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TerraQuest News

- May 2022

8 changes I can make to my garden that don’t require planning permission

Summer is coming up and you want to make some positive changes to your garden, but maybe you want to avoid planning permission. TerraQuest and the Planning Portal try to simplify the planning process so don’t let this put you off making those big changes you really want in your garden. However, for now, if you’re just looking to make some smaller changes, here are 8 small changes you can make that don’t require planning permission.

What is permitted development?

Permitted development rights are a type of general planning permission granted by Parliament. If your plans fall within certain restrictions, permitted development allows you to avoid planning permission. However, you may have used up all your permitted development rights if you’ve had building work done before. Please note that permitted development does not apply to flats and maisonettes, only houses and outhouses.

Add a swimming pool

There’s nothing better than jumping into a cool, outdoor swimming pool on those hot, summer days. As long as you don’t go overboard and cover 50% of the land around your house, you can install a swimming pool without needing planning permission.

Build an outbuilding

Thanks to permitted development rights, you can build an outbuilding on your property without needing planning permission. This can include summer houses, gyms, offices, garages, and sheds. However, you need to make sure that the proposed building doesn’t exceed a height of four metres and cannot cover more than 50% of the land around your house.

  • An outbuilding cannot sit forward of the principal elevation
  • Height restrictions depend on the type of roof (4m for dual pitch roofs, 3m for other roofs, and 2.5m when the building is within 2m of the boundary)
  • They should only be single storey, with the maximum eaves height remaining at 2.5m
  • Outbuildings that are built under permitted development cannot be used for accommodation, for example, bedrooms, but they can be used as an office to work from home.

Add decking

As long as certain criteria are met, decking can be added to your garden without needing to gain planning permission.

  • The height must fall below 300mm.
  • Decking platforms shouldn’t be over 30cm from the ground.

Build a conservatory

Conservatories can be added under permitted development. They can generally be built without Building Regulations sign-off, if they have exterior grade doors separating them from the main house and if they’re under 30m2.

Add a fence or wall

As long as you stick to the following rules, permitted development allows you to add gates, fences, and walls.

  • The height must not exceed 1m when adjacent to a highway.
  • The height must not exceed 2m for any other gate, fence, or wall.
  • Is not permitted under permitted development around a listed building.

Add a porch

Permitted development allows you to add a porch, but it must adhere to the following rules:

  • It cannot be taller than 3m.
  • It cannot be within 2m of any boundary adjacent to a highway.
  • The ground area must not exceed 3m².

Landscaping your garden

You will not be required to obtain planning permission for soft landscaping design elements, such as re-turfing your lawn and installing new garden paving. Some trees are protected under Tree Preservation Orders, so ensure that you check with your local council before you do anything with the trees in your garden.

Buy some new furniture

Why not treat yourself to some nice new garden furniture this year. You don’t need to get planning permission for some nice new sofas, folding chairs, and tables. There are plenty to choose from and can be one of the cheapest ways to make your garden more comfortable this summer.

There are lots of changes you can make to your garden without needing to obtain planning permission. However, it is important that you check with your local council and visit the Planning Portals website to ensure that you’re following all the rules. People who do not get the necessary planning permission for something they are doing, risk the possibility of serious consequences and enforcement action. This can end up extremely costly, and failure to comply with an enforcement notice can result in court action and legal penalties.