When looking to create a light, spacious and affordable extension to a home, a uPVC or wooden conservatory is the obvious choice. Modern materials and fittings allow a conservatory to provide an additional room that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
A uPVC or hardwood conservatory creates a natural transition between your interior and exterior spaces, but what are the implications in terms of planning permission and building regulations?
Definition of a Conservatory
Building regulations determine that, whether you opt for timber or uPVC, a conservatory roof must be glazed with 75% glass or another translucent material. In addition, 50% of the walls must also be glazed, the exception being those that are required to be fire-resistant.
Building Regulations for Domestic Conservatories
Conservatories are exempt from Building Regulation controls if they comply with the definition above and are used solely for domestic purposes. The conservatory must also:
- Be single storey and built at ground floor level only
- Contain no sleeping accommodation
- Have an internal floor area no greater than 30 square metres
- Be separated from the existing property by a wall, an external rated door or glazed screen with the same or better thermal performance as the external walls of the rest of the original house.
- Require no work on the existing drainage system such as moving sewage manholes
- Have a heating system that is independent from the rest of the property
If your plans don’t meet any point listed above, Building Regulations will apply.
Glazing Material for Conservatories
For energy efficiency, security and safety purposes, the material used to glaze a wooden or uPVC conservatory must comply with BS 6262. A company with expertise in erecting conservatories will be able to advise on glazing options, as well as whether containment glazing is necessary on your build. The glazed panels will be installed by an experienced installer.
Planning Permission for Conservatories
We always advise that you should inform your neighbours of any intended works at the earliest opportunity. In keeping them informed, you help to address any potential issues prior to application.
The planning permission for conservatories is complex area. Here are some points for clarification:
If your home has not previously been extended and you are building a single storey, rear conservatory, no higher than 4meters, it may be classed as a Permitted Development. This means you are exempt from having to apply for Planning Permission.
The usual requirements are that a conservatory must not extend more than 3meters from the original house (4meters for detached properties). The temporary UK Government ruling (not acknowledged in the Borough of Hillingdon) has been expanded this to 6 meters for attached and 8meters for detached houses for all extension projects that will be completed prior to May 2019. This expansion to planning permission is covered by the Neighbour Notification Scheme.
If you are uncertain whether your plans to build a conservatory are exempt from Planning Permission, it is advisable to read the following guidelines on Permitted Development.
Avoiding the need for Planning Permission can save time and money on your conservatory building project. Having said this, you can be forced to remove a building that hasn’t been granted planning permission if it isn’t a Permitted Development.
Please Note: Even if you are replacing an existing wooden or uPVC conservatory, the process has to be approached as if it were a new building.
Just Windows and Doors has decades of experience in installing uPVC, aluminium, uPVC and hardwood conservatories. We are happy to advise on issues relating to Building Regulations and Planning Permission in relation to your conservatory project. To further assist, we can offer a planning application service on request.
If you are ready to create additional space in your home, please visit our showroom in either Rickmansworth or Ickenham. Alternatively call 0800 132 510 to arrange an appointment and we’ll come to you.