Do you need planning permission for a garden building?


Out-growing your home is a situation many of us may find ourselves in at some point in our lives – if you could add that much-needed space without an expensive extension or disruptive move, wouldn’t you prefer it?

It’s possible to gain new space (and even add value to your property) by installing a garden building or conservatory. 

You could have a lot to gain with the benefits of these multi-functional areas. But, determining whether you need planning permission can be confusing. 

Our new blog will clear up everything you need to know about whether or not planning permission is necessary for your project. 


Does my project need planning permission?

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding garden buildings and the construction of conservatories or orangeries is evaluating whether planning permission is necessary. 

The difference between requiring planning permission or not can be reduced to a few key measurements.

According to government regulations, you will need planning permission in the following scenarios: 

  • If you’re making a major extension.
  • If you’re changing the use of your building. 
  • The building is an outbuilding that exceeds a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of 4 metres with a dual-pitched roof or 3 metres with any other roof.  

A project that does not require planning permission can be completed under ‘permitted development rights’. This applies if:

  • The building is an outbuilding with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of 4 metres with a dual-pitched roof or 3 metres with any other roof.  
  • Planning permission is not necessary. 
  • It’s a single storey, side or rear extension that is not close to any boundaries. 

To summarise, summerhouses and garden rooms or offices that do not exceed the height restrictions above, do not require planning permission but may still need consent from your local authority. 


What next?

If your new structure doesn’t require planning permission and it falls under your permitted development rights, there may still be other consents required in order to protect the interest of the wider environment and any surrounding neighbours. Your project manager or building supplier should be able to advise you on these other requirements. 

If you do need planning and building permission, you can apply online

It’s important to note that if your garden building stands independently, using it as a permanent dwelling is highly discouraged. If you intend on using your garden building as a place of residency separate permissions are necessary.

If you do complete work that requires planning permission without receiving approval, you will be served an enforcement notice, ordering you to undo all the changes made. It is illegal to ignore an enforcement notice – but you can appeal against it.


Need more help?

Not sure? Here’s a beginner’s guide from Real Homes to help clear up the rules. If you’re still struggling, ask your project manager or contact your local planning authority for further assistance.

Have any questions? Call us on 03455040555, fill out a contact form for a response from one of our experts, or view our garden buildings in-person at one of our showrooms!