Do I need Planning Permission for a Conservatory?

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Do I need Planning Permission for a Conservatory?

Post: # 234618Post gonzo39 »

Hi there, not sure if I have posted this thread in the right place but I need some advice on planning and building conservatories. Now I assume that I would need planning permission for a conservatory no matter the size as it is classed as an extension. But I have also read that it will need to meet a variety of building regulations. The thing is im a bit of a newbie to the building trade and haven't really got too much of an idea who to speak to or to ask.

Rather than just go straight to a company I want to know the in's and out's of whats going to be done. Plus it will stop any cowboy builders overcharging me.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Do I need Planning Permission for a Conservatory?

Post: # 234623Post MKG »

That site you gave the link for actually lists the criteria for NOT requiring planning permission. It all depends upon size, whether you have other extensions, and the size of your land in the first place. I've put up (correction - someone put them up for me :iconbiggrin: ) several conservatories of varying sizes (but none of them Crystal Palace size) and I've never needed planning permission.

Building regulations are another matter but, again, depend upon the nature of the work. Usually they come into play only with major alteration to existing structure or with foundation work. If you're digging deep foundations, they must comply and so must be inspected at more than one stage. If you're building directly onto a previously existing foundation (for instance, a concrete back yard) then building regulations don't apply, as the conservatory would be classed in the same category as a lean-to greenhouse (which, to be honest, is what a conservatory basically is). If you're cutting a large hole in your wall to give you a walk-in conservatory, building regulations will apply. If you're still going to use the existing back door to enter the conservatory, they won't (unless, as I said, there are deep foundations). There are a lot of permutations.

Please do not allow any double-glazing firm to erect your conservatory. To be blunt, they're crap and they throw things up. You can get some first-rate conservatory kits and, if you can't do the work yourself, get a reputable builder to do it for you. The same reputable builder will also know the ins and outs of local regulations and can advise you accordingly. Reputable = ask for references and follow them up.

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Re: Do I need Planning Permission for a Conservatory?

Post: # 234639Post sarahkeast »

When I got mine put on I was told as long as it isnt more than 3m out from house it is ok. Mine is 5m long and 3m out. Large and lovely.
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Re: Do I need Planning Permission for a Conservatory?

Post: # 234672Post Thomzo »

The easiest thing to do is to ring the planning officer at your local council and ask them whether you need planning permission. They may well come out and have a look and tell you whether you need it or not. They used to do this for free but I gather some councils are now charging a nominal fee. Even if they do it'd be worth the money as making a mistake could be very costly.

As for the work, everything that Mike says is absolutely correct. If you don't know a good builder, then ask friends, neighbours, family to recommend one. Make sure they have done a similar job before. Most importantly, never EVER pay the total amount until the work is done to your complete satisfaction. Agree the payment schedule with the builder before any work commences and make sure you keep back at least 10% until after the work is finished. With a conservatory, I would retain that 10% until you have experienced at least one heavy downpour to make sure it doesn't leak.

Another tip is that changes to the original specification can be very expensive. Your builder is likely to keep offering little 'extras' along the way such as another socket, to put up blinds etc. If you don't agree the cost before they do the work, you're likely to find that they work out very expensive. Agree EXACTLY what work your builder is going to do before he starts (is he going to do the decorating, electrics, floor tiles, supply blinds etc etc?) and then make sure you get prices for anything not in the spec before the work is done.

Finally (sorry this is getting to be a long post), make sure you meet the builder every day while the work is going on. If this means changing your working hours for the three or four weeks he's there, then do so. Make sure he's working to the agreed specification - it's really irritating if they don't put the sockets where you want them and a nightmare if the base is the wrong size for the conservatory. Check measurements, talk over what he's going to do that day and for the rest of the week and make sure he has all the fittings that you are responsible for sourcing when he needs them.

Remember that you are the customer and be prepared to stop if he's not doing the work to your high standards. You are entitled to a good job.

Once it's done, you will love it.

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