When development is not permitted within curtilage

An Aluminium Conservatory Being Added
Woodgrain Aluminium Conservatory Being Added
What a great word “curtilage” is, yet all it means is the boundaries of one’s property. Statutory Instrument 2008 No. 2362 Schedule Part One entitled “Development Within the Curtilage of a Dwelling House” sets out what development is not permitted to UK homes, as well as (by implication) giving guidance on what is permitted (as long as the property’s permitted development rights are intact or planning permission, and/or Building Regulatory Approval obtained).

The 2008 schedule, which is still current, Class A.1 states that “enlargement, improvement or other alteration of a dwelling house” (i.e. for a conservatory or extension) is NOT permitted if one or more of the following planning “rules” apply:

(a) as a result of the works, the total area of ground covered by buildings within the curtilage of the dwelling house (other than the original dwelling house) would exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage (excluding the ground area of the original dwelling house);
(b) the height of the part of the dwelling house enlarged, improved or altered would exceed the height of the highest part of the roof of the existing dwelling house;
(c) the height of the eaves of the part of the dwelling house enlarged, improved or altered would exceed the height of the eaves of the existing dwelling house;
(d) the enlarged part of the dwelling house would exceed beyond a wall which-(i) fronts a highway, and (ii) forms either the principal elevation or a side elevation of the original dwelling house;
(e) the enlarged part of the dwelling part of the dwelling house would have a single storey and-(i) extend beyond the rear wall of the original dwelling house by more than 4 metres in the case of a detached dwelling house, or 3 metres in the case of any other dwelling house, or (ii) exceed 4 metres in height;
(f) the enlarged part of the dwelling house would have more than one storey and-(i) extend beyond the rear wall of the original dwelling house by more than 3 metres, or (ii) be within 7 metres of any boundary of the curtilage of the dwelling house opposite the rear wall of the dwelling house;
(g) the enlarged part of the dwelling house would be within 2 metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the dwelling house, and the height of the eaves of the enlarged part would exceed 3 metres;
(h) the enlarged part of the dwelling house would extend beyond a wall forming a side elevation of the original dwelling house, and would-(i) exceed 4 metres in height, (ii) have more than one storey, or (iii) have a width greater than half the width of the original dwelling house; or
(i) it would consist of or include-(i) the construction or provision of a veranda, balcony or raised platform, (ii) the installation, alteration or replacement of a microwave antenna, (iii) the installation, alteration or replacement of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe, or (iv) an alteration to any part of the roof of the dwelling house.

Whilst many of the above planning rules may only seem relevant to extensions rather than conservatories, some are directly relevant. For example if your property has a garden that slopes down and away from the house, then you will need to build a brick built platform on which to site a new conservatory (or extension). Owners wishing to add a veranda or balcony at the end of the conservatory or extension will need to apply for planning permission if the total projection from the dwelling house to the end of the raised area exceeds 3 metres.

The above reasons that outline when development is NOT permitted need to be taken into account along with the specific planning rules for conservatories, as well as any requirements under the existing Building Regulations. Given there is a level of expertise involved in determining whether or not your particular conservatory design/style//size will or will not need planning permission, it is worth consulting a well established local firm with knowledge of your environment, who deal regularly with your local planning authorities to ensure you cross all the “T”‘s and dot all the “I”‘s, as they will help ensure you don’t end up making an expensive mistake.

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