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Do You Need Planning Permission for a Garden Room?

26 June 2024
Garden room Garden room

 

In most cases, you don’t need planning permission for a garden room, but there are a few rules around its size, purpose and location. We’ve put together this guide to tell you all you need to know about garden room planning permission. 

What We'll Cover

Garden Room Planning Permission

Whether you plan to use your garden room as a home gym, office or craft room – it’s classed as an outbuilding, covered by Permitted Development Rights, which means you don’t typically need planning permission.  


But there are a few conditions:  

  • Your garden room can’t be built in front of your property 
  • It has to be single storey 
  • It shouldn’t cover more than 50% of your garden 
  • It cannot be used as a self contained living accommodation 

If your garden room is located within 2m of a boundary, which could refer to a fence, wall or property line, the total height can’t exceed 2.5m. However,over 2m from a boundary, you have greater flexibility because the height can be a maximum of 3m or 4m with a pitched roof. 


You’ll need to apply for planning permission from your local planning authority (LPA) if your garden room plans don’t meet the criteria set out above.


Eurocell’s Garden Rooms are hassle-free to install and built to a high standard with a 10-year guarantee. Fitted by approved installers, they don’t require planning permission and are available in a range of sizes and styles to fit your property. 

“All of the garden rooms are designed with a maximum height of 2.5 metres. This design ensures that they typically fall within permitted development guidelines. As a general guideline, structures with this specification may not necessitate planning permission, as they often align with permitted development regulations. However, it's essential to be mindful of regional variations and potential influencing factors such as listed-building status, conservation areas, or locations within an Area of Natural Beauty, which may impact planning requirements."

- Sean Bunyan, Eurocell Garden Room specialist

Protected Areas 

The rules around garden rooms in protected areas are a bit stricter. If you live in a listed building, you will have to apply for garden room planning permission no matter the size or purpose of it. 


Protected areas include conservation areas, National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites.


Typically, you can install as a garden room as long as: 

  • It’s located over 20m from your house and not larger than 10 square metres
  • It’s not built to the side of your property 

It’s worth asking your LPA for advice if you’re unsure.  

 

Permitted Development rights

Permitted Development Rights were introduced to let homeowners make minor improvements to their home without permission. It typically covers smaller-scale projects.


These rights cover garden rooms that are ‘incidental’ to the property. That means it can’t be used as a stand-alone living space like a bedroom or bathroom – but it’s perfect for hobbies, relaxing, exercise and entertainment. These rights speed up the garden room process as homeowners don’t need to make a formal planning application if they comply with the existing rules. 


It’s worth noting that permitted development doesn’t apply to flats, maisonettes or apartments.

 

Instances You Might Need Garden Room Planning Permission

Instances You Might Need Garden Room Planning Permission

If you want to use your garden room as a bedroom, kitchen or bathroom, you will need to apply for planning permission – formal consent from the LPA to start your project. That doesn’t mean you can’t install plumbing for a stand alone sink or a mini-fridge in your garden room bar. It simply refers to a self-contained living accommodation like a guest room. 


You can also use your garden room as an office if you work from home – but you’ll need planning permission if you want to use it as a base for your business such as a hair salon or yoga studio.

 


“We’d always recommend homeowners engage with local planning officers early in the process, ensuring a smooth journey from concept to realisation. For those in England, the government's online Planning Portal serves as a helpful resource, offering quick and easy advice. Regardless of location, seeking professional guidance ensures compliance with regulations, providing peace of mind as you embark on creating your perfect outdoor retreat."

- Sean Bunyan, Eurocell Garden Room specialist

Applying For Garden Room Planning Permission

If you're unsure whether you need planning permission, contact your LPA before getting started.


Get in touch with your LPA through your local council. If it turns out you do need planning permission, submit a planning application form online and pay a fee of around £200. Bear in mind, you might need to pay more for documents like site plans or drawings if they are requested.  


After you have submitted an application, the next 21 days will be a consultation period where your neighbours or relevant parties can have a say in the plans. As long as there aren’t any objections, the LPA will make the final decision. In total, it can take around eight weeks. 

 

Do Garden Rooms Need Building Regulations?

Planning permission covers major alterations to your property and is based on the building size, location and impact on the environment. Whereas Building Regulations are requirements set to ensure the alteration or construction of the garden room meets health and safety for homeowners.  


These standards are separate from planning permission and it’s usually your installers job to ensure your garden room meets them. 


The good news is, your garden room should comply with these regulations if:

  • It isn’t attached to your house
  • It’s smaller than 15 square metres
  • It’s not used for sleeping 

If your garden room is sized between 15-30 square metres, you will need to comply with Building Regulations if it’s located within one metre from a boundary or built using combustible materials. 


It should also be structurally secure, energy efficient, fire safe, well ventilated and accessible – which Eurocell’s Garden Rooms are designed to be. 


It’s important to comply with the regulations set out to avoid any fines, use your garden room safely and add value to your home. A high-quality garden room can add around 8.4% value to your property and a more intricate one covered by planning permission can add more, so it’s key to decide on the use vs potential property price if you’re looking to sell in the future. 

Is a Garden Room a Worthwhile Investment?

Whether you need space to relax, lose yourself in a new hobby or a dedicated place to work, a modern garden room can improve your quality of life. They are significantly cheaper than an extension or moving, while still managing to attract buyers if you’re planning to sell. 


Eurocell’s Garden Rooms are fully insulated so you can enjoy it no matter the weather, and is a blank canvas that you can decorate to your liking. For inspo, read our Garden Rooms Interior Decor blog. 


Explore our range of stylish Garden Rooms to upgrade your home. 

 

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