Conservatories are an excellent solution when you want to create more space in your home without the hassle of an extension. With a sense of bringing the outdoors in, they provide somewhere to relax, dine and socialise for homeowners.
However, there are still a few points you must consider when intending to extend your home, and it’s not just about choosing the right conservatory but the more gritty details of planning permission and building regulations. Follow our simple guidelines below to help you on your way:
Since 2008 conservatories are generally considered as permitted development and as a result do not require an application for planning permission. Like other building works such as patio and driveways, loft conversions, outbuildings and solar panels which also don’t require permission there are a few rules which your new addition must comply to.
It might firstly be important to point out the difference between a conservatory and a sun room. Although, at first glance they may seem similar, their differences result in the need, or lack, of planning permission. According to Fensa who are the government authorised Competent Persons Scheme a conservatory is defined as:
- No less than 65% of the roof area is made from translucent material
- No less than 50% of the wall area is made from translucent material
- It is either unheated or heated by a system with its own and separate heating controls
- It must be separated from the main residence by ‘external’ doors
Anything that does not comply with these guidelines, such as sunrooms, will result in the need of planning permission before construction.
What’s the Difference?
Many often confuse themselves with the details of planning permission and building regulations. So, we thought we’d clear it up for you once and for all.
Building regulations are set standards concerning the design and construction of buildings and as a result ensure the health and safety of people in those buildings. Planning permission on the other hand works towards guiding the ways our towns, cities and countryside’s development. This generally includes the use of land and buildings, the appearance of buildings,& landscapes and the consideration that development will have on the environment as a whole.
In some cases you’ll need to acquire both planning permission and comply with a set standards of building regulations. But, like conservatories, there are many works that do not need planning permission.
So, What Should You Consider?
As we mentioned above, despite being classed as permitted development there are still a few rules and guidelines to think about when you are in the process of purchasing and installing a conservatory.
- No more than50% of the land around your home can be covered by additions and other buildings such as conservatories. If it does cover more than half of your land you’ll need planning permission.
- No extension can be higher than the highest part of the roof with a single storey extension not exceeding more than 4 metres.
- The location of your conservatory also plays an important part in acquiring planning permission. If your property fronts a street and you wish to put your extension closer to the road then you’ll require planning permission. Why? Well the front of your house has been designed to look good, so any changed to this will need to be approved.
- If you live in an attached house, the depth of your extension can not exceed more than 3 metres. In a detached house the limit is 4 metres.
- If you want to add a veranda, raised platform, or balcony you will also require planning permission.
Many of Bristol’s older houses have claimed statutory protection as listed buildings and there are many local areas designated as conservation areas because of their special character appearance. Bristol City Council have a few handy tools available to help you on your way. Check out the Know Your Place application to discover the history of your area or simply complete this planning application to see if your property is in a conservation area.
The guidelines surrounding the addition of conservatories is rather complex and we can only provide a brief insight for you here. For a more detailed explanation and review give our team a call on 0117 9719 880 or visit your local planning authority.