An orangery represents a timeless and elegant home extension, combining the light and airy feel of a conservatory with the solidity and warmth of a traditional brick extension. Originating in the 17th century to protect orange and other fruit trees during the cold winter months, orangeries in the UK have evolved into luxurious spaces that blend seamlessly with modern and traditional homes alike.
The Structure and Design of Orangeries
Orangeries are characterised by their substantial brickwork, which typically forms the base and corners of the structure, providing a robust and insulated foundation. The roof is often a lantern-style, allowing natural light to flood the space, while the large windows and sometimes glass doors offer a seamless connection to the garden.
Inside, orangeries provide a versatile living space that can serve as a kitchen, dining area, living room, or even a home office. Their design is often bespoke, tailored to complement the existing architecture of the home and meet the specific needs of the homeowner.
Planning Permission for Orangeries in the UK
When considering adding an orangery to your home in the UK, it’s important to understand the planning requirements. As of my last update in April 2023, here are the general guidelines:
Permitted Development Rights
In many cases, orangeries can be constructed under permitted development rights, meaning they do not require planning permission, provided they meet certain criteria. These criteria include limits on the size and height of the extension and its proximity to boundary lines.
Typically, an orangery should not cover more than half the area of land around the original house. It should not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than three meters for an attached house or by four meters for a detached house. The maximum height is usually restricted to four meters.
The design of the orangery should be in keeping with the existing house. Materials used should be similar in appearance, and the roof pitch should match the style of the house, where possible.
Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas
If your home is a listed building or located in a conservation area, you will likely need to apply for planning permission. The same applies to areas of outstanding natural beauty and national parks.
Regardless of whether planning permission is required, your orangery must comply with building regulations. These regulations cover structural integrity, thermal efficiency, fire safety, and other aspects to ensure the safety and performance of the structure.
Adding an orangery to your home can be a transformative project, offering a beautiful, light-filled space that bridges the gap between home and garden. While many orangeries fall within permitted development rights in the UK, it’s crucial to check your local planning authority’s specific requirements and obtain the necessary approvals before proceeding. With careful planning and design, an orangery can enhance your living space and potentially increase the value of your property, all while respecting the character and style of your home.