Do you need planning permission for an Orangery?


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Do you need planning permission for an Orangery?

An Orangery can be a beautiful addition to a home, imagine extra space for a spacious dining room or a tranquil reading room flooded with light. But, where do you start with planning this new build?

Do I need planning permission?

Common questions that we get asked on a regular basis include, 'Do we need planning permission for an Orangery?' and 'Does an Orangery need building regulations?'

Planning permission rules can be complicated and because the consequence of getting it wrong can be costly (rebuilding or even demolishing) you need to make sure you get it right.

There's a lot of information online, so we recommend you only take advice from someone who has significant experience or from trusted sources such as the planning office.

Do you need planning permission for an Orangery? (Updated for 2023)

An Orangery can be thought of as halfway between a conservatory and an extension - an extended space that has the insulation of half brick walls but also the benefit of lots of light and views of your garden.

For planning permission purposes, an Orangery is considered a single-storey extension and subject to the same guidelines and building regulations as an extension.

You DON'T need planning permission for an orangery IF you build within permitted development rights following the guidelines for what is acceptable.

We have a dedicated team at Everest who manage planning permission needs and we created this guide so you can get a feel for what you could build without needing planning permission.

This guide has been updated to include the Building Regulations Part O and Part F 2022.


An Orangery and an extension fall under the same rules and are considered permitted developments and DON'T need planning permission (subject to limits).

Building regulation approval is required on any work.

You DO need planning permission for an Orangery if:

  • More than 50% of the land around the 'original house' is to be covered (this includes any other buildings)
  • The extension is forward of the front or side of the 'original house' that faces onto a road
  • And the following limits…

You MAY need permission if you live in a listed building, designated area or fall under an Article 4 Direction.

Planning permission for an orangery

  1. Higher than the highest point of the roof
  2. The eaves and ridge height are higher than the existing house (single-storey and two-storey)
  3. The eaves height is more than 3 metres, if within 2 metres of the boundary

Planning permission for orangeries built to the side

Orangeries built to the side:

  1. More than single-storey or over 4 metres
  2. Wider than half the width of the 'original house'

Planning permission for orangeries built to the rear

Orangeries built to the rear:

  1. Extends beyond the rear of the 'original house' by over 6 metres (semi) or 8 metres* (detached house)
  2. More than 4 metres in height

*The government has now made permanent these size increases as from May 2019.

**If the development is between four and eight metres to the rear of the property, then you must adhere to the neighbour consultation scheme and you have to contact your local planning office.

Our experts can help you plan your new conservatory

We have a specialist planning department who work with your local planning authority to ensure your conservatory meets requirements.

Does an Orangery need building regulations?

Conservatories benefit from an exemption of building regulation if they meet the requirements that deem it to be a separate structure to the house. This means the structure must be separated by the external wall of the house and have closing doors or windows between the conservatory space and the rest of the house. It also has to have an independent heating system.

Orangeries are slightly different from a conservatory by using more brick in the construction and are usually an open-plan design leading from the main house.

Unless it has the same exemption as a conservatory, an orangery usually DOES need building regulation approval.

Building regulation is separate to planning permission and you have to gain approval from both authorities. The good news is that if you use a reputable construction company (such as Everest) who are registered with a competent person scheme then you don't need to seek approval yourself.

Prompted by climate change, additions to building regulations came into effect in June 2022.

If your structure is considered a 'conservatory' and is exempt, the new Part O and Part F regulations do not apply.

Building regulations Part O, reducing overheating in buildings

As part of a drive towards reducing emissions, the regulations are intended to reduce overheating in houses by:

  • Limiting unwanted solar gains in summer
  • Providing adequate means of removing excess heat from a building

Windows and glazed areas will be limited to a maximum size depending on:

  • The floor area of the room
  • The direction they face (south, north, east, west)
  • If the building is in a high-risk area (London postcodes being the highest risk)
  • Cross-ventilation inside the building (opening windows on opposite facing walls).

In high-risk areas, the use of external shading will be required. Internal blinds and curtains and tree foliage cannot be used for shading.

We recommend reading Part O documentation for full guidelines.

Planning permission for an orangery

Other restrictions you need to check before building an Orangery

Original house

Planning guidelines refer to the 'original house' and it's important to understand what this means as it can make a big difference. The 'original house' is the dwelling as it was on the 1st July 1948, or if the house was built after this date, as it was when it was first built. You'll need to find out if any extensions or additions have been made to the house after this date (or when it was built) as they will count towards where your Orangery can be positioned. For example, if you live in a detached house and a five-metre extension was built to the back of the house in 1962, then your new Orangery could only extend less than three metres to rear of the house.

Restrictive covenant

When you purchased your house, the solicitor will have informed you of any covenants for the property. These are restrictions put in place by a previous owner that can stop you from any development or building work on the property or the surrounding land. If you've got a covenant, you might not be able to build an Orangery and are best to seek legal advice. It's worth noting that not all covenants can be legally upheld, depending on how they were drafted and worded, so a good solicitor could help you to get the covenant lifted.

Listed buildings

If you live in a listed building, you'll be aware that you have restrictions to any development or building work you can do to the property. You have to seek listed building consent for an Orangery to be added to a listed property.

Designated land

In addition to listed buildings, if you live in a Conservation Area, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or World Heritage Site, then you're also subject to restriction on what you can do to your property.

This doesn't mean you can't build your Orangery, but you'll have to seek approval from the authority (e.g. national park) and there are rules such as:

  • You can't clad any part of the Orangery or your house
  • An Orangery to the side of the house doesn't fall into permitted development and would need planning permission

More information

Information is correct at time of publication: Updated January 2023.

Planning rules are subject to change. Always seek approval from your local planning authority before starting any building work.

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