Is planning permission required for a garden room?

25th October 2021

Planning for a Garden Room

Before building a garden room, it is imperative to find out whether permission planning is required. Factors that determine whether one needs permission planning for a garden room include; the planned location of the garden, the intended purpose, and the area of residence. If a client is looking to buy a large structure, a firm will be involved in the application for the permission planning, as well as the installation of the garden.


Planning Permission

Because most garden rooms are categorized as outbuildings, they do not require planning permission. Hence, they can be built as long as certain rules are complied with; a person must have a permitted development right in the residence area. However, one might not be granted permitted development rights if the house is a listed building, and is located in a designated area such as a conservation area, a national park, or an area with outstanding scenery. Moreover, flats and marionettes do not have permitted development rights. These rules apply to all residents living in Wales, England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Therefore, it is crucial to check with the local planning to find out one’s status regarding the permitted development rights.


Planning Rules

If one holds a permitted development right, some rules need to be followed before building a garden room, regardless of the area of residence within the United Kingdom. First, the garden room should not be placed in front of the home. In addition, the total area of the garden room (including all extensions, outbuildings, and sheds) must not cover more than half of the total area around the house. Further, the garden room should only occupy a single storey and must be less than 3 metres high, or 4 meters if it has a dual pitched roof. If the room is located within 2m of the house boundary, its maximum height should be 2.5 metres. In addition, the eaves should not be more than 2.5 meters above ground level. Lastly, the garden room should not be a self-contained living room, and must not have a veranda, balcony, or a raised platform.


If one resides within a designated area and obtains planning permission for a garden, the maximum required area of an outbuilding 20 meters from the house should be 10sq m. The garden room should be built at the side of the house, within the property’s boundary. Planning permission should also be obtained for listed buildings.


Garden Offices – Planning Permission

Planning permission covers garden rooms because they are incidental or are a minor accompaniment to the main house. Similarly, garden offices are considered incidental because they are used to appeal to clients that come in for appointments or meetings. Therefore, garden offices also require planning permission before they are built.


Building Regulations on Garden Rooms

Building regulations provide guidelines as to how a structure is designed, built and insulated. Nevertheless, they don’t apply to outbuildings (garden rooms) which; are not attached to the main house, do not include sleeping arrangements, the floor area is less than 15 sq m. Notably, electronics installed in a garden room should comply with part P of the building regulations; a qualified electrician must connect and test the room’s electrical system to ensure it complies with relevant regulations.


Garden Rooms with Bathrooms

For garden rooms purposed to be used for activities that would normally take place in the main house, planning permission may be necessary. In this case, a plumbing system must be installed, involving two main pipes; one to bring fresh water from the main house, and the other to remove wastewater to an existing drain. Water heaters can also be installed and can be placed under a sink. A macerator is required if a toilet will be fitted to reduce the solid waste into a pulp, and must be connected to a soil pipe that drains water to the main sewer.

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