In short, the answer is likely no. As with most things however, there’s usually a BUT. There are certain regulations, requirements and conditions that must be met should a local Building Control Inspector pay your new conservatory a visit.
If you have extended your property in the past (regardless of what type of extension) first and foremost you may require planning permission due to using up your permitted development rights. In this case, seek out your Local Building Control officer and they will advise on a case by case basis.
The Local Authority dictates the rules enforced in your area. The rules mentioned below cover England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland have variations which should be confirmed locally before proceeding with building a conservatory.
Conservatory Construction Check List
If you can say yes to all of the below, you stand in good chance of a passable conservatory build.
- A conservatory added to a side wall must be half of the width of the house, or less.
e.g. 4 metre wide house may have a 2 metre wide conservatory.
- Those living on “designated land” do not have the sidewall conservatory privilege. Designated land includes conservation areas, national parks and areas considered of outstanding natural beauty. All of the above areas are not permitted sidewall conservatories. If you reside in a listed property, you will also have additional obligations that you should check with your Local Authority before initiating conservatory construction works.
- A new conservatory (and any other extensions) must not take up more than 50% of your outdoor land. You should count sheds and other outhouses as part of this when working out the 50% rule.
e.g. If you have 10 metres2 of outside land, and you have a medium sized shed of 3 metres2, your conservatory would have to be a limiting 2 metres2 to comply!
- A single storey conservatory can have a maximum height of 4 metres. This applies whether it is attached to a rear wall or side wall.
e.g. A conservatory (with no upper floor) cannot be any taller than 4 metres. At this height it may well mean it could obstruct upstairs windows, but alas, 4 metres is the maximum height allowed.
- You cannot attach a conservatory to the front of your property if it is facing a highway.
e.g. If you live in a field then you could probably add a conservatory to the front of your property. On the other hand, if you live on a public street, you cannot.
- If you live in a detached house, a conservatory added to a rear wall must be no longer than 4 metres. Those in a semi-detached / terrace can have a maximum length of 3 metres.
- If there is not a 2 metre space between your conservatory and your boundary / fencing (this 2 metre rule is determined by the direction your conservatory protrudes from your building) then the guttering / eaves cannot exceed a height 3 metres.
e.g. A conservatory affixed to the rear wall of your property must have a gap of 2 metres between it and the bottom of the garden. If there is not a 2 metre space, the conservatory eaves (guttering level) cannot be set higher than 3 metres.