*Update November 2023*

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Cousins Conservatories & Garden Buildings

Hilliers Garden Centre, Brighton Rd, Horsham, RH13 6QA

01403 255 456

Call our friendly team 7 days a week for help and advice

Open 7 Days a Week

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The Cousins guide to planning permission for garden buildings

Do I require planning permission for a garden building?

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This is a very common question we get asked more or less every week.

This guide to garden building planning permission covers all types of garden buildings including garden sheds, summerhouses, garden studios or garden rooms, greenhouses, workshops and concrete garages.

In short, most garden building installations do not require planning permission as they are deemed to be “permitted development” , as quick reference these are the main 3 points to look for, if these 3 are within the rules you shouldn’t have any issues.

-Height of building
-Size of building
-Location of building

When carrying out a free site survey and preparing a quotation the main things that we look for are;

The proximity to your boundary & the height of the proposed building

Eaves & Ridge Height

If the building is within 2 metres of any boundary this includes either you or your neighbours boundary on all sides of your garden it needs to be 2.5 metres in height to the ridge or below.

The eaves height doesn’t make any difference, this is all about the ridge height. If you’d prefer this in feet it is 8’2”.

If your proposed site is more than 2 metres from the boundary then the ridge height can be up to 4 metres in height. In feet this is 13’1”.

Another question that we are asked quite often is if my neighbours garden is higher or lower than mine do I need to worry about heights? The answer is quite simple planning rules are based on the ground level in your garden and your neighbours garden doesn’t make any difference at all.

The type of base that will be prepared for the building.

Dug In Base

We recommend a concrete or paved base as the optimum base for any garden building, with this sort of base it can be “dug in” which means it isn’t sitting proud of the surrounding area. We would always recommend having the base as close as possible to the building size as if you have water sitting on the base it can be detrimental to the buildings life and longevity.

The types of base that can start creating complications are decked or raised timber bases as technically the planning rule is from ground level so it can get into a “grey area” on heights and exact locations of the ridge.

The size of the proposed building

With a garden building you can use up to 50% of the garden with outbuildings; most of our products come under that umbrella. That being said you wouldn’t necessarily want one building that is 50% of your garden space as that could be too big for building regulations.

The use of the proposed building.

Water Electric

If you are using the building for storage or a garden room that is fine however if you decide that you want to use a garden building as a dwelling you then come into building regulations and fire regulations.

Electrics are perfectly fine to fit to any building as long as it is done professionally and certified.

Water is where you come into building regulations, if you fit a water source to your building it then makes it habitable which totally changes the use of the building.

Is the building visible from a public right of way either road or footpath

There is a higher risk of complaints and planning permission or retrospective planning permission being required when the building is visible from a public right of way or public footpath. This is why we always advise staying within the rules even if you haven’t got any neighbours that can see the buildings.

The location in relation to your property

Any garden building would need to be behind the principle elevation of your property, if you image a line across your front door this would usual help decide where this is.

You would need planning permission if you decided to put any building in your front garden.

If you aren’t sure what is your front garden as not all properties are simple if for example you are in a corner plot or a lot of houses in the countryside have odd shaped gardens or the front door may be on the side of the property.

Listed Buildings & Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

If you live in either of these areas then you would usually need planning permission for any building and there would be rules as to how the building should look. You sometimes find that the council will specify certain colours or finishes to the building.

Planning Permission on New Builds

We get asked a lot whether permission is needed on new builds. A lot of new builds have covenants on them and you have to stick within certain rules, some include restrictions on when you can build other things may be types of materials used. If in doubt its best to check with your housing developers.

How and where to apply for planning permission for your garden building.

The best place to apply for planning permission for a garden building is through the governments planning portal website. This link will take you straight through to the applications page. If you don’t want to apply online you should contact your local authority directly.

If you need any planning advice or would like to arrange a free no obligation quotation for your garden building project, please contact us.