Does a garden room need planning permission?

Last Updated: 13 May 2024

Garden rooms are classed as outbuildings, which are considered a permitted development. This means that planning permission for garden rooms is not usually required before they are built. However, this is only as long as they meet the following criteria:

Planning permission for garden rooms:

  • A garden room cannot be built on any land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
  • The garden room must be single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and with a maximum overall height of four metres if it has a dual pitched roof. For any other type of roof, the maximum height should be 3 metres.
  • If within two metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse, the maximum height must be 2.5 metres.
  • There must be no verandas, balconies or raised platforms present.
  • No more than half the area of land around the original house would be covered by additions or other buildings. The term ‘original house’ refers to the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date).

However, if you live in a National Park, the Broads, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a World Heritage Site, a conservation area or in a listed building, there are other criteria that you need to be aware of:

  • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites, the maximum area to be covered by a garden room that is more than 20 metres from the house must be a maximum of 10 square metres.
  • If living in any of areas mentioned in the previous point or a conservation area, garden rooms built at the side of the property will require planning permission.
  • For listed buildings, any garden room that is built within its curtilage will require planning permission.

Flats, Maisonettes and other considerations

It’s also important to bear in mind that the aforementioned guidance is only applicable to houses. Rules for attaining planning permission are different for flats and maisonettes. For these property types, it’s highly likely planning permission will be required so check with your local planning authority before any work begins. 

Converted houses

The previously covered guidance also doesn’t apply to converted houses or houses created through the permitted development rights to change use. Information regarding change of use is available here. Additionally, this guidance also doesn’t cover other buildings.

Black uPVC bifolds installed into a conservatoryArticle 4 directions

If living in an area where an Article 4 direction is in place, there’s a good chance your permitted development rights will be affected too. If you live in such an area, check with your local planning authority prior to building a garden room or any other type of outbuilding.

Bespoke garden rooms built and installed by Reddish Joinery

Homeowners looking to maximise the amount of natural light in their home throughout the year should really consider garden rooms. Suitable for standalone fitting or alongside your main property, you can enjoy a beautifully inviting, well-insulated space in whatever way you want. Here at Reddish, our team of joiners can manufacture one in either uPVC or timber to a size and style of your choosing. Interested in one for your home? Call us on 0161 969 7474 or contact us online.

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