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Planning Permission

Before installing an orangery you need to check and see what planning permissions you require.

Planning Permission

Before installing a Conservatory or Orangery you must find out whether you require planning permission

Building a Conservatory or Orangery is a great way to increase your property’s size, value and appeal. But, before you take a step towards extending your property, you need to find out whether or not you need planning permission. While at Orangeries UK we do provide full assistance with planning permission throughout the project, we’d like to make all potential customers aware of the rules and regulations.

UK law requires you get planning permission to enable you to build on, or modify, the use of land or buildings. That said, this rule doesn’t always apply to conservatories, which are regarded as within your ‘permitted development right’.

In a nutshell, you don’t have to obtain permission if your conservatory is single-storey and if it meets the following additional requirements:

  • The property has not already been extended
  • Materials used in the construction of your home are similar to those used in the construction of the conservatory
  • The conservatory doesn’t extend over more than half of the garden
  • The roof ridge, or top point, doesn’t reach any higher than your property’s roof eaves
  • The height doesn’t exceed more than 4 metres, or 3 metres if within 2 metres of boundary
  • Side extensions must not reach beyond half the width of the property
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms are present

You may also need to establish whether or not your house is a ‘new build’. Developers occasionally place limitations on them.

Conservatories and Orangeries are generally permitted developments which do not require planning permission, providing they meet the above-listed criteria. If a property is extended and the Conservatory or Orangery structure does not meet the criteria, then planning permission will be required. If planning permission is not granted and the structure has been built, it could be liable for removal.

The guidelines are as follows:

  • Conservatories and orangeries must not exceed or cover in excess of 50% of the size of the house
  • Conservatories and Orangeries should not exceed 4 meters in height
  • Conservatories and Orangeries should not include any Verandas, Balconies or Elevated Platforms
  • Conservatories and Orangeries should not be more than half the width of the house
  • Conservatories and Orangeries should not have eaves higher than 3 meters if within 2 meters of a structure boundary

Please check with your local council if you have any concerns or questions in relation to planning permission. You can learn more about planning permission here.

Alternatively, we recommend you can speak to AFA Planning Consultants.

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What about regulations for extensions in world heritage sites & conservation areas?

Additional building regulations may exist depending on the land and local laws for property extensions. Other regulations may dictate that you:

  • Cannot add cladding to the exterior walls of a property, Conservatory or Orangery
  • Cannot install an Orangery or Conservatory at the side of a property




What if my Orangery or Conservatory doesn’t meet planning permission guidelines?

If your Orangery or Conservatory has been built without obtaining planning permission prior to construction but it meets the guidelines listed above, you shouldn’t have any problems. But, it’s best to check with your local council as some areas may have varying rules and guidelines.

If permission is not granted but your structure has been erected, you could be fined up to £5000 and you could be asked to take the structure down or face prosecution. But, if your Orangery or Conservatory does not meet the guidelines, you may still be granted planning permission. You can file for permission online here. To file your application it will cost around £150.

With that being said, we do want to make one thing clear: It’s an offence to not obtain planning permission, proactive or retrospective. Local authorities are well within their rights to tear down illegally built constructions, including Orangeries and Conservatories. We strongly suggest you seek advice before you build.

Need help? We’re here for you! Here at Orangeries UK, we provide full assistance with planning permission throughout the project.

What is the Difference Between Planning Permission and Building Regulations?

First things first, people often confuse Planning Permission with Building Regulations. While both are under the control of local authorities, there are two fundamental differences:

  • Planning Permission considers the aesthetic outcome of a new building/extension on the nearby properties and area
  • Building Regulations outline how the property must be structured in terms of thermal effectiveness, etc.

In short, Planning Permissions are concerned with aesthetics while Building Regulations are concerned with function.

What is the cost of obtaining planning permission or the time it takes to file an application?

The cost of obtaining planning permission in the UK can vary widely depending on the nature and scale of the proposed development, as well as the local planning authority. Generally, planning application fees are set by the authorities and can range from a few hundred pounds for minor applications to several thousand pounds for larger and more complex developments.

It’s important to note that in addition to the application fees, there may be additional costs involved, such as hiring professionals like architects or consultants to prepare the necessary documentation and plans. It is advisable to consult the specific local planning authority or check their website for the most accurate and up-to-date information on fees.

Regarding the time it takes to file a planning application, the duration can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the project, the workload of the local planning authority, and whether any issues or objections are raised during the process. On average, it can take around 8 to 13 weeks for a decision to be reached on a straightforward planning application.

However, more complex projects or those subject to public consultation may take longer, sometimes extending to several months or even a year. It’s important to engage with the local planning authority early in the process to understand their specific requirements and expectations, which can help streamline the application and potentially reduce the processing time.

What are the consequences of not obtaining planning permission or building regulations approval?

Failing to obtain planning permission or building regulations approval for a construction project can have several consequences in the UK. These consequences can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the severity of the non-compliance. Here are some potential outcomes:

✅ Enforcement Action:

If it is discovered that development has been carried out without the required planning permission or building regulations approval, the local planning authority can take enforcement action. This may involve issuing an enforcement notice, which can require the owner to modify or remove the unauthorized development. Failure to comply with the notice can result in further legal action, including fines and potential court proceedings.

✅ Legal Issues and Financial Penalties:

Unauthorized development can lead to legal disputes and financial penalties. The local planning authority can initiate legal proceedings to seek compliance, and the costs associated with defending against such actions can be substantial. In addition, fines or monetary penalties can be imposed for the breach of planning regulations, which can vary depending on the severity of the non-compliance.

✅ Difficulty in Selling or Financing the Property:

Unauthorized developments can create complications when selling or financing the property. Prospective buyers or lenders may hesitate to proceed with a purchase or provide financing if the property has non-compliant elements. This can result in delays, reduced property value, or even the need to rectify the unauthorized work before proceeding with a sale or obtaining financing.

✅ Loss of Rights and Remedies:

In some cases, the local planning authority may take the view that an unauthorized development cannot be rectified through retrospective planning permission or regularizing the situation. This could result in the loss of certain rights or remedies, limiting future options for the property.

It is crucial to comply with planning permission and building regulations to avoid these consequences. Seeking professional advice and engaging with the local planning authority early in the process can help ensure compliance and avoid potential issues down the line.

Conservatory Building Regulations 2017 & 2018

So, what are the conservatory building regulation requirements? If you want to build an extension to your home, building regulations will often apply. Conservatories, on the other hand, are an exception to the rule and are usually exempt so long as they meet the below conditions:

  • No less than half of the new wall and three-quarters of the roof is either translucent material or glazed
  • Any fixed electrical fittings and glazing abide by the appropriate building regulation requirements
  • They are constructed at ground level and under 30 square metres in floor area
  • External quality doors(s) separate the conservatory from the property
Additional Considerations
  • It’s recommended you do not build Conservatories where they will obstruct ladder access to windows fitted in roof or loft conversions. This is especially the case of these windows are meant to aid in rescue or escape in the case of a fire.
  • If a new structural opening is built between the existing house and Conservatory, building regulations approval is required. This holds true even if the Conservatory itself is an exempt structure.

*Please note that conditions in Scotland and Northern Ireland may be different to those in England and Wales.

For more information, we suggest that you contact the Planning Portal, the UK Government’s online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales. Alternatively, work with Orangeries UK to build your Conservatory or Orangery and we’ll use our experience to navigate Planning Permission and Building Regulations on your behalf.

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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