Generally, garden buildings in the UK do not require planning permission. There are, however, a few exceptions to this, so it’s useful to know these depending on the intended size, placement, and purpose of your garden room.

Garden Rooms for general home use

Garden rooms are classed as outbuildings in UK planning law and, as such, fall under permitted development rights the majority of the time, and therefore, do not require planning permission. This is an advantage over other options for extending your living space as the process is quick and simple.

However, if you live in a flat or maisonette, or in a listed building, you will not have permitted development rights and will need to obtain garden room planning permission. This is also the case if you live in a conservation area, National Park, World Heritage site or area of outstanding natural beauty. If your property has been converted into a house previously, or has undergone a change or use, then it may not have the permitted development rights and would require full planning permission.

Provided that none of the above restrictions apply to your property type or location, you can usually go ahead without planning permission if your proposed garden room falls within the following criteria:

  1. It will not contain any sleeping facilities and is not intended to be used as self-contained living accommodation.
  2. It is single storey and less than 3m high (or 4m if it has a dual-pitched roof).
  3. It doesn’t have a veranda, balcony or raised platform.
  4. The eaves are no more than 2.5m above the ground.

The location and size of the garden room will also need to be taken into consideration. Garden rooms cannot be placed in the front of your home, and the total area of all building on your property, including any other sheds, conservatories, garages, extensions, and other outbuildings must not cover more than 50% of the total area of your property. Please visit the Which website for more information.

Garden Rooms used for Work and Business Purposes

Garden buildings are often used as garden offices to allow for privacy and a professional separation from home life. Most of the time, planning permission is not required as this would likely come under permitted use of an outbuilding, provided that it doesn’t change the main use of your home. However, if you are using it for more than working alone on a computer and the phone, for example holding face-to-face client meetings, or an exercise class, then you may need to ask your council for planning permission due to the potential impact on your surrounding neighbours.

Should you wish to add plumbing facilities to your garden room, you will need to check with your local council as to whether they would require you to have planning permission for this. Adding a power supply generally doesn’t require planning permission, provided that all electrical work complies with Building Regulations, specifically Part P. If these electrical works are extensive then you will have to notify your local authority building control to ensure they meet all safety regulations.

If you have any questions relating to garden rooms and garden offices, then please get in touch with the friendly team at Design Build Space today. Or, visit our useful frequently asked question page.