Do I Need Planning Permission for a Garden Room in the UK?

If you are considering a garden room project, read our blog post for some valuable information.

2/5/20242 min read

a small shed in a backyard
a small shed in a backyard

If you're thinking about adding a garden room to your property in the UK, you may be wondering if you need planning permission. The good news is that in most instances, garden rooms can be built under Permitted Development Rights. However, there are still certain rules and regulations that you need to follow.

Permitted Development Rights allow you to make certain changes to your property without the need for planning permission. This includes adding small outbuildings, such as garden rooms, as long as they meet specific criteria.

To ensure that your proposed garden room falls within the permitted development guidelines, it is recommended to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness from your local council. This certificate will serve as proof that your planned works are in compliance with the regulations, giving you immunity from enforcement actions in the future.

At Cedar Planning our expert planning consultants can help you obtain a Certificate of Lawfulness.

When applying for the certificate, it's crucial to ensure that your garden room meets the following criteria:

  1. Your house cannot be granted planning permission to be used as a house through a change of use Permitted Development Right. This excludes many barn conversions. Permitted Development Rights also do not apply to flats.

  2. The garden room must be located within the residential boundary of your property.

  3. It should not exceed a certain size. Generally, along with any other buildings, enclosures and containers (excluding the original house) it should cover no more than 50% of the total area of the curtilage (excluding the original house).

  4. The garden room needs to have an 'incidental' use to the house. Many examples include home offices, gyms or studio's which are acceptable if they are 'incidental' to the house. If you plan on using your garden room for any other purposes, such as a new house, then this would not apply.

  5. The height of the garden room should not exceed 4 meters with a dual-pitched roof, or 3 meters for any other roof type.

  6. The garden room should not have a veranda, balcony, or raised platform.

  7. If your property is located in a designated area, such as a conservation area or national park, additional restrictions may apply. It's advisable to consult with planning specialists, such as ourselves for specific guidance.

  8. Article 4 directions can restrict the use of Permitted Development Rights in certain areas, and Permitted Development Rights may have been removed from a previous planning permission on your house.

By following these guidelines and obtaining a Certificate of Lawfulness, you can ensure that your garden room project is compliant with the regulations and avoid any potential issues in the future. It's always best to seek professional advice or consult with your local planning authority if you have any doubts or questions regarding planning permission for your garden room.