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Working with top-class architects and contractors, BGR offers construction services, including timber-frame design, home extensions, and garden transformations.

Do You Need Planning Permission For A Garden Room?

Garden rooms can be a wonderful extension to your home. They provide a dedicated space in the garden where you can relax in the tranquillity of nature. These popular installations may require planning permission depending on the size, location, and purpose of the structure.

Posted on

December 16, 2023


If you are thinking about installing a garden room and wondering if you need planning permission for a garden room, this guide will give you an idea about when you should apply and when it is not necessary. 

Planning permission for a garden room: do I need it?

The first thing to do when investigating whether or not you need planning permission for your garden room is to check whether or not your design falls within the limitations of the permitted development rules under class E. This is the property law in the UK that dictates the types of developments that can happen without additional planning permission being granted. 

The only time you may require planning permission for garden rooms is if they are going to be larger than normal or include features that would disqualify them from planning permission exemption. For example, you may require planning permission if you want a double-storey garden room or a unit with a balcony or veranda. In these cases, the garden room design would exceed the limitations of permitted development and therefore would require planning permission.  

What is the maximum garden room size without planning permission?

One of the limitations that the authorities are particularly strict on is the sizing of the garden room. Often referred to as outbuildings, these structures cannot exceed a height of 2.5m. The area of your garden room also depends on how far away from the main house you intend to erect the unit. If you plan on building a garden room more than 20 metres away from the main house, then your garden room’s square meterage can only be a maximum of 10 sqm. 

To avoid having to apply for planning permission, the size of your garden room also depends on the size of the overall property. Planning permission rules specify that the area of the outbuilding cannot be larger than half of the area around the main house. For example, if the open space around the main house is 20 sqm, then the area of the garden room cannot exceed 10 sqm. 

Specific requirements your garden room must comply with

Specific requirements your garden room must comply with

To avoid having to apply for planning permission for your garden room, there are several specific criteria you have to adhere to. The following are the requirements that have to be met to qualify as exempt from planning permission.  

Garden location

For a garden room type of outbuilding, the location of the structure has to be in the garden. In other words, this cannot be connected to the main house or placed in an outdoor space that could otherwise be classified as a driveway or public space. The garden space has to be within the designated boundaries of your property. 

It is also essential that your garden room is not placed in front of your house. It is not a requirement to obtain planning permission only if the garden room is in the back garden of a property. 

Cannot have a balcony

It is a legal requirement that the garden room does not have a balcony or a veranda. If you do have some sort of decking around your garden room, then the structure will require planning permission before construction can begin. 

Is not for accommodation or residential purposes

One of the most crucial criteria to comply with when building a garden room without planning permission is to specify the purpose of the garden room. To avoid planning permission, you can construct a garden room for the following purposes: 

  • Garden office
  • Entertainment space
  • Summer house
  • Storage

It is absolutely vital that there are no sleeping accommodations made in these structures. If you are planning on building a garden room for residential or accommodation purposes, then there are certain permissions you have to obtain before the project can commence. This also means the garden room will fall outside of the scope of what qualifies as an outbuilding. 

Property restrictions that would require you to get planning permission

Garden rooms, more often than not, don’t require planning permission to proceed with installation. However, if the plans surpass certain restrictions, then planning permission will be required. Many restrictions have a lot to do with the classification of your garden room, specifically: 

  • Your garden room’s purpose: If you plan on using your garden room for additional accommodation, then planning permission will be required. Ask yourself whether or not your garden room is going to be more like a spare room or cottage. If so, then you need to speak to the authorities and apply for planning permission. 

  • Your property’s location: If your property is located in a conservation area and you wish to construct a garden room, you need to have planning permission granted. In these areas, conservation assessments need to be conducted to ensure that the garden room will not encroach on the natural surroundings too much. 

  • Whether or not you live in a listed building: If there are buildings within your property boundary that are listed, then you will also need planning permission before you can install a garden room. 

If your garden room falls outside of these specifications then it is unlikely that you will need planning permission, provided that the design falls in line with the relevant dimensional restrictions. 

Speak To Use About Your Garden Room

At BGR Designs, our trained team of experts have years of experience in designing and installing garden rooms. We are more than happy to help you through the process of designing and building a garden, including offering advice and expertise surrounding garden room planning permissions. Garden rooms are a great way to add value to your property and offer a lovely space to enjoy your garden while being sheltered from the elements. If you’re looking for garden rooms, get in touch with BGR Designs today

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