Planning

Often the thought of having to go through the planning process is quite intimidating for those of you that have never had any experience of it, however a lot of low level development does not require permission under the permitted development rules.Where it is required we would normally take care of the whole process as part of the order including drawings & fees so apart from typically a 10 week delay no effort is needed on your part. Naturally we will advise during the design stage what the most appropriate solution is given that planning is a factor to give the project the best chance of approval.

Our experience is that low rise buildings (under 4m in height) positioned at the rear of a property are generally approved without any issues arising and overall the number of applications approved across all local authorities is in the range of 80%+ so this should not be seen as a major hurdle to be overcome.

What are the Rules?

We would suggest a visit to the government website the Planning Portal which is excellent for simple guidance. The interactive house covers the basics for the novice:

For the majority of properties the rules under permitted development rights (PDR) apply. These were revised on 1st October 2008 in order to simplify the process.

However some home owners will be subject to restrictions within Green Belt, conservation areas, property listings (Grade II), new developments where covenants have been registered, and therefore PDR withdrawn.

The rules are based on the ‘original’ dwelling which is deemed to be as it was first built or as it stood on 1st July 1948. Development to the front of a property (facing a highway) will always require planning permission.

Neighbour Consultation Scheme 30/05/2013 to 30/05/2016

The above rules (2008) have been amended under this scheme for a limited period extending the permitted development from 3m to 6m (semi detached) and 4m to 8m (detached) subject to the terms of the new scheme whereby neighbours are consulted but only if exceeding the existing limits.

This simplified application process incurs no fees, and a notification document is prepared and submitted by us. Under the scheme the government requires that the procedure is dealt with within 42 days by the local authority planning department. Failure to meet this deadline means work can commence without approval.

Building Regulations

Currently a conservatory is exempt for the purposes of building control being classified as a ‘temporary structure’ subject to meeting the criteria listed below.

This has created a grey area within the industry allowing companies to determine their own standards and construction methods with no accountability for the work carried out unless the customer has a good knowledge of building practices.

Our policy is to adopt a ‘belt & braces’ approach virtually adopting the building code as our bench mark even though it is not required ensuring best practice at all times.

The Exemption Rules

  • Must be built at ground level
  • At least 75% of the roof must be constructed in a translucent material (glass or polycarbonate) not tiled or solid.
  • At least 50% of the wall area that will form the external boundary or edge of the conservatory must be glazed with the exception of a designated fire wall.
  • The buildings footprint must not exceed 30m² in area.
  • A permanent physical barrier must be maintained between the conservatory and dwelling (exterior quality doors/windows).
  • Heating must be independent of the dwelling e.g. central heating radiators must not be installed within the conservatory.
  • Glazing and the electrical installation must comply with IEE and building regulations.

Planning Guide

  • Maximum height from ground level to be 4m or no higher than the original roof.
  • Detached Property – maximum rear projection is 4m
  • Semi Detached Property – maximum rear projection is 3m
  • Side Development – maximum width to be allowed for all property types is 50% of the width of the original property being no further forward than the front wall and no further backward than the rear wall.
  • No more than 50% of the plot around the ‘original’ dwelling is to be covered by additions or other buildings (includes sheds).
  • Height of eaves to be no higher than eaves height of the original dwelling.
  • If the side of the dwelling faces the highway permission is required for side development.
  • If extending off an existing rear extension the proposed development must overlap onto the rear wall of the original dwelling within the limits above to avoid planning.