulations

Building regulations will apply if you are considering a home extension. Conservatories are normally exempt from building regulations when they are built at ground level and have a floor space of less than 30 square meters. Other regulations include:

  • The conservatory / structure should be seperated from the house by external walls, doors and/or windows.
  • The structure should house an independent heating system with temperature on/off controls.
  • Fixed electrical installations should comply with the applicable building regulation requirements.


Author:  Daniel Foley Carter


Daniel Foley Carter has 10 years of experience in the joinery and wood fabrication sector. Daniel has written for major publications such as House and Home, Timber Weekly, and Construction UK. Daniel has worked with a large number of construction and woodwork projects and has extensive experience with wood properties, wood selection, and the utilization of wood in home extensions and construction.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pine Wood for Conservatories 1

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