Considering an Oak Conservatory? Your Planning Permission Questions Answered | Oak Conservatories

Considering an Oak Conservatory? Your Planning Permission Questions Answered

If you’re thinking of adding valuable extra living space to your home, a hardwood conservatory, orangery or garden room is a fantastic choice. However, homeowners can find the prospect of a potential planning permission application a daunting task. So you might be relieved to find out that conservatories often don’t require planning permission, and when they do the process is usually quick and straight-forward.

Here at Richmond Oak, we’re well-versed in planning permission requirements and all the intricacies of the application process. Our Planning Permission Coordinator can even take control of the entire task itself, ensuring you enjoy a professional and stress-free process.

To help even further, we’ve put together a quick and handy planning permission guide, which answers the most common planning permission questions. Read on below - and remember to get in touch with the professionals at Richmond Oak if you need extra help or have an additional question.

"Will I need planning permission?"

Luckily, the simple answer is probably not. Conservatories and orangeries fall under the ‘Permitted Development’ (PD) rights granted by Government for all single storey extensions. In fact, the increased size limits for single-storey rear extensions which were due to expire on 30th May 2019, have now been made permanent. 

Wooden framed orangery with oak roof lantern and bifold doors

This means that, as a general rule of thumb, you can extend without planning permission by up to 8m for detached houses and 6m for all other house types. Should you have the space, you can even extend up to 50% of your house width to either side of your house, so long as it doesn’t also extend forward of your building line or extend further back to the rear.

Permitted Development does NOT apply if you are intending extending off the side or rear of an existing extension built after 1948. However, if you are demolishing this extension you can replace it within PD.

However, there are of course things to consider. For example, if you live within a Conservation area, National Park, Green Belt, or an Area of Outstanding Beauty, planning permission is always necessary. Listed Buildings may or may not require Planning Consent, but will always require Listed Building Consent, which is exactly the same procedure as for Planning, but with some extra questions and a 'Heritage Statement' & 'Justification document'.

For planning permission to not be required, there are a number of criteria your build must meet, including, but not limited to:

  • The conservatory is not taller than your home or more than 4m above ground level.
  • The conservatory at the rear does not extend beyond the side of your house
  • The conservatory is on the side of the house, not extending past the front or rear of the house and less than half the width of the house
  • The conservatory is no more than half the size of the land around your property (this includes your back garden, front garden or drive, side alleys etc)
  • The conservatory is not closer to a public highway (footpath or road) than your home.

Although the various requirements and criteria can appear confusing, they are usually quite simple and straight-forward when it comes to actually designing your conservatory. In addition, the experience and wealth of knowledge your design team will have, will ensure it is mostly all considered behind the scenes.

"How do I get planning permission?"

The online Planning Portal can be used to submit most planning permission applications. Once the application has been received, it will be passed to the relevant local planning authority for the application process to begin.

Alternatively, application forms can be printed, completed by hand and sent directly to your local planning authority.

"How long does the planning permission process take?"

Once a planning permission application has been submitted, it will go through a validation process and if all the documentation is in order you will be given a determination date 8 weeks from the submission date. However, if they require additional information, the validation date will commence from the date of receipt of the outstanding documentation. In some circumstances it can take 13 weeks or more to receive a decision.

"How much does planning permission cost?"

In England, a local authority ‘Householder Application’ fee needed for extensions and garden buildings, at the time of writing cost £206 plus a £20 Planning Portal transaction fee. However, as fees differ between England and Wales it is always best to double check with your local authority. In addition, there is the cost of obtaining Ordnance Survey Site & Location Plans, and preparation of accurate Scale Plans and Elevations of the existing property and as it is Proposed. The cost of a survey and preparation of these drawings will vary dependent upon the size and complexity of the design of your home.

Wooden conservatory in Sussex

Even though planning permission is often not required for a conservatory, it is highly recommended to talk to your local planning office or Conservatory specialist to check before beginning any application process or paying any fees - as it could be an unnecessary expense. Equally, to assume it falls within Permitted Development is dangerous, as your property may have had its PD rights removed or used up.

Here at Richmond Oak Conservatories we design and install stunning hardwood extensions, including conservatories, orangeries and garden rooms. If you’d like to add a timber conservatory to your home, please get in touch today. Our friendly experts will work with you throughout every step of the process, including dealing with the listed building and/or planning permission application if required, as well as structural calcs and Building Regulations when required to ensure a compliant and stunning result.

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