Do you need planning permission for a Conservatory?

planning permission for conservatory

Do you need planning permission for a Conservatory?

We often get asked “Do we need planning permission for a conservatory?”

There are some rules and regulations you’ll need to be aware of when building your conservatory. There are general building regulations. They ensure that your conservatory is safe and secure for anyone using it. Then there are planning permissions. These are more concerned with the location and aesthetic value your conservatory. The effect it has on the surrounding area, and whether it impacts on your neighbours. At RTE Fabrications, we suggest familiarising yourself with both before you get started!

Planning Permission for a Conservatory

planning a conservatory

We’ll kick off with the good news – generally, you won’t need planning permission for a conservatory. Unless it’s particularly ambitious in size, it often comes under ‘permitted development’. This allows you to build as long as it’s mainly your home it’ll be affecting. To be exempt from planning permission, your project does have to follow these rules:


  • Your conservatory can’t be higher than the highest part of your existing house’s roof. Including the extension’s greatest eaves and ridge height.
  • When it’s within 2m of any boundary the eaves can’t be higher than 3m, and no more than 4m in height otherwise.
  • The max height of the conservatory (or a single-storey rear extension) can only be 4m

Width and Depth:

  • Rear extensions or conservatories can be no more than 4m in depth (on a detached house). 3m (on a semi-detached or terrace).
  • If your conservatory is a side extension it can only be single storey, with a max height of 4m.
  • You cannot cover more than half the area of land around the original house by additions. This means the width of the extension can’t be bigger than half the width of the original building.

Other stipulations:

  • The extension shouldn’t sit forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway. Essentially, this covers where you can build. An addition close to a footpath or right of way will probably need planning permission.
  • You may need Listed Building Consent if your home is a listed building.
  • You can’t have verandas, balconies or raised platforms.

Unless you have big plans or you’re in a conservation area – you’ll find that you fall well within these limits.

Why Do These Rules Exist For Conservatories?

A new roofline fitted

The limits are there to stop one set of home improvements from affecting the rest of the area. They give everyone plenty of space to enjoy their homes. As well as acting in the interests of buildings or areas that might need protecting. What happens if your conservatory falls outside these limits? You’ll likely have to apply for planning permission at your local authority. This costs about £150 in England, and can take up to two months to process. It might be worth sacrificing some of that ambition instead. We’ll leave it to you to decide! If you do decide to apply for permission we can help you so don’t be afraid to ask.

It is always best to keep yourself clued in on the rules and regulations for your local area. Make sure you have the complete picture. Here are some useful links for our area with the latest information.

The Planning Portal