Planning Permission for Timber Garden Buildings
Ensure Your Garden Room is Permitted
Ensure Your Garden Room is Permitted
When you are contemplating the addition of a garden building, one of the first questions that will cross your mind will be what garden room planning rules might apply to the project. It will probably come as no surprise to hear that the short answer is “it depends.”
What’s more, it depends on several factors. These include the size and dimensions of the proposed construction, the available space in your garden, whether you already have extensions or separate buildings, and the proposed location of the garden building in relation to the house, the public highway and the neighbours. On top of that, there is the question of whether you live in an area that has specific or special planning rules, such as a national park or a conservation zone.
There is good news if all that has got your head in a spin. Yes, planning rules can be complicated, but in most cases, garden room planning permission is not required, as the construction usually falls under what is known as permitted development. But even if consent is needed, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare, and we can help you negotiate the necessary regulatory hurdles.
If you are among the happy majority, your project will fall within the category of garden building permitted development. This means that planning permission is not needed, and in all likelihood, you don’t need to worry about building regulations either – but we will consider that in more detail a little later. There are several points to check regarding permitted development.
As the point about position indicated, the general rules related to garden room permitted development are stricter if you live in a conservation zone, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or a national park. In each of these cases, you still have permitted development rights, but they are a little stricter than standard.
In general, buildings must, as mentioned above, be entirely rearward of the rear elevation. Also, if the building is more than 20 metres from the house, the maximum permitted area it can occupy is 10 square metres. These are general rules for properties in these special zones. However, if you are lucky enough to live in a national park, a conservation zone or an AONB, we would always advise double-checking with your local planning office, just in case, there are specific local regulations in place. They are invariably happy to help.
It’s a privilege to live in a listed building, but there are sometimes downsides. One of them is that there are no permitted development rights. So, in this case, you would need planning permission for a garden room, regardless of its size, shape, location or intended use. However, as we will soon see, that’s not necessarily a problem, as you will not be seeking permission to make any changes to the building itself.
The dreaded “building regs” usually go hand in hand with planning applications. Building regulations are concerned with aspects of design, structure, insulation and build quality. If you’ve ever had an extension built, you’ll know that you have to get a building inspector in, possibly two or three times, to sign off on each stage.
As with planning permission, we have broadly good news for you in that respect. Building regulations do not usually apply to garden rooms, outbuildings and so on, provided that they meet the following criteria:
Under these circumstances, summer house building regulations do not apply to the construction itself, so it will not have to be reviewed and approved by your local building inspector. There is one important caveat here, though. You’ll most likely have a separate electricity consumer unit installed for your new garden room. That’s fine and is the safest and most efficient way to get power there. However, just be aware that any new installation must be signed off by a registered professional and a safety certificate issued. Also, make sure you store it somewhere safe, as it’s the sort of thing a conveyancing solicitor will ask for if you ever decide to sell the property.
As you can see, permitted development rights mean that for most householders, garden room or summer house planning permission is not something they need to worry about. However, it is sometimes the case that permitted development conditions cannot be met. Perhaps your house has already been extended several times so the garden building takes the total area beyond the curtilage limit, or maybe it’s just the case that you live in a conservation zone where the permitted development rights are too restrictive.
It’s really not the end of the world if so. Obtaining house planning permission isn’t usually difficult, and a timber summer house that blends in with its surroundings is not likely to get the neighbours up in arms. At Lomax + Wood Garden Rooms, we are accustomed to drawing up the necessary plans and elevations that will be needed, so there’s no reason to let planning rules spoil your intentions for the garden room you’ve been dreaming of.
If you’d like to pick our brains on any of the above, or you’d like to find out more about any of our products and services, we’re only an email or a phone call away. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for an informal chat.
The guidance states that the building should not exceed 50% of the land around the original house.
If the building is at a maximum of 2.5m, it can be within 2m, not forgetting access for maintenance and ensuring your roof does not overhang the boundary. However, if the building is between 15m2 and 30m2, it should be at least 1m away from the perimeter to avoid planning permission.
Yes, if you adhere to permitted development rules.
Under the Town and Planning Act, if a building is erected without necessary planning permission and no public complaint is made within 4 years, an application for lawful development can be made.
If it has been built under permitted development rules planning permission is not required. If it breaks the permitted development rules and the local authority takes action within 4 years, they may seek to issue an enforcement notice to rectify the planning breach.
Planning, on average, is concluded within an eight-week time frame unless there are unusual circumstances which extend the time to 13 weeks.
Please note that all information provided herein regarding planning permission is for guidance only.
You need to check with your local PLA as rules vary within the UK. In addition, exact details need to be reviewed and understood in the full context of the situation.