Do I need planning permission for a Garden Room?

Normally you do not need planning permission for a garden room, but it’s always important to check. It all depends on the location of your garden room, its size and purpose. Generally, it is best to discuss planning regulations with your local planning office before investing in architects and planning applications. This will help to assess whether your site is likely to get planning approval.

How MALA Living can help you with planning permission

Our team at MALA can guide you through the planning permission process and give expert advice to ensure compliance with regulations. We provide a free initial planning consultation to help determine the likelihood that you will be granted planning permission.

Garden Room Planning Permission consultation

MALA also provide a free planning submission service and work with top architects and professionals with the highest planning approval rate in the UK. We also work with experts experienced in submitting planning-friendly applications to all borough planning departments throughout the UK. We ensure your submission is handled professionally to navigate potential challenges with council planning departments.

What should I know before I seek planning permission?

Make sure you can clearly explain what you intend to use your garden room for. Getting planning permission may depend on whether the use of your garden room will potentially cause ongoing disruption. If you are asked to apply for planning permission later on, the council could deny your planning application if the intended use of the room was not made clear.

Women wondering Do I need planning permission for a garden room?

When am I likely to need planning permission?

If you live in a flat, tenement, maisonette, converted house, or apartment building, you won’t have permitted development rights and will need to submit a full planning application. Garden rooms are considered to be outbuildings and additions to the main home. In these situations, they will be built on land owned by a free holder and you will need planning approval.

Additionally, planning permission may be required if you intend to use the garden room for frequent business meetings and as a staff office. The same applies if you add bathrooms, a kitchenette, guest sleeping facilities and if it’s taller than 3 metres.

Planning permission is also likely to apply if you live in a listed building, an AONB or world heritage site. In these areas, garden buildings located between the side of your house and the boundary of your propety will need planning approval.

When does planning permission NOT apply?

If you own the property where your garden room is you will have permitted development rights. This means it’s unlikely that you will need planning permission – especially if your garden room is for minor usage. For example, if you intend to work alone in the garden office room, you are unlikely to need planning permission.

The local council will consider your garden room to be an outbuilding for incidental use. To clarify, it’s simply a small extra leisure or work area, rather than a full time living space. So long as your garden room is not at the front or side of your house and is not closer to a public right of way than it is to the house, it’s unlikely you will need planning permission.

How big can a garden room be without planning permission?

A single story garden room that doesn’t cover more than 50% of the total area surrounding your house and doesn’t exceed 15sqm, is unlikely to need planning permission. A garden room should pass if it is a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres within 2 metres of the property boundary. Raised platforms such as decking, must not be more than 0.3m from the ground to avoid disrupting neighbour’s privacy. However, if you are in an AONB, despite still being given Permitted Development, there are limits on sizes of outbuilding like garden rooms. You can build without planning permission so long as you meet the required criteria. Please refer to the building regulations section below.

Tape measure for working out how big a garden room can be without planning permission

What about building regulations and garden rooms?.

In most situation, you most likely don’t need to be concerned about building regulations. Garden buildings bewteen 15-30 square metres are usually passable. So long as it’s built with non-combustable materials, doesn’t have sleeping areas and is at least 1 metre from the property boundary, you are safe to freely build.

On the other hand, if there is going to be an electricity supply or somewhere to sleep, building regulations may apply. This is likely to affect music studios, office rooms and Airbnb leisure pods.

Finally, if you live within a World Heritage Site, The Broads, a National Park or AONB, buidling regulation always apply. Make sure your garden room is located more than 20 metres away from your house. It must be no more than a maximum of 10sqm.

You can always check the building regulations for more details.

Proof of Permitted Development.

Finally, it’s a good idea to apply for a lawful development certificate, even if you have Permitted Development. This will provide proof of lawful construction should your garden room building ever be questioned.