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Do you need planning permission for a conservatory?

Published: 5th December 2017

When designing a conservatory for a customer, a question we are often asked is: “Will I need planning permission?”

Planning permission is required by UK law (before you start a project) to allow you to build on, or change the use of, land or buildings. However, conservatories can be an exception to the rule…

When is planning permission not required? 

Adding a single storey extension to the rear of your house is considered to be “permitted development”. This means that if you’re planning to build a conservatory, subject to conditions, you won’t need to apply for planning permission.

Some of the limits and restrictions for building a conservatory without planning permission are:

  • Your conservatory should not take up more than half of your garden. Or, if an extension has been added to your home in the past, it should not take up more than half of the space around the original house.
  • The conservatory should be no higher than your property’s existing roof.
  • The maximum height of the conservatory is 4m, or 3m if it is within 2m of a boundary.
  • Side extensions should not extend further than half of the width of the original house (not including any other extensions).


The above conditions only apply to houses, so if you want to build an extension on a flat, maisonette, converted house or any other kind of building, you will need to apply for planning permission.

If you live in a home that was built on designated land, some additional restrictions will also apply if you wish to build a conservatory.

No conservatories higher than one storey are to be built, and exterior cladding with stone, artificial stone, pebble dash, render, timber, plastic or tiles is not to be used. Side extensions are also not permitted development on designated land.

If you are building on designated land (national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites), you will need to make sure that your conservatory is designed in a way that complements the original house and fits naturally in its surroundings.

You can find further information about planning permission for conservatories on the Planning Portal.

The neighbour consultation scheme

If you dream of building a larger conservatory, you are permitted to extend it up to 8m from a detached house, or 6m from an attached house. However, this is subject to a neighbour consultation scheme.

The scheme is in place to make sure your conservatory doesn’t negatively affect your neighbours’ living space, and all extensions of between 4m and 8m for detached and 3m and 6m for attached homes must go through the process.


Ultimately, whether or not you need planning permission will depend on the specification of your conservatory and the type of home you live in. Every project is different, so we recommend always finding out for certain if you require planning permission before you start the build.


Lockwood Windows have a wealth of experience in designing and installing conservatories of all types and styles that suit both traditional and contemporary homes. Each conservatory is designed to your specification, so whatever colour and style you choose, we will find a way to provide the best conservatory at a realistic price.

If you’re thinking about building a conservatory in the New Year, find out more about our conservatories, call Lockwood Windows on 01484 519677 or contact us via the website.