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TerraQuest News

- Jun 2022

Planning permission for garden rooms: Everything you need to know.

Garden rooms are a popular choice for households who are looking to make the most out of their outdoor space. There are so many ways you can use a garden room, a gym, home cinema, yoga studio, games room, bar, hot tub room, and a home office. But do you need planning permission? That depends on how big it is, where you’re putting it, where you live, and what you’re planning on using the room for. In this guide, we hope to provide you with all the information you need about planning permission for garden rooms.

For most garden rooms, you will not need to obtain planning permission as they are classed as outbuildings. You’re allowed to build outbuildings without planning permission as long as you comply with certain rules. However, that’s if you have permitted development rights at your home or the area you live in. Some people may not have permitted development rights if their home is a listed building, they live in flats/maisonettes, or their home is in a designated area (for example a National Park, area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), conservation area or World Heritage Site). If you are unsure whether you have permitted development rights, please check with your local council.

Planning Rules for Garden Rooms:

  • The garden room must not be at the front of your home and if you have extended it then the front refers to how it stood on the 1st July 1948.
  • The eaves must be no more than 2.5 metres above ground level.
  • It must not be a living accommodation.
  • It must not cover more than 50% of the total area of land around your house.
  • It must be less than three metres high (four metres with a dual-pitched roof) and single storey. The maximum height is 2.5 metres if it is within 2 metres of your boundary.
  • It must not have a balcony, raised platform or veranda.
  • If you live in a National Park, a World Heritage Site, the Broads, or an AONB, the maximum area of outbuildings that are more than 20 metres from your house is 10 square metres. Furthermore, if any part of your garden room would sit between the side of your house and the boundary of your property, you’ll need to get planning permission in National Parks, the Broads, World Heritage Sites, AONBs and conservation areas.
  • You’ll need to get planning permission for any outbuilding if you live in a listed building.

Building Regulations for Garden Rooms:

Building regulations don’t usually apply to outbuildings if:

  • The garden room is not attached to your main house.
  • The garden room does not include sleeping accommodation
  • The floor area is less than 15 square metres. If the floor area is between 15 square meters and 30 square metres, you still don’t usually have to apply for Building Regulations approval, if there is no sleeping accommodation, is made of non-combustible materials and it’s more than 1 metre from your boundary.
  • Electrics in your garden room will need to comply with part P of the Building Regulations.

Planning Permission for Garden Offices:

Your council may ask you to apply for planning permission if you’re building a garden office. The reason for this is that working from an office in your garden may have an effect on the neighbourhood, if you’re having clients come for meetings/appointments on a regular basis. However, more often than not, your garden office will not require planning permission. Check with your local planning office if you’re not sure.

Bathrooms in a Garden Room:

If you plan on using your garden room for activities that you would usually do in your main home, then it is likely you will need to apply for planning permission.

Overall, it is very likely that you won’t need to apply for planning permission for garden rooms, but there are some rules and exceptions you need to keep an eye out for. If you’re unsure, always contact your local council to check. We also advise you to take a look at the Planning Portals many guides and information about planning permission.