Do I need planning permission for a shed or garden room?

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Lately we are getting a lot of questions about planning permissions and permitted development rights. One of the most popular planning permission queries are shed’s (outbuildings).

A shed or garden room will come under the subject of outbuildings and it’s easier to discuss this topic that way.  An ancillary outbuilding could be a garage, summer house, garden office, pool house, kennel, garden studio, home gym or a storage room (shed). So if you are thinking about adding any of these to home, you will need to assess whether you need to gain planning permission or not.

If you are already thinking about adding an outbuilding, you probably have an idea of the size of the building in mind and what you want to use it for. If you have permitted development rights on your property, we can now move forwards and check if your proposed building falls within those rights. If so, then the good news is you will not require planning permission for your proposed outbuilding.

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Keeping your proposed building in mind. Does it conform with the following?

  • Outbuildings on land in front of the principal elevation require planning permission and do not come under permitted development.
  • Outbuildings and garages are to be single storey.
  • Maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres.
  • Maximum overall ridge height of 4 metres for a dual pitched roof.
  • Maximum overall height of 3 metres for any other roof.
  • Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, or container within 2 metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the house.
  • Decking and raised platforms are permitted development, but must not exceed a maximum height of 300mm.
  • Balconies, verandas or raised platforms are not included under permitted development rules and require planning permission.
  • No more than half (50%) the total area of land around the "original house"* would be covered by additions or other buildings.  (This includes extensions.)
  • In places such as National Parks, the Broads, (AONB) and World Heritage Sites, there are additional constraints. The maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from house are to be limited to 10 square metres.
  • On designated land* buildings, containers and enclosures at the side of properties do not come under permitted development rights and will require planning permission.
  • A proposed outbuilding within the curtilage of a listed building will require planning permission.
  • New buildings that are separate, self-contained, living accommodation or have TV antennas do not come under permitted development rights and require planning permission.

*The term "original house" means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). 

If you can comply with the above for your proposed outbuilding, it is now important to understand whether or not your property has permitted development rights. Permitted development rights apply to houses but do not include flats, maisonettes or other buildings.

Why is it important for you to check that your house has these rights?

It is possible that permitted development rights have been removed by the local authority by “Article 4 directions”. For this reason we would always advise that you check with your council whether permitted development rights apply to your house.

We also recommend to people that it is good practice to apply for a Certificate of Lawful Development (CLD) when proposing to construct an outbuilding. A Certificate of Lawful Development means you will receive a legally binding decision as to whether your proposed development or alterations is lawful and doesn't require planning permission.

Building Regulations

You may also be exempt from submitting building regulations, this will generally depend on the size of the outbuilding and its type of construction.

So to provide you with some general information to help you comply with Building Regulations when building a new outbuilding within the boundaries of your existing property, such as garages, carports, a summerhouse, sheds or greenhouse you need to consider the following:

Any outbuilding containing sleeping accommodation will require building regulations.

Attached Garages and Carports:

If you are building a new garage that will be attached to the existing home, then you would normally need building regulations approval for the construction. If you are constructing a new attached carport (Carports must be open on at least two sides) then you would not normally require building regulations approval if its floor area is less than 30 square metres.

Detached buildings:

If you are building a detached garage or other outbuildings with a floor area of less than 30 square metres you would also not normally need building regulations approval if:

A)   The floor area of the garage is less than 15 square metres.

B)   The floor area of the detached garage or outbuilding is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, provided the building is a minimum of 1 metre from any boundary, OR it is constructed from substantially non-combustible materials.

We hope this helps answer your questions with regards to outbuildings for your property. As always if we can be of any further assistance then please get in touch or email us at