Garden Room Planning Permission Guide
Explore garden room manufacturers' websites, and you will find the words Planning Permission Not Required in a prominent place. It is true that, in many cases, you can build a garden room without the need to apply for planning permission from your Local Authority.
Rather than apply for planning permission, you can build your garden room following the Permitted Development rules. The thing is, Permitted Development only applies to some houses.
Your chosen garden room company will advise you about planning permission during your design consultation. Still, at the end of the day, it is your responsibility as the homeowner to check your unique position.
This guide looks at the different aspects you need to consider when building a garden room. Each topic links to an article that goes into greater detail.
Check to see which garden room companies work in your area
Not all of them do!
The first question you should ask yourself is, Do I need planning permission to build a garden room?
It may well be that you can build your garden room under the Permitted Development rules, but you must check your individual position, as in the worst-case scenario, you can be forced to remove an unauthorised building.
Whether or not you require planning approval for your garden room depends on factors such as where you live, how you plan to use your building and its height or positioning.
You may be able to build a garden room under the Permitted Development rules
The majority of garden rooms built each year are built under the Permitted Development rules. These rules clearly lay out where you can position different height garden rooms and how much of your garden they can occupy.
As you explore the work of different garden room companies, you will notice that a lot of the designs have a maximum height of 2.5m. This is because garden rooms with a maximum height of 2.5m offer the greatest flexibility in positioning.
Not all properties have Permitted Development rights, for instance, if you live in a flat or maisonette.
Permitted Development rules also don't apply if you live in a National Park, the Broads, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a World Heritage Site or a Listed Building. So, you would need to apply for planning permission to build a garden room.
If you build under the Permitted Development rules, consider a Lawful Development Certificate
If you can build your garden room under the Permitted Development rules, applying for a Lawful Development Certificate is advisable. This certificate confirms that your room has been built in accordance with the current regulations.
A Lawful Development Certificate not only offers reassurance that what you are building is legal. It will also be useful when you sell your house, as your buyer's solicitors may ask to see it. The presence of the certificate can also be reassuring for your neighbours.
Several garden room companies will organise a Lawful Development Certificate as part of the service they offer. Otherwise, you can apply for it yourself via your Local Authority Planning Department.
There are specialsits in Garden Room Planning Permission
If you doubt your position regarding planning permission for your garden room, there are specialists who can advise you. Experienced garden room companies will advise you during your design consultation. We say experienced because we have come in contact with some garden room builders who have a very sketchy grasp of the rules!
Several garden room manufacturers have planning specialists on retainer to advise their clients. You can, however, engage these planning consultants yourself. We know of a couple of companies who specialise in garden room and annexe projects.
When building a garden room, you might also need to consider Building Regulations
While whether you require planning permission to build your garden room might be at the forefront of your mind, you also need to have an eye on the Building Regulations.
Where Permitted Development looks at the height of a garden room, Building Regulations look at the footprint size of the room and intended use when laying out its rules.
If you plan to use your garden room as sleeping accommodation, even occasionally, it must comply with Building Regulations.
The Building Regulations clearly state the footprint sizes for when a garden room must comply with Building Regulations. You will want to pay particular attention to these rules when positioning your building within 1m of the boundaries of your garden.
Not all garden room companies offer Building Regulation compliant specifications. Often you will need to work with a company that offers bespoke garden rooms or one that specialises in garden living annexes to achieve the right build-up.
No matter what size your outdoor room is, the electrical system and any plumbing services must comply with Building Regulations.
When building a garden room, it's wise to talk to your neighbours
If you apply for planning permission, the Local Authority will consult your immediate neighbours. Even if you are building under Permitted Development, making them aware of your plans would be wise.
In our experience, neighbours can get quite twitchy about the size and positioning of a garden room in relation to their garden. They also worry about what it will be used for, particularly in relation to noise.
Garden room companies are very good at estimating how long the installation phase will take. They can also give you a schedule for deliveries and tell you how many vehicles to expect to need parking spaces. This information can also be handy to convey to your neighbours to avoid irritations during the installation phase.