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Planning Permission

Planning Permission deals with how a building looks and it's impact on it's surroundings and environment. Generally planning permission is required for any new building, however recent changes in regulations have relaxed the rules somewhat, allowing small outbuildings to be erected without requiring official planning consent as long as they follow certain conditions. Planning rules vary slightly depending on where you are, but we have listed the main points below, however these should only be used as a guide and we recommend that you check with your local authority for the most up-to-date information. 


 



England

Under new regulations that came into effect on 1 October 2008, outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • ​No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.

  • Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5m and a maximum overall height of 4.0m with a dual pitched (apex) roof or 3m for any other roof.

  • Maximum height of 2.5m in the case of a building, enclosure or container within 2m of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.

  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.

  • No more than half the area of land around the 'original house' would be covered by additions or other buildings.

  • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20m from house to be limited to 10m².

  • On designated land, buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.

  • Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.

More detailed information regarding planning permission for outbuildings in England is available here.


 




Wales

New regulations came into force on 30 September 2013 which changed the building work which can be done without needing to apply for planning permission. The Welsh Government has produced a technical guide, and a householder guide, available here, to help you understand how permitted development rules might apply to your circumstances. In general, outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • The total area of ground covered by outbuildings cannot exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage.

  • Outbuildings cannot be located in front of the building line of the principal elevation.

  • Outbuildings cannot extend beyond the side elevation of the house when the development would be any closer to a highway than the existing house, or at least 5m from the highway, whichever is nearest.

  • Any part of the development within 2m of a boundary of the house cannot exceed a height of 2.5 metres.

  • Any part of the development within 2m of the house cannot exceed a height of 1.5 metres.

  • Outbuildings cannot exceed more than one storey.

  • The height of an outbuilding cannot exceed 4m when the building has more than one pitch (eg dual pitch and hipped roofs).

  • The height cannot exceed 3m when the building has a single pitch or other roof form.

  • Flat roof buildings cannot exceed 2.5m in height.

  • Eaves height of the building cannot exceed 2.5m.

More detailed information regarding planning permission for outbuildings in Wales is available here.


 




Scotland

Planning permission is not required for a shed, garden room if you meet the following criteria:

  • Is located to the rear of the property (behind the front elevation or elevation that faces a road).

  • Is not used as a bedroom.

  • It does not exceed a total of 4m in height (3m to eaves).

  • Any part of the building within 1m of the boundary does not exceed 2.5m in height.

  • The building footprint is not greater than 50% of the properties outside space.

  • Is not in a conservation area (unless the area of the building is under 4m²).

  • Is not within the boundary of a listed building. 

  • Is not part of a flat, apartment, or tenement.

You should always consult your local planning department or architectural service provider if you are unsure. More detailed information regarding planning permission for outbuildings in Scotland is available here.


 



Building Regulations

Building Regulations ensure that the structure is safe and is constructed to a high standard. In general a building warrant won't be required if the floor area of the outbuilding is less than 15m². If the floor area of the building is between 15m² and 30m², you won't normally be required to apply for building regulations approval providing that the building is either at least one metre from any boundary, or if it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials. In both cases, building regulations don't apply ONLY if the building does not contain any sleeping accommodation. As always, please check with your local authority.
 



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Note

All information above is supplied as a guide, and we are unable to advise on any planning issues. Please check with your local authority if you are unsure, as our information may not be up to date, and we can't be held responsible if your building breaches local regulations.
 

If you prefer, you can order any of our garden buildings in person from our Scottish display centre near Edinburgh. You can also visit our sister website Simply Summerhouses for more information, however this may not necessarily up to date.