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... I want to build a conservatory?

A conservatory is exempt from the Building Regulations if it satisfies the following criteria:

  • The internal floor area is under 30m2
  • At least 50% of the exposed wall area and 75% of the roof area constructed of translucent material
  • The existing walls, doors and windows which separate the dwelling from the conservatory must be retained or, if removed, replaced by walls, doors and windows which meet the energy efficiency requirements of the Building Regulations.  (Note: The replacement of walls, doors and/or windows may require Building Regulation approval in any case.)
  • The dwelling heating system must not be extended into the conservatory.
  • Where required, it is constructed using safety glazing.

Conservatory Cartoon  However, even though the building regulations do not apply, planning permission may still be required before the work takes place.

Other issues to consider:

  • You may need to obtain other permissions for the work you intend to carry out such as Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent, or Conservation Area Consent and you should contact the Council's Development Control Team in respect of these matters (01884 234260/234262) or email
  • There may be a restrictive covenant on the property which requires you to obtain the express permission of a previous owner before carrying out any work. The Party Wall Act may also apply to the work. Your legal advisor may be able to help you in respect of these matters.
  • Are you going to build over a drain, sewer, or other service pipe to yours or any neighbouring properties? You may need to obtain the permission of the service provider or your neighbours to do that. If the sewer is a Public Sewer you are not allowed to build over the sewer or within 3m of the sewer without the permission of South West Water.