Thinking of putting a solid roof on your existing conservatory?

There are many reasons why you might wish to upgrade an existing conservatory roof. Perhaps you hope to increase the levels of thermal insulation associated with this area or you are instead interested in matching the style of the conservatory with other portions of your home. When it comes to planning this project, there is one question we hear commonly asked... ‘Do I need planning permission for a conservatory roof?’ The answer is not always straightforward, but take a look below for our advice on the matter.

Solid convervatory roof

The Height of the New Roof

One of the first factors to take into consideration involves the proposed height of the sold roof (assuming that its dimensions are set to change). There are a handful of conditions which might require planning permission:

  • In the event that the new roof is higher than four metres or higher than the existing roof of your home.
  • The width of the new roof exceeds at least half the width of the house.

While these regulations are still in effect, the good news is that many of the laws associated with conservatory planning permissions have been somewhat relaxed in recent years. Let's take a look at what has changed as well as when you might still need to obtain approval before any construction begins.

A Look at Basic Regulations

We should first mention that planning permission will normally only be required when you are first constructing a new conservatory (as opposed to making subsequent changes). Having said this, past stipulations required that at least 75 percent of the roof would need to be glazed in order to remain exempt from planning permission. The rules now focus more on any height changes that may take place. Assuming for a moment that a new conservatory roof (such as a tiled or glazed structure) will rise significantly higher than the existing structure, permission may be needed.

The area of the property to be occupied will also determine your status within the planning permission scheme. For example, let us imagine that your home and conservatory are already taking up close to 50 per cent of your property. However, the size of the conservatory will need to be slightly increased in order to accommodate the weight of a tiled roof. In the event that the combined structures are set to exceed more than 50 per cent of the property area, planning permission will be required.

We also need to take into account the design of the solid roof itself. According to current regulations, it must not contain any verandas, raised platforms or balconies. It is also not allowed to extend past the side or front elevation of your existing property. However, let us still keep in mind that you will most likely be required to obtain a Building Regulatory Approval certificate when replacing a translucent roof with a solid alternative.

The "Change of Use" Clause

In the past, most regulations stated that you would need to obtain planning permission in the event that the use of the conservatory changed. This would occur if it were classified as a "permanent" as opposed to a "temporary" structure. Solid roofs were often associated with "permanent" structures. This is generally no longer the case. However, you still might need to make some ventilation adjustments (such as trickle or roof vents) depending upon the configuration of the new roof. These will be determined by your local building control officer.

planning permission for solid conservatory roof's

What Is the “Neighbourhood Consultation Scheme”.

This is a process which can be used for conservatories, which by passes the formal planning permission procedure which may be necessary. It is a much faster and less bureaucratic solution, which makes the process much simpler. Although there are still many rules involved which must be adhered to, when it comes to Conservatories it is often the way forwards.

What About Specially Classified Properties?

There can be times when you are living in a listed building or your property is located within a conservation area. In such instances, it is always wise to seek advice from your local town council. They will determine whether or not you require planning permission on a case-by-case basis.

When asking yourself "Do I need planning permission for a conservatory with a solid roof?", please keep all of these facts in mind and understand that no two scenarios are the same. If you would like to learn more or you have additional questions about Conservatories in general, get in touch with us here at Elephant Windows today on 01843 850 100.