Planning Permission For Your Garden Building

Will your garden building need planning permission?

Garden buildings, including log cabins, summer houses, sheds and playhouses—to name a few—are subject to planning permission regulations, while other panel constructed structures may be exempt from these provisions.

Before you start your construction project, you must first research planning provisions and building regulations in your area, to determine whether you’re able to own a garden building without a permit.

UK Planning Permission

Planning permission in the UK refers to the mandatory consent to legally build on land or even change the use of your property and its existing structures.

Your Local Planning Authority (LPA), will be the one providing you with an application for planning permission. LPA’s are usually the local district or city council, and each will have their own website that allows the public to access necessary application forms, including contact details and other essential documents.

If you’re unsure whether or not your planned building requires planning permission, you may contact your local planning authority.

Limits and Conditions For Planning Permission

Outdoor buildings like garden sheds are considered to be permitted developments. Typically, they won’t require planning permission before construction can get underway, but be sure to keep in mind that some limits and conditions need to be considered.

Garden buildings are considered to be permitted developments and not needing planning permission if they meet the following requirements: 

  • When it comes to garden building height, it must be one story with eave height at a maximum of 2.5 metres. If a dual pitched roof is present, the overall height cannot exceed 4 metres.
  • The maximum height for a garden shed situated within 2 metres of a dwelling house boundary is 2.5 metres.
  • Eave height cannot exceed 2.5 metres.
  • There are no raised platforms, balconies or verandas.
  • Log cabins should be at least 5 metres from the main dwelling.
  • Outdoor buildings are not permitted on land in front of a wall that forms the principal elevation.
  • Outbuildings should cover no more than half of the area which surrounds the original home.
  • The building is not to be used a self-contained living accommodation or have an antenna.

Other criteria to consider:

  • With buildings, containers, and enclosures found on designated land, including natural parks, world heritage sites and other conservation areas—planning permissions will be required.
  • Any outbuilding within the curtilage of a listed building will require planning permission.

Note: Bear in mind that these development allowances are only applicable to houses and not maisonettes, flats, or other building. If you wish to construct a shed or different types of garden building on one of those premises, it’s best to consider guidance for those specific properties.

Building Regulations

When it comes building a small, detached building on your garden premises, such as a garden or tool shed, it’s important to consider the building regulations. However, a building that has been constructed from non-combustible materials may be exempt from building regulation approval.

In addition, these provisions won’t also apply if:

  • The area touching the ground is no longer than 15 metres.
  • The floor area is 15-30 square metres in size.
  • There is no sleeping accommodations inside.

Note: The height of your building and how you’re going to use it are the two key factors that will help you determine if you can build without planning permission.

Specific Planning Permission for Different Garden Buildings:

Log Cabins and Summer Houses

BillyOh Travis Log Cabin
BillyOh Travis Log Cabin

Planning permission is only needed if your building structure is large or will be used as a habitable space. The rules that govern outbuildings most commonly apply to log cabins, summer houses, and other large garden buildings.


BillyOh 4000 Lincoln Wooden Polycarbonate Greenhouse with Opening Roof Vent
BillyOh 4000 Lincoln Wooden Polycarbonate Greenhouse with Opening Roof Vent

Usually, a greenhouse would be considered a permitted development for which it’s not necessary to obtain planning permissions. However, keep in mind that any greenhouse intended for construction in a front garden requires it.

Moreover, your title documents may prevent or restrict the construction of greenhouses on your property. With that, ensure to check out title documents to verify that these provisions aren’t in place, before you get to work.

Garden Home Offices

BillyOh Kent Home Office
BillyOh Kent Home Office

When it comes to using your garden building as a home office, you’ll need to consider the building, including its location and the proposed use, to determine if planning permission is required.

Other than that, considerations include:

  • The number of expected visitors.
  • The number of people who will work in the office.
  • Whether or not goods will be brought in and out of the garden office.

If your garden office will be built in a sensitive area, e.g. a conservation area, or if you’ll run a business out of it—planning permission will be more relevant. Meanwhile, if you intend to use your home office for personal use, provisions won’t be necessary. 

Designated Land

If your property is found on designated land, there will be additional limitations. Designated land refers to national parks, including:

  • Conservation outbuildings areas.
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • World Heritage Sites.

If you happen to live on one of these properties and are hoping to add a garden building, you’ll need to follow these stipulations:

  • The maximum area to be covered by your shed found more than 20 metres away from any wall of the original house must not exceed 10 square metres in size. If the criteria is met, the shed will be considered as a permitted development.
  • When constructing a garden building on designated land, no structures will be allowed on the side of your property without planning permissions.

Listed Buildings

A listed building is a structure or object that has been designated by English Heritage to be of high national importance in terms of historical interest or architecture. With these properties, there are additional rules regarding garden sheds or outbuildings, and they will require planning permissions. 

However, it would be best if you didn’t let this deter you from building your garden shed, as there are still many options available to you. While obtaining planning permission isn’t a complicated process, you should be sure to properly investigate the rules that govern Listed Buildings before you purchase any garden structure.

We hope our planning permission guide has been helpful to you. Check out our site for a great range of garden buildings at affordable prices!

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