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Planning Permission & Building Regulations

Everything you need to know about Planning Permission and Building Regulations for your home Extension


Planning permission can often be a daunting area, at Refurbish My Conservatory all our registered installers are extremely knowledgeable about the Planning and Building Regulations process and will take care of the research and application (if required) allowing you to concentrate on the design and specification of your extension project.

Before you start the process

Before you embark on any form of extension to your property, speak to your neighbours, it is important to ensure that disagreements do not occur between you and your neighbours with regards to such issues as loss of light, also ensure that your neighbours are agreeable to any access that may be required via their property during the building works.


What is the difference between Planning Permission and Building Regulations?

Planning Permission and Building Regulations are often confused, they are completely separate requirements, with both falling under the remit of your Local Authority. Here are the basics, Planning Permission takes into consideration the aesthetic effect of a new building/extension on the surrounding homes and neighbourhood, whilst Building Regulations define how the structure must be constructed in terms of thermal efficiency, structural integrity etc.

Other regulations deal with ventilation, all new double-glazed windows must have the integrated vents – this is not the case for replacement windows.


Do I need Planning Permission?

Not all property extensions or alterations require planning permission, under new regulations that came into effect from 1 October 2008 adding an extension to your home is considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  1. No more than half the area of land around the original house" would be covered by additions or other buildings.

  2. No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.

  3. No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.

  4. Maximum depth of a single-storey rear extension of three metres for an attached house and four metres for a detached house.

  5. Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.

  6. Maximum depth of a rear extension of more than one storey of three metres including ground floor.

  7. Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.

  8. Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.

  9. Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.

  10. Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.

  11. No balconies or raised platforms.

  12. On designated land no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey; no cladding of the exterior; no side extensions. Designated land include national parks, conservation areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

  13. Where work is proposed to a listed building, listed building consent may be required.

  14. The term "original house" means 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 so.


You may also need to check if your house is a ‘new build’ as developers sometimes place restrictions on them.


Visit the Planning Portal - The Planning Portal is the UK Government’s online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.


Will a conservatory need to satisfy Building Regulations?

Building regulations will generally apply if you want to build an extension to your home. However, Conservatories are normally exempt when they meet a number of conditions:

  1. They are built at ground level and are less than 30 square metres in floor area.
  2. At least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is either glazed or translucent material.
  3. The conservatory is separated from the house by external quality door(s).
  4. Glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the applicable building regulations requirements.

You are advised not to construct conservatories where they will restrict ladder access to windows serving rooms in roof or loft conversions, particularly if any of the windows are intended to help escape or rescue if there is a fire. Any new structural opening between the conservatory and the existing house will require building regulations approval, even if the conservatory itself is an exempt structure.

Please note that requirements in Scotland, and to a lesser extent, Northern Ireland are different to those in England and Wales.

For more information click here to visit the Planning Portal - The Planning Portal is the UK Government’s online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.

Generally conservatory refurbishment projects are exempt from building regulations and must have a ‘significant’ proportion of the roof and walls glazed to be considered exempt. The replacement roof would usually consist of a translucent material. The existing footprint must not extended, but any alterations would be exempt under permitted development provided the guidelines above are adhered to, the local authority will always advise in projects of this nature, speak to your local registered Refurbish My Convervatory installer for further guidance.


Speak to a member of our team

Contact us today to speak to a member of our team who can provide you with details of your local Registered Installer or we can post you a copy of our new brochure.