Sale delay risk from conservatories that do not comply
plastic type roof. The brickwork to the walls is about a metre high with double glazed glass windows above. There is an electric radiator fixed to one wall.
The estate agents selling the property describe it as a conservatory extension to the kitchen.
I have asked if it required any form of planning permission or building regulation approval. It is about three metres wide by 3.5 metres long. The estate agents have told me as it is a conservatory it does not require any form of planning or building regulation approval but I am not sure this is correct.
AIt is often the case that adding a conservatory to your home does not require an application for building regulation approval to be submitted to the local authority.
There is a distinct difference between adding a conservatory and creating a conservatory extension. However, new regulations came into force in 2010 that provide clarification of the exemptions.
Energy efficiency criteria now forms part of the new regulations. The following are guidelines for exemption from building regulation approval:
1.The conservatory must be at ground level.
2.The conservatory must have a floor area of less than 30 metres square.
3.There must be an external door leading from the main house into the conservatory. This door must meet energy efficiency requirements, for example be double glazed.
4.The central heating system of the main house must not extend into and heat the conservatory.
If the conservatory does not meet the above criteria then it is not exempt and does require building regulation approval and must then comply with energy efficiency requirements and safety and electrical requirements. As an extension, the conservatory would need to have an efficient heating system and glazing to both the windows and roof.
On many properties, it is common for a conservatory extension to be added where the doors leading from the original house into the conservatory have been removed, thus creating one open plan space. Aesthetically, this is appealing but is classed as an extension and will require building regulation approval.
Most conservatories have a polycarbonate roof (a sort of plastic) which does not retain the heat and the implications of energy efficiency render a breach of the regulations.
Further, if building regulation approval is required the completed works will need to be inspected by the local authority in order for the Completion Certificate to be issued. This Certificate will be required upon a sale of the property as it does form part of the required legal documents.
Essentially, unless the conservatory is an “add on” to the existing house with the external doors leading into it from the house still in situ, it will be classed as an extension and will require building regulation approval. This is the case in respect of the property you are looking to buy. The developer was either unaware of the regulation guidelines or chose to ignore them. The required works to ensure the conservatory extension complies with the criteria could be costly and require a new roof.In view of the measurements supplied it would not ordinarily require an application for planning permission application.