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Extensions In Conservation Areas

Living in these areas has many benefits, including stunning views, however, extending your home will need extra care and consideration.

When it comes to extending your home, the Permitted Development Rights Act allows certain types of work such as small home improvements or extensions to be carried out without applying for planning permission.

It is important to check the local authorities planning permission rules before any renovation or extension is started as these allowances can vary depending on the building type, type of work and location of the property.

Some areas in the UK come under the Article 2(3) Land, where permitted developments rights are more restricted in order to preserve the lands natural beauty.

This includes conservation areas, national parks and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB). Residential properties in these areas are also known as ‘Green Belt Homes’.

The main aim of enforcing acts which prevent certain building work from taking place is to ensure there are no distinguishable buildings that blemish or tarnish the natural landscapes, making glass the ideal building material for extensions in these areas.

contemporary home extension on a terraced property in a conservation area in London featuring minimal windows 4+ double height sliding glass doors
modern home extension with floor to ceiling sliding glass doors on a traditional style property in an area of outstanding national beauty

Definitions of These Areas

What is a conservation area?

These areas, designated by local authorities or English Heritage, seek to protect and enhance land that has particular historic or architectural interest and control any new developments.

With almost 10,000 conservation areas across the UK, many areas have specialist conservation offices to ensure any developments follow Section 69 of the 1990 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act.

What is an area of outstanding national beauty?

Areas of Outstanding National Beauty are stunning landscapes that provide significant value to an area. AONB are designated for conservation, meaning the land is protected and cannot be disrupted, only enhanced.

After World War Two the government recognised that the countryside of England and Wales needed preservation under the growing pressure for development, leading to the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949.

What is a national park?

These parks are areas of the countryside that are protected for the preservation of wildlife and for the general public to visit and enjoy, often with historic or scientific interest.

In regard to building materials, contemporary extensions made of glass or extensions that use large glass walls and doors are the perfect choice as they do not stand out or contrast with the surrounding nature.

contemporary extension with glass walls on a home in a national park
contemporary glass extension with minimal windows sliding glass doors on a stunning home in the countryside in an area of outstanding national beauty

Home Extension Rules in Conservation Areas, AONB & National Parks

Permitted Development, which allows homeowners to make certain changes without planning permission, is still applicable for homes located in areas that come under Article 2(3) Land.

If the extension is a single story extension of up to 3m (or 4m for a detached property), then planning permission is not required. Anything over this, such as side extensions and two-storey extensions,  you will need to apply for planning permission.

When it comes to the design of the extension, there tends to be a lot of freedom as the buildings within these areas vary greatly in terms of style and character. Contemporary extensions are welcome, however, they may need to include certain materials to ensure they do not alter the overall look of the land or stand out too much.

Contemporary glass extensions are often preferred as they enhance the surroundings. Glass is an ideal way to do this, making contemporary glass extensions a popular choice in conservation areas.

No external building cladding is permitted to be added to any buildings within conservation areas, AONB or national parks.

It is recommended that even if your contemporary extension meets the requirements to go ahead with permitted development, you still consult the local authorities to ensure the project goes ahead without any unexpected delays.

One of the great examples for these types of buildings is Cotswolds. An award-winning modern extension into the historic cottage to create a wider space for the family. The natural material was used for the external walls and oversized glazing was installed as combination of structural and sliding glass doors.

home extension on a property in a conservation area featuring large glazing elevations to create a contemporary extension design
contemporary extension with sliding glass doors from minimal windows and a structural glass roof

minimal windows® Systems in Glass Extensions

Glass extensions have minimal impact on the building and surroundings. The large clear panes with minimal framing do not obstruct the views or draw attention away from the land.

minimal windows sliding glass door systems can reach impressive sizes with minimal framing and the clear nature of the glass means that there are no harsh colours or bold structures that blemish the stunning landscapes.

There areas have been conserved for the general public to enjoy and appreciate and large glass elevations provide stunning views of the scenic surroundings.

minimal windows glazing systems, whether it’s a sliding glass door or vertical sliding sash window, are an excellent choice thanks to the ultra slim aluminium frames.

These systems can be combined with structural glazing to create an entire glass extension or incorporated into a traditional home extension along with other glazing systems.

Our high end aluminium sliding glass doors was used as glass extension façade in a Grade II Listed house, Ansty Manor. Floor to ceiling sliding glass panels merged the internal area trough outside when opened. The very minimalist framing profiles are allowed the high amount of natural light providing the panoramic view.

For more information about contemporary glass extensions in conservation areas, national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, get in touch with the team today.