Do I Need Planning Permission For a Dining Canopy?

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Do you need planning permission for a school dining canopy?

A dining canopy is a brilliant resource for schools, colleges and universities as it means more pupils can be accommodated with weather-resistant places to spend their breaks. This is especially important as there are many regulations regarding school dining conditions, which means enough space must be available for each pupil.

Incorporating outdoor dining spaces is a popular way of meeting the needs of growing pupils without extending actual building spaces with costly renovations. At Kensington Systems, we often get asked what permissions are required for dining canopies. Keep on reading to find out. 

Spaceshade Education Canopy

What Permission Is Needed for a School Dining Canopy?

You will likely have searched this topic online, as it can be seen as a bit of a grey area in the world of planning permission. The reason for this is that academic establishments are subject to slightly different rules than other types of premises as they are covered by  Class M of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development). The 2015 order covers a variety of different industries that have direct usage by stakeholders with extensive needs, such as children. This means that different considerations are allowed, which take into account the purpose of the structure being requested.

Under Class M, the following is allowed as long as you have landowner permission and that the building additional is covered in the outlined remit:

  • The total floor space of your canopy is less than 25% of the entire floor space of an existing building or less than 100 square metres.
  • The dining canopy must not take away from other usable spaces that would impact pupil experience, such as play or education areas.
  • The canopy is at least 5m from the school boundary and is less than 5m in height.

If your proposed dining canopy exceeds any of these rules, you will need to apply for standard planning permission via your local authority. This process is fairly simple and one that Kensington Systems supports you with as part of our offering.

Building Regulations for Outdoor Dining Canopies.

All structures which are over 30m2 in size and more than 50% enclosed must comply with building regulations. This includes dining canopies, and will affect you if you plan to enclose half or more of the sides of your dining canopy. 

This means you will need to consider ventilation and other factors when planning your new canopy. We'll work with you to design a canopy which meets your needs while complying with the requirements, and also help you to obtain building regulations once the project is complete.

What Other Considerations Should Be Made When Choosing a School Dining Canopy?

Planning permission is always more successful when you do your homework before the process starts. This means that choosing a contractor who understands the requirements of education environments is vital.

Our dining canopies are all designed to promote safety and usability, the two main facts planning agents will consider. They enhance pupil experience by offering robust shelters usable all year long. Every factor, from the UV-protected roof panels to the concealed fixings, ensures all student safety and well-being needs are met.

Spaceshade dining canopy with enclosed side walls

How Can a Covered Outdoor Dining Space Benefit Pupils?

  • Areas can be used all year long for dining and other outdoor activities such as studying, playing, or socialising.
  • It means that people have more space, helping to avoid overcrowding
  • Fresh air is important for concentration and mindfulness, which can positively impact the ability to learn.
  • Covered dining canopies also allow students to be separated based on age or years

Choose a School Dining Canopy With Kensington Systems

Hopefully, now you have a better idea of what is required to introduce an outdoor dining canopy for students.

The process doesn’t have to be complex and is made even simpler when you work with an experienced contractor with experience in the education industry that includes assistance with planning applications and building regulations as part of their service.

Contact us today to speak with our team and to find out how your school could benefit from a high quality, long-lasting outdoor covered space that supports you all year round.