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Two thirds of conservatories built require planning permission - conveyancers beware!

One of the most contentious areas of conveyancing concerns planning permission and building regulations or rather the lack of them, in relation to the erection of a conservatory.    

A large number of properties when sold include a conservatory and one that was probably built within the past 10 years.  Not many people when erecting a conservatory consider planning and building regulations, mainly because they rely on the suppliers to advise. Consequently there exist a large number of conservatories that have been built in contravention of planning and or building regulations.

So what should you consider when building a conservatory.   The first step to take is to contact the local planning department and provide them with the dimensions and other design aspects and seek guidance.  Try also the following website:

Don’t rely on your supplier as some are only concerned with taking your money!

In the hope it will help here are some pointers:

Building Regulations

Normally, to be exempt from the regulations the conservatory will need to meet the following criteria:

Built at ground level

Be less than 30 square metres in floor area

At least 50% of area that will form the external boundary / edge of the conservatory must be glazed and 75% of the roof area to be covered with either glass or polycarbonate

Must be separated from the house by an external quality door, patio door or French doors.

There should be an independent heating system with separate temperature and on/off controls

Glazing and the electrical installation must comply with IEE and building regulations

Even if the conservatory is exempt any structural opening created to link the house to the conservatory will require building regulation approval.

Planning Permission

Around two thirds of all conservatories require planning permission.

Under present legislation (and it may change soon ) normally you will not require planning permission if you meet with the following conditions:

It (and other buildings if any ) covers less than 50% of the garden surrounding the dwelling and permitted development has not been removed

It does no face any road

It is not 20m or less from a road or public footpath.

If built within 2m of the boundary line the highest point at that junction is no higher than 4m

Its depth on a detached property is no more than 4000 mm

Its depth on a semi-detached property is no more than 3000 mm

The maximum height is no more than 4000 mm

If built to the side elevation of a property it is no more than 4000 metres high and no more than 50% that of the original house

At least 50% of area that will form the external boundary / edge of the conservatory must be glazed and 75% of the roof area to be covered with either glass or polycarbonate.

Conservatories on listed building, national parks, Broads Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites will require permission

If in any doubt as mentioned contact your local planning department.

Morgan Jones and Pett are solicitors who provide legal advice and services to clients based in England and Wales and who can be contacted on 01603877000 or via email at


scot said…
You have given such a nice information to me. I was totally unknown from this. I am planning to make my new home on this concept from last two months. Now I should immediately take permission for it.


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