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Do I Need Planning Permission For A Shed or Garden Structure?

When Do The Rules Apply?

Before choosing and installing your shed, you must explore whether planning permission is required. The answer is reliant on where you live and what type of shed you want to fit. British planning and building regulations class sheds, along with garages and greenhouses, as outbuildings. Fortunately, all outbuildings are categorised as Permitted Developments in the UK, which means you don’t need to apply for planning permission provided you meet set standards. Planning regulations state that:
  • Sheds should not be built in front of any walls at the front of your house.
  • Sheds should be no more than one storey.
  • The building should not have an occupied volume of more than 15m square.
  • Eave height should not exceed 2.5m, and sheds should be a maximum of 3m high unless they have dual pitched roofs, in which case they can be up to 4m.
  • The building should not exceed 2.5m if it is within two metres of your property boundary.
  • There should be no verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • Combined with other extensions and outbuildings, the shed should not cover more than 50 percent of the land around your original house.
  • The building should not impinge on conservation areas or spaces of outstanding natural beauty or any other government-protected designated land (such as a world heritage site).
Distances are calculated according to the location of the ‘original house’. The term ‘original house’ refers to the house as it was first built or as it stood on the 1st July 1948 if its construction preceded this date. This means that if a previous owner built an extension to the house, this must be discounted when calculating distances from boundaries etc.

Does a Shed Need Planning Permission if You Live in a Conservation Area?

There are a number of extra rules to follow if you plan to build a shed and you live in a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Broads, a Conservation Area or a World Heritage Site.
  • You’ll need planning permission to build a shed at the side of a property
  • Your shed cannot take up more than 10m square.
  • If you live in a Listed Building planning permission must be obtained to install a garden shed.
Homeowners whose planned shed fails to meet these criteria should contact their Local Building Authority to apply for planning permission. The submission involves filling out a planning application costing around £150. The average processing time is around 8 weeks. Whatever you do, don’t go ahead and build your shed without planning permission, as this can result in a hefty fine and a legally binding order from your Local Building Authority to dismantle the unauthorised construction.  

Building Regulations

In addition to planning permission, you should also pay attention to building regulations when installing a shed. These include making sure the structure is secure and isn’t used as sleeping accommodation – contact your Local Building Authority for more advice on this.  
If you want to put up a small detached outbuilding such as a garden shed or summerhouse, building regulations will not normally apply if the floor area of the building is less than 15m square and there is no sleeping accommodation.  
If the floor area of the building is between 15 and 30m square, it will not generally be necessary to apply building regulations where the building does not have sleeping accommodation and is at least one metre from any boundary or constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.
These regulations apply where the new outbuilding is within the boundaries of an existing property, such as a garage or carport, summerhouse or shed or greenhouse.
Irrespective of whether your lovely new garden building is permitted development or requires planning permission, our experienced team is on hand to help you every step of the way.

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