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Conservatories and Planning Permission

A conservatory is a distinct man-made structure built for the purpose of housing a variety of botanical wonders foreign to that particular locality. Traditionally these conservatories were built at the behest of the wealthy as a means of showing off their vast wealth and their collection of exotic plants, but today it has transformed into a favored domestic spot.

The increased trend in the use of glass has led to a rise in the adoption of conservatories as a natural way of extending an existing home. Conservatories are now the alternative kitchen and breakfast room, providing a wide space exposed to the warmth of sunlight. As conservatories more and more become favored family spots, both exterior and interior designs are taken into consideration.

Traditional conservatory designs are typically of bricks, with stone pilasters encasing timber windows and elaborate stone cornices rising above the flat roof. The modern trend of design is towards conservatories with walls fabricated from hardwood (usually oak) that can be naturally oiled to create a lavish interior.

An important feature of a conservatory is the roof. The more traditional and expensive option was to cover the roof in lead, copper or zinc, and required traditional craftsmen. The modern options tend to use a variety of different glasses that are increasingly energy efficient.

Aside from designs, actual construction entails different requirements. Depending on the laws of your locality, a building regulations approval and a planning permission are usually required for the construction of a conservatory or orangery. Planning permission is a legal prerequisite this is to ensure that the impact of the actual construction to the environment will be regulated.

England and Wales do not generally require planning permission, so long as the permitted development limit of your property does not exceed 50-70 cubic meters.

Conservatories on residential properties are usually exempt from building regulations. For a conservatory exemption under the amended Building Regulations 1991, the criteria for exemption are as follows:

The conservatory should have an entirely transparent or translucent roof.

The conservatory walls should have significant glazing. It should be no less than half the area of the walls created from windows, and it should have no less than three quarters of the area of the roof created from glazing, polycarbonate sheets or related translucent substance. In a nutshell, the conservatory wall should be 75% wall glazing.

The conservatory should have a floor area of not more than 30m squared.

The conservatory must be constructed at ground level.

The conservatory must be permanently and physically separated from the remainder of the property by the use of a door.

Any radiator within the conservatory must not be beyond human control. (In the event that fixed heating installations are proposed, the installations must have their own independent temperature and on/off controls).

The conservatory glazing must satisfy the requirements of part N, Schedule 1 (toughened/safety glass).

The conservatory must not contain any drainage facilities. (sink, WC, washing machine, etc.)

About the Author: By visiting the author's website at you will find useful information for about oak hardwood conservatories. Learn more about conservatories and planning permission.

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