So here’s the problem – you’ve just moved into a new home and you’re considering building a conservatory to give you a little extra room,but you’re not sure if you can add an extension to your property. These days there are many building regulations to adhere to and you may need to obtain planning permission before you do make any concrete plans, otherwise you may be penalised. How do you know who to contact and when? Who is likely to provide the most accurate advice? Well, we’ve put together a brief guide to obtaining planning permission for all those who are keen to add a beautiful new living space to their home without running into trouble with the authorities.
Changes to Planning Guidelines
It’s useful to know that, since the local authorities made changes to planning stipulations in 2008, there is no difference between a conservatory, a single-storey solid roof extension and an orangery.
Before we begin, it is essential to understand what the two terms mean:
Planning Permission describes the permission need to erect or extend a conservatory.
Building Regulations describes how a conservatory for example must be built.
Preparing for Your Application
It is often a good idea to visit your local council at the very beginningfor a comprehensive guide to making a Planning Permission application. As well as your application for Planning Permission, you will also need to supply:
- A Certificate of Ownership (obtainable from local council)
- An Ordnance Survey based Location Plan (scaled 1:1250)
- A Design and Access Statement (DAS)
- And sometimes a Flood Risk Assessment may also be required.
If you live in a listed building, you must obtain a Listed Buildings Consent before any work begins, as it is an illegal offense to start construction without one.
Conservatory Planning Applications
Here is a brief summary of the conservatory planning application process for those who are entirely new to the procedure.
- Visit the planning department of your local planning authority for advice
- Request an application form and decide on application type: a) outline application (submit “reserved matters” later, or b) Full application
- Submit the application with correct fees and necessary supporting documents
- The local planning authority then validates the application and requests any missing documentation
- The local planning authority acknowledges valid application
- The local planning authority public and consults on application
- The application is considered by Planning Officer or Planning Committee
- Permission is granted with conditions
- Application is not decided after 8 weeks
- Permission isrejected
- If full permission is granted or granted with conditions, start work within time limit (and comply with all conditions laid out)
- If it is granted with conditions; not decided after 8 weeks; or refused. You have the right to appeal
- If permission is refused; change proposal and submit new application
- If permission is granted, start work within time limit and comply with all conditions
- If permission is refused; seek more advice, change the proposal and submit new application from scratch
If your property is non-traditional you should thoroughly research the stipulations surrounding the building type before you submit a planning application. This applies to barns, flats/apartments (multiple dwellings), buildings situated in Conservation Areas and listed buildings. It is also strongly recommended that you visit your local council immediately for their advice.
Jane Schringer has recently had a bespoke conservatory built onto her property and found it particularly hard to get through all the legal processes involved in obtaining planning permission. She put together this guide to help out those who are struggling to make sense of all the jargon.