Planning Permission

In England and Wales you will not usually require planning permission, provided you do not exceed the permitted development limit for your property (which is 50-70 cubic metres, depending on where you live). Notable exceptions to the above are listed buildings and conservation areas. Please note that if your property has been extended in the past – you will have used up some or perhaps all of your “permitted development” area and may need permission. Its also worth noting that occasionally “permitted development” rights may be withdrawn from a property and any extension however small needs planning. If in doubt check.

Under new regulations that came into effect from 1 October 2008 adding a conservatory to your home is considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission (subject to conditions). For further information please visit the Government’s planning portal online by clicking here.

Generally speaking conservatory/sunrooms on residential property are exempted under Building Regulations. Below are some of the Exemption Criteria – under the Building Regulations 1991 (as amended). These criteria must be met for a conservatory extension to be classified as exempt:

  • The extension has a completely transparent or translucent roof.
  • The extension walls are substantially glazed. The conservatory must have at least half the area of the walls formed of windows. Must have at least three quarters of the area of the roof formed of glazing, polycarbonate sheets or similar translucent material.
  • The extension has a floor area not exceeding 30m squared.
  • The extension is sited at ground level.
  • The extension is permanently separated from the remainder of the property by means of a door.
  • Any radiator within the conservatory is controllable. (If fixed heating installations are proposed, they should have their own independent temperature controls).
  • The glazing satisfies the requirements of part N, Schedule 1 (toughened/safety glass).
  • The extension does not contain any drainage facilities. (i.e. sink, WC, or washing machine).