"Before installing a conservatory or orangery 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 however before you go ahead with extending your property you need to find out whether or not you need planning permission.

The UK law requires you get planning permission to enable you to build on, or modify, the use of land or buildings. That said, this doesn’t completely apply to conservatories, as they’re regarded as ‘permitted development right’.

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

  • The property has already been extended
  • Materials are similar
  • The conservatory doesn’t extend on 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’ as developers occasionally place limitations on them.


Do I need planning permission for a conservatory or orangery?

Conservatories and orangeries are generally permitted developments which do not require planning permission, providing they meet certain 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.

What are the guidelines?

The guidelines are as follows:

  • Conservatories and orangeries must not exceed or cover in excess of 50% of the size of the house
  • Should not exceed 4 meters in height
  • Should not include any Verandas, Balconies or Elevated Platforms
  • Should not be more then half the width of the house
  • 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 at: https://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/ alternatively you can speak to AFA Planning Consultants.


    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 include:

  • Not cladding the exterior walls of a property, conservatory or orangery
  • Installing 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 as long as it meets the guidelines above there should be no problems, however you should check with your local council as some areas may have varying rules and guidelines. If permission is not granted and your structure is completed you could be fined up to £5000, alongside this you could also be made to take the structure down or face prosecution. If your Orangery or Conservatory does not meet the guidelines you may still be granted planning permission. You can file online for permission, it will cost around £150 to file an application which you can do at: https://www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/applications/

    It’s an offence not to get retrospective planning permission. It may be a surprise to learn that local authorities are well within their rights to rip down illegally built constructions. We strongly suggest you seek advice before you build – most conservatory companies will aid you in organising planning permission for a conservatory or orangery. 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 get confused between Planning Permission and Building Regulations. Both are the accountability of the Local Authority. Here are the fundamental differences between the two:

    • 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, and so on
    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 excused 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, especially if any of the 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, even if the conservatory itself is an exempt structure.

    *Please note that conditions in Scotland, and to a lesser degree, Northern Ireland, are different to those in England and Wales.

    We suggest that you contact the Planning Portal, the UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.