The way we use our gardens has thanks to the media changed over recent years. Today, our garden is seen quite literally as an extension to our home and a perfect opportunity of creating additional living space. In certain circumstances, our garden can offer great scope in terms of the plethora of building and structures that can be located hereabouts without the benefit of planning permission. What to remember is:

Location: The relation to an adjoining boundary / highway are key.

Height: The height of the proposal and its relation to an adjoining boundary are important

Ground Coverage: Remember that no more than 50% of land around the original house can be covered by additions or other buildings. This only applies to land which isn’t constrained. For example, if you live in an area designated as a national park, the Broads, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or world heritage site, a 10 square metre rule applies to all structures located more than 20m from the house.

The rules governing outbuildings apply equally to sheds, greenhouses and garages as well as swimming pools, ponds, sauna cabins, kennels and many other structures incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house.

You will need planning permission if:

  • The outbuilding is situated forward of the existing house.
  • The outbuilding and garage are more than a single storey structure and have an eaves height greater than 2.5m and is higher than 4m with a pitched roof or 3m for any other roof.
  • The outbuilding, garage or swimming pool is located beyond the side elevation of the property and faces the highway.
  • Is within 2m of a boundary, the max height of any structure is greater than 2.5m.
  • The structure has a veranda, balcony or raised platform.
  • More than 50% of the land around the “original house”* is covered by additions or other buildings.

* The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so. In national parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites, the max area covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20m from the house is limited to 10 sq m

Building Regulations?

The requirements of the building regulations will apply if you intend to:

  • Construct foundations
  • Walls below ground
  • Flooring

The following common work sections gives an indication of several other elements normally required to satisfy the requirements of the building regulations when building an outbuilding:

  • Drainage
  • External Walls
  • Electrics
  • Roof