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Monthly Archive May 2018

Planning permission and Building Regulations for Conservatories

A conservatory is one of the most versatile rooms a household can have installed. Whether you use it to unwind and relax in the sun, host great dinner parties, enjoy quality family time, install a mini-gym, provide your children with a playroom, a working office space or place to grow plants, you will find that your conservatory offers endless benefits and uses. Additionally, estate agents have confirmed that installing one of our conservatories will help boost the value of your home.

Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?   

As conservatories are considered permitted developments they do not require planning permission, as long as they adhere to certain conditions:

  • The width of the conservatory must not exceed half of the original house size. ‘Original house’ refers to the house as it was originally built.
  • It doesn’t front or obstruct a public road.
  • The conservatory must be single-story only with no raised platforms, verandas or balconies.
  • No more than half of the land around the house can be covered by extensions. This included sheds and conservatories.
  • It cannot be higher than 4 metres.
  • A rear extension must not project beyond the rear wall by more than 3m for an attached house and 4m for a detached house*.
  • If your home has been extended before in the past, you may need planning permission to build a conservatory.
  • If your building is listed, you may need to seek extra planning permission.
  • The conservatory cannot be higher than the eaves of your existing roof.

*Until 30 May 2019, rear extensions up to 6m for attached houses and up to 8m for detached houses will be permitted through The Neighbour Consultation Scheme. This involves informing your local authority who will then evaluate the possible impact on neighbours and consult with them. If your neighbours object to your extension, the local authority will have to evaluate this and make a decision.

Can I put a conservatory on the front of my house without planning permission?   

No, as conservatories are classed as single-story extensions, they are not permitted on the front wall of a house without planning permission from your local authority. This does not mean that it will not be permitted, just that planning permission is required to move forward.

If my house has been extended in the past, can I still build a conservatory without planning permission?   

If you, or a previous owner, has made extensions to your property in the past, then your property may have already used up all of its permitted development rights and you will need to seek planning permission from your local council. If you are not sure, they will be able to inform you.

How much does planning permission for as conservatory cost?   

An application for planning permission costs £172 for a homeowner in England, though in the case of listed buildings they are exempt from payment.

Please note all conservatories must be treated individually in the consideration as to whether planning permission is required. The above is for guidance purposes only.

Please also note that in principle conservatories of an area of less than 30 square metres do not require Building Regulations permission.

Planning permission for conservation areas

If your home lies within a conservation area you are required by law to follow certain procedures and this can have an affect on what property renovations you are able to perform on your home. If you are unsure if your property is within a conservation area then you can check your postcode with the local authority. Many local authorities allow you to do this through their website.

What planning permission is required?

Certain permissions are up to the discretion of the local authority through an Article 4 direction. This can mean some of your permitted development rights have been removed and you will require planning permission. Your local authority will be able to inform you if your plans for your property conflict with any regulations.

If you are required to submit a planning proposal to your local authority, then it will be scrutinised by a local conservation officer who will want to ensure that your plans do not harm the area’s architectural or historical appeal. In such circumstances you should consider the following:

  • Does it enhance what is already there?
  • Are your plans of a high-quality design?

This doesn’t mean that you are limited to outdated designs and being unable to install what people outside of a conservation area can with ease, such as double glazing. It will just require an extra bit of thought. All conservation areas have different requirements, and your local authority will be able to clarify exactly what they’re looking for.

What is a conservation area?

Conservation areas are singled out for their historical or architectural interest. The first conservation area was designated in 1967 and there are now over 8,000 in England.

What is an Article 4 direction?

Article 4 directions can be invoked by a local authority to restrict certain or completely remove permitted development rights. These can apply to an entire area or to specific renovation plans. Article 4 directions don’t mean alterations aren’t allowed, just planning permission is needed.

Are there any compulsory permissions required in a conservation area?

Demolishing a building with a volume greater than 115 cubic metres will almost always require permission from your local authority. You will also require permission to demolish a gate, fence or wall over 1 metre that is next to a public highway, path or open space, and over 2 metres high for other conditions.

Contact us for your free quote for any works you want done today.


Planning permission for windows

Do I need planning permission to replace my windows?

You do not usually require planning permission for the replacement of windows, as long as they are of a similar style to the home’s original windows. However, there can be some exceptions to this rule through Article 4:

  • Dormer windows in the roof facing the road can require planning permission.
  • Bay windows are treated as an extension and may require planning permission.
  • If a skylight is higher than the highest part of the roof, it will require planning permission.
  • If skylight protrudes more than 150mm beyond the plane of the roof slope it will need planning permission.
  • If your building is listed, you will require planning permission.

Do I need planning permission to create a new window opening?

This will depend on your local authority and where the new window opening will be on your home. Planning permission to install a new window opening is usually not required provided that:

  • Windows installed on the side of your house on the upper floor must have level 4 or 5 obscured glass (like that found on most bathroom windows.)
  • Windows must be in a non-opening frame unless it is more than 1.7m from the ground.

Alongside planning permission, all new windows and replacement windows must meet Building Regulations under controlled fittings. These cover attributes such as thermal performance, safety and ventilation that must be met in order for the installation to go ahead. All of the windows we supply comply with building regulations.

It is always important to know whether you need planning permission. We are a leading supplier and installer across Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth. Every window from our range can be fabricated to fit your home’s specifications and we have a window to suit every style. Our Managing Director, Mark Swain, has experience completing bespoke builds for some of the biggest companies in the country. With his and our team of experts’ combined knowledge, we know all you need to know about planning permission for windows. Call us today for a free quote.

Window energy efficiency

Energy efficiency ratings employ a coloured and alphabetical labelling system to categorise windows based on how effective they are at preventing heat loss, A+ being the highest and G the lowest. You lose up to 15% of your home’s heat through your windows, so updating them can save you money.

Building regulations and replacement windows

The Building Regulations were only altered in 2010 to ensure all replacement windows were at least of a minimum C rating. If you have an older property, it is highly likely that your existing windows are below a C rating, costing you more money on your energy bills.

How energy efficiency is calculated for windows

The energy efficiency rating is calculated based on several factors, Energy Efficiency (WER) and Thermal Efficiency (U value). The lower the U value, the lower the heat loss and higher the thermal efficiency rating. The higher the amount of sunlight allowed through the window, the higher the WER value. It is a combination of these factors that determine the overall energy efficiency of a window.

How to achieve ultimate energy efficiency with your windows

Our double glazing will get you an A rating, which is a huge improvement over a basic C rated window and even more so over older windows which score even lower. Our triple glazing will give you the maximum A+ rating.

Buyers are actively looking for energy efficient homes to save money on their bills. Our triple glazing is the perfect way to make your house stand out.

How do I choose the right window supplier/installer?

With over 500 reviews from clients and an average feedback score of 9.8/10 we offer a superior service. You will be greeted by friendly knowledgeable staff. Our expert surveyors and installers will then make you feel at ease with us working in your home from the moment we arrive until we leave.

How long will my new windows last?

Windows and glass from us carry a 10 year guarantee – this gives you extra peace of mind that you have the best possible products installed.

What is double glazing and how does it work?

Double glazing is the term used when the glass in your window consists of two sheets of glass with a gas filled void in-between. The gas in the void (often Argon gas) is what prevents heat loss from your home.

Planning permission for listed buildings

For those seeking to make home improvements to their listed building, obtaining planning permission is a necessary procedure. A listed building is considered to have national significance in terms of architecture or history and therefore carry their own set of legal protections. Whilst a listed building can provide plenty of character if you live there, it can be challenging to make alterations you could otherwise make to a non-listed property. It is therefore essential to seek advice before undergoing extension or other work on your listed building.

Is planning permission always required for a listed building?

Yes, if your building is listed, it will require special planning permission called ‘Listed Building Consent’ for any extensions or alterations made to the property that could affect its character. This is intended to prevent the demolition of destruction of heritage properties without the explicit acceptance of either the local authority.

Listed building planning permission FAQ’s