Conservatories & Planning Permission Advice

When considering a conservatory you need to apply for planning permission:

If your property is a flat or maisonette (including those converted from houses) or a commercial property, such as a shop or public house.

If the conservatory, or any part of it when built, would be nearer to a highway than the nearest part of the original house unless there is at least 20 metres between the conservatory and the highway.

If the property is a listed building.

If more than 50 per cent of the garden excluding the area of the original house would be covered by extensions (including the conservatory) or other buildings.

If the conservatory is higher than the highest part of the roof of the original house.

If any part of the conservatory is more than four metres high where it is within two metres of the boundary of your property.

If for a terrace house (including an end-of-terrace) - or any house in a Conservation Area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Broads – the volume of the original house would be increased by more than 10 per cent or 50 cubic metres (whichever is the greater).

If for any other kind of house outside those areas, the volume of the original house would be increased by more than 15 per cent or 70 cubic metres (whichever is greater).

If, in any case, the volume of the original house would be increased by more than 115 cubic metres.  Volumes are calculated from the external dimensions of the entire structure of the conservatory and the original house.

In conveyancing we often find that the process can be delayed when a Seller should have obtained permission for a conservatory but did not do so, often due to the advice they receive from the conservatory salesperson! This can cause delays to the conveyancing process. The Seller is asked to provide retrospective planning permission, which can delay matters considerably. There is also no guarantee that it will be granted. In the alternative they may be asked to fund a suitable indemnity policy although this can only be taken out if no approach has been made to the Planning Department. If an approach is made and permission is declined indemnity insurance is not possible. The Buyer's property solicitor will have to advise their client and mortgage lender. It is likely that they would have to discount the value of the conservatory on the basis that it may have to be removed.


NOTE: If the conservatory comes within five metres of another building belonging to your house (including a shed or garage), the volume of that building counts against the volume allowance for the conservatory.

Always check with your local planning authority that there is not a condition attached to the house’s original permission which restricts your permitted development rights, this may result in the need for permission for any conservatory regardless of size and location.

Also check that the local authority has not put an Article 4 Direction on your area, which again may restrict what you areallowed to do without permission.



Highway – includes all roads, footpaths, bridleways and byways if they are public rights of way.

Original house - the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done.

Article 4 Direction – a direction removing some or all permitted development rights, for example within a conservation area or curtilage of a listed building. Article 4 directions are issued by local planning authorities.

Curtilage - the area normally within the boundaries of a property surrounding the main building and used in connection with it.

Listed building – a building of special architectural or historic interest. Listed buildings are graded l, ll* or ll with grade l being the highest. Listing includes the interior as well as the exterior of the building, and any buildings or permanent structures, for instance wells, within its curtilage

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