Forum: Does recladding a conservatory with bricks and tiles need permission?

Q A homeowner had a conservatory built many years ago on the back of a detached house. He is now asking whether he can replace the glazed roof with tiles and the glazed sides with brick walls. Does this need planning permission, since it amounts to more than a repair and in essence would form a new structure? Should the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) 2015 condition relating to "similar materials" be applied in deciding whether it is permitted development, as it would no longer be a conservatory but a conventional extension? JM

A There is sometimes a fine line between alteration and rebuilding, and Development Control Practice 4.3116 gives helpful advice on this issue. In JM's case, the existing conservatory projects out more than the four metres allowed for extensions to detached properties under the GPDO. I consider that replacing the walls and roof would be tantamount to rebuilding, so planning permission would be required. Alternatively, prior approval could be sought under the GPDO provisions for larger rear extensions of up to eight metres. If planning permission is sought, the planning authority has discretion whether to insist on the use of similar materials. If the prior approval procedure is used then, since the structure would no longer be a conservatory, the similar materials condition would apply. John Harrison

Next questions

Q Under part 3, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 2015, prior approval can be granted subject to conditions. For applicants applying to discharge such conditions, is the procedure the same as for a standard planning permission in terms of the fee payable and the time limits involved? NP

Please send answers or comments to by Tuesday 10 October.

Q In 1962, outline permission was granted for two dwellinghouses. The only condition required standard outline approval. In 1965, permission was granted for a bungalow on part of the same site. My client now also wishes to build a bungalow on the land, but green belt objections now apply. Given that no time limit was set for submission of details, could a reserved matters application be made on the basis that the 1965 approval was effectively a reserved matters approval, keeping the outline permission alive? Is there any issue over the reference to "dwellinghouses" on the outline permission and the property built being a bungalow? MS

Please send answers or comments to by Friday 20 October. We also welcome readers' new queries via the same address.

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