Monday, September 15, 2008

Planning permission - important shedworking changes

From October 1, the rules regarding outbuildings (which I assume to include garden offices) are changing in the UK - and it looks like for the better. As Emma reports at Enterprise Nation, this means that planning permission will no longer be required (subject to various conditions). Here's what they say:
"Rules governing outbuildings apply to sheds, greenhouses and garages as well as other ancillary garden buildings... and many other kinds of structure for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse. From 1 October 2008 outbuildings will be considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

* No outbuilding forward of the principal elevation fronting a highway.
* Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
* Maximum height 2.5 metres within two metres of a boundary.
* No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
* 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 20 metres from house to be limited to 10 square metres.
* 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.
It then goes on to talk about Building Regulations and Outbuildings:
"If you want to put up small detached buildings such as a garden shed or summerhouse in your garden, building regulations will not normally apply if the floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres.

If the floor area of the building is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations approval providing that the building is either at least one metre from any boundary or it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.

In both cases, building regulations do not apply ONLY if the building does not contain any sleeping accommodation."
More details at the Planning Portal.


Our Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office
Click here for more details.


  1. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Any ideas what this means to people who live in conservation areas? I'm guessing there is still a need to apply ...

  2. No, I don't know how this affects you (I should say 'us' as I live in one too). I think it's always best to check because officers are very touchy when it comes to conservation areas. But my feeling is that since they're relaxing these rules, then there might well be a knock-on effect.

  3. Hi Alex,

    The way we see it the changes to the order are bad news for our business. Most of our customers do not have the luxury of huge gardens and seek to squeeze a log cabin between boundaries or at least put the cabin near a boundary so there is a bit of lawn left for a game of football. The new rules particularly "2.5 metres high must be 2 metres from a boundary" means that I suspect 95% of our customers will need planning permission unless they stick the cabin smack bang in the middle of the garden. The extra costs of getting drawings submitted and planning fees is likely to seriously reduce customer enquiries. So as far as relaxing planning rules goes I'm far from relaxed! and have already sent a letter outlining my concerns to Hazel Blears whose name is on the revised order. The only slight relief coming from north of the border is that these proposals only affect England but as a nationwide installer with regular installations in England it really isnt much of a relief.

    Keep up the good work. Its always a good read.


    Cabin Living

  4. Anonymous10:30 PM

    My garden runs only at the side of my property, i.e between the house and the highway, with no back or front aspect. It is totally enclosed by a 3.5 - 4 metre high wall. The wording re 'No outbuildings forward of the prnciple elevation fronting a highway' begs the following questions.a) Does that apply, as the proposed summerhouse will be nearer the road than our house as ALL of our garden is? And if so does that mean we wouldn't be allowed any new garden buildings under the new rules? b) What does 'fronting' really mean? Our proposed summerhouse won't be fronting the highway as such as it will be totally obscured/concealed by the 4m wall. Or doesn't that make any difference? Many thanks Wendy

  5. The way I see it is that there are too many laws and regs. Its our garden and our land so why don't they just leave us alone. Please Brown, Drown..

  6. Anonymous8:14 AM

    @cabin living is right.

    counsil asked us to leave 2 meter each side for permited development. it only leaves 4 meter of lawn area. 2 meter on back means shrubs n weeds will grow back of the building. buy doing pd we are lossing 40 meters for nothing. very wise decison!

    whole world is struggling for the space and we are wasting it!

  7. Anonymous1:46 PM

    next door just put shed next to my fence 1 foot from my conservatory blocking all the light can i do anything

    1. Same thing is happening to me. No point of it should be less than one metre from a boundary which is certainly not the case for you or me by the sound of it.3 metres high for flat roof, 4 with ridged roof.

  8. Anonymous3:01 PM

    I have an acre of land, can someone tell me the size I can go to with my log cabin without planning please? No houses around me.
    This is Industrial land. Thanks in anticipation.

  9. Anonymous3:04 PM

    Could someone please tell me how big I can build a log cabin without planning permission, I have an acre of industrial land with no houses around it. Thanks in anticipation

  10. Anonymous7:28 PM

    yes, dual pitch is more useful dual pitched roof

  11. Hello can I build a concreted block building not exceeding 2.5 meters in height close up to my boundary fencing

  12. Planning is devolved in Wales, so this statement for the "UK" may not apply. Bit sloppy of you.

  13. Anonymous12:43 PM

    Please can you let me know if my next door neighbour's garden outbuilding is compliant. It is well within two metres of the boundary. The height measured from the outside is over 12 foot, from the inside about 8 foot. The difference is a deep foundation. Many thanks.

  14. If it's supposed to be under permitted development (i.e. done without planning permission), that's too high. The height is measured on the outside, not the inside. The maximum permitted if the building is within 2 metres of the boundary is 2.5 metres, according to this:

    There could be some confusion, as the planning portal summary web page doesn't mention that particular rule, so your neighbour may not be aware of it.

  15. Hi. Do I need permission to erect 3x6m metal shed?


  16. Thursday, February 25, 2010
    Don't Fence Me In!
    Fences are some of my favorite things. They can be beautiful, they can be functional, and they can "set the stage" for what's inside. They can reinforce a community aesthetic. They are often used to keep chickens, children, pets, and strangers in or out. They protect gardens and provide privacy.

    Most fences are pretty ordinary, ranging
    from chain link to cedar pickets to concrete block, but every now and then you come come across a really fabulous example of someone's desire
    not to be fenced in!

    Sometimes the "unconventional" fence is actually an old-fashioned hand-crafted fence, such as this wattle fence found in a Mother Earth News article.

    Wattle fences are traditionally woven from fresh willow or hazel branches, but other fresh branches can also work. This article discusses how to recycle green waste into beautiful, functional fencing.

    Another handcrafted fence we don't see a lot of anymore is stacked stone.

    Typically, in areas where these fences were once common, stones were "harvested" from farmers' fields each spring, as freeze/ thaw cycles brought new stones to the surface. The stones were taken to the outside edges of the field and used to build mortarless stone walls. Held together by gravity, a dry-stacked wall can last for centuries with proper maintenance.

    Occasionally, you see a fence that just makes you smile... this fence made from old skis in a Colorado mountain town.

    You have to admire the resourcefulness of the person who used old bed frames to build this fence.

    And this fence made from re-purposed pressed and corrugated tin is a work of art!

    This privacy fence was created using driftwood.

    You don't necessarily have to use re-purposed material to create a fence that won't fence you in! An article in This Old House explains how to restore salvaged wrought iron fencing. fence repair

  17. Hi everyone..
    My question is... as a bird / pet house is permitted under the above mentioned "conditions" .. is one allowed to have insulated walls like you normally do in a house ? This being under the 30sq meter "NON COMBUSTIBLE" rule .
    Mine is 30sq meters internally and I want to keep birds in there and have insulation in walls ???
    Bless all