Although it is easy to get overly-excited about your new conservatory and miss one or two things, it is absolutely essential that you don’t overlook the necessity for planning permission and building warrants. It is estimated that approximately 60% of conservatories in the UK will require some form of planning permission. Failing to do this could see your project shut down halfway through. This not only costs you thousands of pounds, it also ensures that you have a major eyesore to contend with. Below are a list of stipulations you must meet to avoid the need for planning permission.
Less than 50% of the land around the ‘original house’ can be used to build the conservatory. In UK terms, an ‘original house’ refers to a home built after 1 July 1948 or as it was on that date if built beforehand.
Planning permission is needed for conservatories which face the road or are less than 20 metres from the road or a public footpath.
The maximum dimensions of a conservatory are as follows: Depth – 4,000mm (4 metres) on detached houses, 3,000mm (3 metres) on semi-detached. Height: 4,000mm (4 metres).
The conservatory cannot be more than a single storey in height.
It has to be built on the ground floor.
The total floor area cannot exceed 30 square metres.
Half of the conservatory’s external edge must be glazed and 75% of the conservatory roof must be made from polycarbonate or glass.
There must be a door that separates it from the main building.
If your building meets all of the above, there is no requirement to submit an application. The building control of the local council will also not need to inspect it. Remember that there is a difference between planning permission and building warrants. In addition, there have been discussions about planning permission amongst local councils and there is a possibility that ALL conservatories in the UK will require permission in a few years time.
A conservatory that is still connected to the house is considered to be an extension and is deemed to waste energy because more heat and light will be lost from it. Extensions have to meet certain glazing regulations because of the government’s stance on energy emissions.
You are given a choice of regulations to meet:
You could ensure that your extension’s glazing is less than 25% of the floor area of the conservatory and the floor area of the house combined. The doors and windows also have to meet certain EU energy efficiency regulations.
Or you can show that the conservatory’s glazing is less than 25% of the floor area of the conservatory which is much more difficult.
If the frame is made from wood, its ‘U’ value must be less than 2.0. The ‘U’ value of UPVC frames must also be less than 2.0 while aluminium and steel frames have a ‘U’ value of 2.2 or less.
As you can see, building a conservatory is easier in theory than in practice. If you are planning to fulfil your dreams of having an extra room attached to your home, it’s essential to do your homework and ensure that you know what is expected of your building.