Do you need planning permission for an orangery extension?

Large orangery sitting between garden and patio area


In the UK, planning permission is often required when looking to build on, or modify, the use of land or buildings. However, orangery extensions are usually considered a ‘permitted development right’, provided they adhere to a range of general guidelines. Special restrictions can still occur, though, therefore contacting your local planning authority prior to building an orangery extension will help to inform you of any potential restrictions in your area.

General guidelines for an orangery extension

Provided your orangery extension does not exceed these general guidelines, they should always be considered a permitted development right.

The guidelines are as follows:

  • Orangeries must not exceed or cover in excess of 50% of the size of the house
  • They are no more than 4 metres in height
  • They must not include any verandas, balconies, or elevated platforms
  • They are no more than half the width of the house
  • And should not have eaves higher than 3 metres if within 2 metres of the property boundary

Be wary that these limits are subject to the prior notification of the proposal to the local planning authority too. Furthermore, this guidance is applicable for any extensions finished before 30 May 2019; regulations are likely to undergo changes after this date.

Designated areas and Article 4 directions

In some areas of the country, generally known as ‘designated areas’, Article 4 directions are likely to be in place. Article 4 directions are made by the local planning authority, and restrict your permitted development rights.

Common ‘designated areas’ include:

  • Conservation Areas
  • National Parks
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • World Heritage Sites
  • The Norfolk or Suffolk Broads

If you live in one of these areas, contact your local planning authority before undertaking any work. They will inform you of any further instructions that your proposed orangery extension must abide by.

Converting your current conservatory to an orangery extension

If you hope to achieve your dream orangery extension via the conversion of your current conservatory, you may still need planning permission from your local authority. This is because orangeries may require a new structure, meaning Building Regulations must be adhered to. Alternatively, a conversion is possible through the replacement of its current roof. Here at Oakley we have a range of suitable replacement conservatory roofs available, to suit all your conversion needs.

Different countries and regions

Both PlanningPortal and the website highlight that planning permission and permitted development rights differ between the different countries, regions and areas of the UK. Follow the links here for information on the planning systems in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Additional considerations

The aforementioned permitted development rights apply to houses, and not flats, maisonettes, converted houses, or other types of build. However, contacting your local planning authority is the best option if in any doubt over your proposed extension, regardless of your location and property type.

It is not always clear whether your property falls within a designated area, or if any special restrictions apply to it. Homeowners have received fines of up to £5000 for completed building work found to have violated restrictions, in spite of whether it was done knowingly. Our house extension guide contains important information to consider when thinking of an orangery extension, and will help to prevent you from suffering such consequences.