Building a Conservatory?

In the majority of cases, applications concern existing buildings, or existing settlement areas. In these cases, the planning considerations generally revolve around the neighbourliness of the design, and the acceptability of the resulting building for its occupiers.

Why have Planning Permission for a Conservatory

Additional levels of control are applied in areas such as Listed Buildings, the Green Belt and Conservation Areas. The most common are the restrictions imposed by Conservation Area status. These are intended to protect an area that has a particularly well-preserved character. The main concern is the appearance from the street, so modifications such as loft conversions, replacement windows and over cladding are controlled.

The demolition of portions of a building also requires Conservation Area consent. These special designations allow the local authority a greater degree of autonomy on how to protect an area. The decisions are often referred to a handful of officers who deal with conservation matters, and their decisions are more subjective than those in general planning.

How do I get Planning Permission to build a Conservatory

Permitted development sets out a degree of development that does not require planning consent. There are a number of parameters and equations that cover what can be done, but as long as the development comes within these, the local authority is unable to prevent it. Applicable only to houses, it provides a rare opportunity to break free of the usual constraints.

There is a difference for flats, as opposed to houses, as they do not have any permitted development rights. So any extensions automatically require planning permission whereas a house can use up its permitted development allowance before you have to apply for planning permission – as long as its within the permitted development guidelines.

To see for yourself what is permitted visit The Planning Portal Interactive House (opens in a new window). The model house is fully interactive and at the click of your mouse not only informs you what, if any, planning permission is required, but it also outlines the building regulations that apply.

For example, if you want to build an extension or an addition, the portal outlines that a new set of limits and conditions have been applied from 1 October 2008 and provided you meet them you do not require planning permission. A click through to the Planning Portal will give more details what you may or may not do without planning permission.

What happens if I need Planning Permission?

Assuming you do require permission – If planning is required, an application must be made before work starts. This now involves an exhaustive form, along with drawings of the existing building, drawings of the proposal, a location plan, a statement of ownership, and the appropriate fee.

In a Conservation Area an extra form will be required along with a Design and Access Statement. No additional fee is payable. Depending on the circumstances, additional information may be necessary – for example, the council may ask for a report from a specialist examining the effect of the proposal on traffic, daylight, flooding, noise, and so on.

Once the council has received the application, they will either validate it (giving you a start date for the application period) or ask for further information. For most applications, local authorities have to issue a decision within eight weeks, after which an appeal on the grounds of non-determination can be launched.

The first action is for the council to ask for comments from any affected parties, such as neighbours. These have 21 days to respond. Thereafter, the planning officer will consider the application, and probably visit the site. Under what are called ‘Delegated Powers’, the application may be granted by the officer. Otherwise, if there are objections from any party, it will be referred to the Planning Committee, which is made up of local councillors.