Do I Need Planning Permission For My Conservatory, Orangery or Home Extension?

Mar 8, 2019

UK house prices continue to drop as the continued uncertainty caused by Brexit looms large and puts off buyers from swapping their existing homes for somewhere new. Instead, a good number of these people are choosing to extend their current living space with a home extension, most typically a conservatory or orangery.

A quality conservatory or orangery installation is almost certain to add serious value to a property, no matter what long-term impact Brexit has on the housing market. But any homeowner in Sussex or Kent considering investing in a home extension needs to check if they must obtain planning permission first.

When the proposed extension is regarded as being a Permitted Development, you can proceed with the installation without planning permission as you have an automatic right to have it constructed.

You enjoy Permitted Development Rights when each of these limits and conditions is met: 

  • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Single-storey rear extension must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres if an attached house or by four metres if a detached house.
  • In addition, outside Article 2(3) designated land* and Sites of Special Scientific Interest the limit is increased to 6m if an attached house and 8m if a detached house until 30 May 2019.
  • These increased limits (between 3m and 6m and between 4m and 8m respectively) are subject to the prior notification of the proposal to the Local Planning Authority and the implementation of a neighbour consultation scheme. If objections are received, the proposal might not be allowed.
  • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.
  • Extensions of more than one storey must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres.
  • Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.
  • Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.
  • Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.
  • Two-storey extensions no closer than seven metres to rear boundary.
  • Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.
  • Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • Upper-floor, side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
  • On designated land* no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey.
  • On designated land no cladding of the exterior.
  • On designated land no side extensions.

* The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

* Designated land includes conservation areas, national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and World Heritage Sites.

When the extension does not meet the criteria to be classed as a Permitted Development, a planning application must be submitted to your local authority who will determine if they’re happy for the extension to be built or not. You can organise this via the Planning Portal website.

For more guidance on planning permission please get in touch with us – we’re more than happy to help you with your design and planning applications.