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<< Planning Permission Tips
CONSERVATORIES - DISPELLING
It's now well into the new year and the residential development scene
has got off to a good start again. All this talk about 'slow down'
certainly hasn't affected peoples desire to improve rather than move.
Building Design Agents are often the first barometer within the building
trade of any ups or downs in trends and I certainly haven't noticed any lessening
lets get it straight once and for
all - If you were to ask
10 home owners about the Planning requirements for a conservatory I guarantee
8 out of the 10 would say 'Conservatories don't need formal Planning
consent'. When you ask them to justify that statement all weird and wonderful
terms are stated such as 'its light weight' 'its not made of brick' 'you
can see through it' 'its not a solid structure' etc.
For the record -
MOST CONSERVATORY EXTENSIONS DO REQUIRE FORMAL PLANNING
CONSENT in exactly the same criteria as if the extension was a
kitchen or dining room extension for example. This urban myth that
conservatories are exempt from Planning arose from the original Permitted
development rights that were/are attached to some dwellings. Given the relatively
modest size of most conservatories it was easy for them to fall under the
strict dimensional and volume constraints applied to the 70 or 50 cubic meter
Permitted Development rule.
However, what people forget is the fact
that most new properties have had their Permitted Development rights removed
by the Planners when the estate or dwelling was originally approved which
has been the case now for at least 20 years and more and more properties
have already been extended in the past ensuring that any permitted Development
rights that they may have enjoyed has now been used up. There is also
a whole raft of other 'catch 22' requirements that can prevent a conservatory
being built under Permitted Development that I will not go into here but
suffice to say play safe and always assume that your conservatory will require
formal Planning and it is just a bonus if it does not require
Regretfully this myth that all conservatories
are exempt from Planning is often perpetuated by some unscrupulous conservatory
suppliers/manufacturers that simply side step the issue or place the onus
back onto the client. Any reputable conservatory supplier will assess
your particular site circumstances and have the situation resolved at the
Council first. Prior to accepting any quote you should first see a
sight of the Councils 'informal pre-application enquiry letter' from a Case
Planning Officer that confirms the Conservatory suppliers opinion.
WARNING - If it transpires after the conservatory
was built and paid for that formal Planning Permission was required then
it is the HOME OWNER THAT IS RESPONSIBLE for rectifying the breach of Planning
Control - not your builder. If Planning Consent is denied
and then again at appeal then you must remove it at your own cost.
More house sales collapse because of illegally
built conservatories than you would ever imagine - the house purchaser simply
pulls out of the deal running shy of this problem or not wanting to wait
the 2 to 3 months it will take to try and rectify the problem with a
retrospective application. The only slight chink of of hope in all this if
you do have an illegally built conservatory is the 4 year rule - if you can
get away with it for 4 year or more and can prove its age then normally the
Planners are unable to insist on its removal or for you to apply for
retrospective Planning approval.
Conservatories are normally fully exempt from
the Building Regulations provided the glass is to a certain type and
standard , it does not exceed 30 square metres and you have dividing doors
between the main house and the conservatory. However, even this has
a number of other criteria to comply with in order for it to be exempt but
it is normally much more straight forward than the Planning issues.
The conclusion to a new conservatory
is this - Always request an informal confirmation letter from
the Planning Dept. if it your view or your suppliers view that the conservatory
will fall under the sites permitted development allowance. Obtaining this
confirmation letter can be troublesome at times if you are unable to supply
the Case Planning Officer with some drawing details and a copy of the O/S
map. Most good conservatory suppliers will have their in house or
externally supplied agent to prepare these details for you. Most Planning
Departments will not respond with an opinion unless you can lay it out on
a plate for them so don't waste time trying by calling in on them and trying
to verbally explain your situation - Always write in with sketch schemes
and a marked up O/S plan.
Our 'Maximum Build
Planning Guide' explains further permitted development structures
and ways to exploit your PD rights to the full. Some extensions require careful
analysis in order to avoid the Planning route especially if you know you
will have Planning or neighbour problems during a formal application.
Understanding Permitted Development issues can be a minefield and often
tactics and timings are critical to implementing what you can build without
formal Planning Permission. Permitted Development issues is a classic
case of where art meets science in order to fully develop a site.
To purchase our Maximum Build Planning
Guide simply click on one of the links below....
"Communication is the key to success. Pass it on....."
About the Author
MSM is a Practicing Planning Agent and building design team offering
Architectural Services to their clients specialising in residential
development. The views and opinions expressed here are personal
ones based on relevant life experiences. These views and opinions are
not intended to be actioned or copied by others.
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