Extension rules change

BANBRIDGE District Council have moved to remind the public of a number of new legal requirements in relation to installing a new conservatory or porch that home owners need to be aware of.

The New Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 came into effect from 30 October, 2012, which dictates that most new building works will require Building Regulations Approval, Planning Permission, or in some cases, both.

Prior to the introduction of the new regulations conservatories and porches were exempt from building regulations, however, they may now be affected by the new requirements. There may be times that a conservatory extension may be exempt from Building Regulations but may require Planning Permission and vice versa.

The new Building Regulations state that the definition of a conservatory is a part or extension of a building attached to and having a door giving access from the attached building and having not less than three quarters of the area of its roof and not less than one half of the area of its external walls made of translucent material.

The definition of a porch is given as a single story enclosure providing protection to an access door to a building and having an external door.

For a conservatory or porch to be exempt from the new regulations the following points must be met:

The conservatory/porch meets the definition as laid out by the Building Regulations.

It is an attached extension to an existing building (not a new building).

It is built at ground level.

The floor area of the conservatory is not more than 30m2.

The floor area of the porch is not more than 5m2.

Glazing meets the requirements as set out in the building regulations.

The conservatory/porch when built will not create a new or greater contravention of the Building Regulations in relation to the existing building (e.g. obstructing an escape window, window and extractor ventilation, central heating boiler outlets etc.)

The conservatory/porch must not have any heating or cooling system by way of an extension from a main building system.

The conservatory/porch must not have a fixed combustion appliance for heating or cooling.

The conservatory/porch to a dwelling must have radon protection measures if the dwelling is in a radon affected area.

Any new openings between the conservatory/porch must be formed by doors etc. to ensure the thermal performance of the existing building is maintained.

To find out further details on the new Building Regulations or for advice and clarification on any proposed building works, contact Banbridge District Council Building Control Department on T: 028 4066 0603.