The area of planning permission can be confusing to many laymen. Here we outline what it is; and what it means for you when you are planning a glazed timber extension such as modern designs for a garden room, orangery or conservatory –
To put it simply, planning permission is the process that is often required when completing a specific piece of building work. This usually requires an application to be made to a local planning authority (for English properties) who will then assess whether the proposed work complies with stringent regulations.
As a result, new buildings and alterations to existing properties will often require planning permission before any building work goes ahead. However, in certain cases glazed extensions such as garden rooms, orangeries and conservatories can be exempt from planning permission subject to them fulfilling certain criteria.
The first and most major condition is ensuring that the glazed extension does not cover more than half of the land surrounding the original house (also including room taken up by other buildings such as sheds). However, there are also an array of other size specifications that need to be met in order for an extension to forgo planning permission, as outlined below:
However, if the property is listed or in a conservation area (should the extension be to the front elevation), approval is likely to be required before any work is undertaken. Furthermore, designated areas (which include national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage sites) also have stringent regulations regarding the choice of materials which can be used on the exterior of the extension and therefore also require further consideration.
It’s also worth noting that certain additional details such as verandas and balconies may also require planning permission.
However, whilst the majority of homeowners are to a certain extent aware of the need for planning permission, many are unaware that they can also apply for a ‘Certificate of Lawful Development’ either before or during the project. This document is proof that the correct legal steps have been taken and is evidence that the project is lawful. This can save an awful lot of heartache and anxiety if potential buyers and their solicitors ask probing questions during any future sale of the property.
The details of planning permission are no doubt fairly complex, and so it is always beneficial to involve a reputable designer/manufacturer when planning a glazed timber extension.
At the project outset they will advise you about what steps you need to take to ensure your build is within the legal requirements and some will even manage the application process for you.