Garden rooms are fantastic alternatives to extensions or conservatories and can be purpose-built to your requirements. They’re an ideal solution if you need more space but don’t want to up sticks and move house.

All garden rooms are subject to permitted development rules. However, the good news is that more often than not, you won’t need planning permission for your dream garden building.

Where you intend to position your garden room, its size and its intended use will all affect whether you’ll need to seek planning permission. It’s also crucial that you take the time to understand which building regulations you must adhere to before you commit to building a garden room.

Planning permission for a Garden Room

In most cases, Garden Rooms are classed as outbuildings, which means you won’t have to seek any kind of planning permission to build your space.

However, this applies to you only if you have permitted development rights at your home or the area you live in.

For example, you won’t have permitted development rights if you live in a flat, tenement, maisonette or apartment building. If you’re unsure about the rules for your home, please contact us or your local planning office for some advice.

What is permitted development?

Permitted development rights cover outbuildings or any build that could be considered “incidental” to the property. Essentially, they’re anything that could be perceived as an addition to the main home.

As I’m sure you’ll have gathered, this is where it can get complicated. What is considered “incidental” can vary from person to person, so it’s always best to double-check with your local council if your building will comply with permitted development rules.

A good measure is to ask yourself whether your Garden Room could possibly cause any kind of disruption to the community on a regular and ongoing basis.

This is why you must be clear about what you intend to use your space for before beginning the building process. If you go ahead and build without planning permission, the council could ask you to apply for permission in retrospect. If your application is then denied, you’ll have to take your garden building down.

Garden buildings for leisure purposes

If you’re looking for a bit of extra studio space for artistic endeavours, a studio for music practice or a games room, and your building complies with the necessary dimension specifications, it’s unlikely you’ll need to seek planning permission.

However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Always seek professional advice from the council, or contact us for more information.

Planning permission and your garden office

Whether or not your garden office will require planning permission is dependent on how frequently and extensively you intend to use it.

For example, if you’re using your garden office to work quietly alone on your computer, that’s a lot less disruptive than a meeting space that many colleagues come to on a regular basis. If you plan to use your garden office as the headquarters for your business and a base for your workmates, you may need to seek planning permission.

Planning permission for Garden Rooms with bathrooms

If you plan to install your garden building with necessities that could be associated with the main house, such as a toilet and shower, this is no longer considered incidental and it’s likely you’ll have to apply for planning permission.

If your garden room is intended as a guest house or some kind of self-contained living accommodation, particularly if you’re aiming to rent it out regularly, it’s also likely you’ll have to apply for planning permission.

What other rules do I have to follow?

Whether or not you need planning permission will also depend on your compliance with a few other rules.
The majority of these pertain to the height and the location of your new garden room. Should your room not meet these requirements, you may have to seek further permission from your local planning department.
These requirements are as follows:

  • Your garden room cannot be in front of your house.
  • The total area of your garden room cannot exceed more than 50% of the total area around your house.
  • Your garden room must be single-storey and less than three metres high, or four metres with a dual-pitched roof.
  • The maximum eaves height must be no more than 2.5 metres above ground level.
  • Your garden room must have no balcony or veranda.
  • Your garden room cannot be used as self-contained living accommodation.

Building regulations for garden buildings

You won’t normally have to adhere to any building regulations, as long as your garden building:

  • Does not include sleeping facilities
  • Does not exceed 15 square metres in size
  • Is not attached to your main home

If your garden building is between 15 and 30 square metres in size, you still won’t have to comply with building regulations as long as there’s no sleeping accommodation, it’s more than one metre from your property boundary and your building is made of non-combustible materials.

Unsure if your project requires planning permission?

Please contact us for more information.

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