What’s the Planning Permission position when building a granny annexe in your garden. The Log Cabin Home have produced a detailed article which answers some of the key questions you should ask.
A Certificate of Lawfulness is different to Planning Permission, but does give you proof that the building work is legal, as is the intended use of the building.
There really are some great small garden offices on the market, one of them is the Mini by Henley Garden Offices. Henley offer some valuable planning permission advice for garden office buyers.
Many readers are looking to add an extension to the house, new rules allow you to add bigger extensions without the need for planning permission
In many cases you won’t need planning permission to build a garden room as they fall into Permitted Development, however if you live in a Listed Building, a National Park, a Site of Natural Beauty or a World Heritage site you will need to apply for Planning Permission to install a garden room.
The height of the garden room and where you plan to situate it in the garden are key issues in relation to Planning Permission and garden rooms.
Many garden rooms have an overall height of less than 2.5m; this means they can be sited within 2m of the boundary. This is useful in small gardens where space is at a premium. Flat roof garden room designs normally fit into this height range.
If you are looking for a pitched roof garden room, and want to comply with Permitted Development rules you will need to choose a garden room of a certain height.
For single pitched roofs, you will need to choose a model that is no more than 2.5m at the eaves and 3m high at the ridge; you will also need to situate the garden room more than 2m from the boundary.
For dual pitch roofs, you’ll need to choose a garden room with a maximum height of 2.5m at the eaves and 4m at the ridge, and site it more than 2m from the boundary to comply with Permitted Development.
There are other rules too!
Rule: No outbuilding on land forward of the wall forming the principle elevation – basically you can’t site a garden room in front of the front wall of your house i.e. in the front garden without Planning Permission.
Rule: No verandas, balconies or raised platforms – self explanatory, but you will need to apply for Planning Permission if you want a raised area around your garden room.
Rule: No more than half the area of land around the ‘original house’ to be covered in additions or other buildings – you can’t cover more than 50% of your garden with extensions to your house or other buildings without applying for Planning Permission.
You can get all the facts at the governments Planning Portal
Don’t be put off the idea of a garden room if you do need Planning Permission, most suppliers will handle this stage for you, submitting elevations, site plans and 3d visualisations of the proposed building in your garden. Most suppliers will include this service in their cost; all you will pay is the local authority application fee.
Building Regulations are a different issue to Planning Permission; Building Regulations are concerned with how well a building is built. Garden rooms under 15sqm, which most garden rooms are, don’t have to comply with Building Regulations, garden rooms between 15 and 30sqm don’t normally need Building Regulations as long as they are situated more than 1m from the boundary, however if you plan to use your garden room for sleeping accommodation e.g. a guest room, holiday let or granny annex then your building does need to comply with Building Regs, whatever size it is. This ruling is not designed as a hindrance, but is for your safety!
Because garden rooms are built like houses, many suppliers build their garden rooms to Building Regulation standards, as standard, but this is not always the case so please check
What should you think about when choosing a garden room for a small garden, this guide should help!
In many cases garden offices don’t require planning permission but as the householder you should be absolutely sure about planning permission before starting any building work, in the worst case scenario you could be made to down your garden office if it does not comply with planning regulations.
In England garden offices fall into Permitted Development, these are rules that allow home owners to do certain improvements without applying for full planning permission, if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you need to look at the relevant countries section on the Governments Planning Portal.
If you live in a Listed Building, a National Park, The Broads, an area of Outstanding Beauty or a World Heritage site then you will need to apply for planning permission for your garden office – whatever.
There are some specific rules relating to the size and positioning of a garden office for it to comply with Permitted Development rules, we’ll list each taken from the Planning Portal and try to explain them.
No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation
This rule says you can’t place your garden office in the front garden without planning permission; a garden office needs to be situated behind the front wall of your house.
Garden offices should only be single storey to comply with Permitted Development rules, if you want a second floor in your garden office you will need to apply for planning permission. This rule is also saying that the garden office should have a maximum eaves height of 2.5m and a dual pitched roof should be no taller than 4m at the ridge and single pitched roofs no taller than 3m at the ridge.
If the garden office is to be placed within 2m of the boundary line then it should be no higher than 2.5m to comply – you will need to look at a flat roofed garden office to meet this height requirement.
If you are opting for a garden office with single pitched roof it will need to be placed more than 2m away from your garden’s boundaries and be no higher than 2.5m at the eaves and 3m at the ridge, a dual pitched roof will also need to be placed more than 2m away from the boundary line and should be no higher than 2.5m at the eaves and 4m high at the ridge.
Your garden office shouldn’t have a raised balcony, deck or veranda to comply with Permitted Development rules.
No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
Extensions to your house, sheds, garages, greenhouses and garden offices should not cover more than 50% of your garden to comply with this rule. The term original house means as the house was before any extensions.
Your garden office supplier will be able to advise you regarding planning permission, but at the end of the day it’s your responsibility to check your status, we always recommend that people have a word with their local planning department before starting work – they’re not the enemy!
We hope this article makes the subject a little clearer, planning permission is one of the main concerns of garden office buyers and the suppliers are there to support you through the process, many will actually handle the application for your if planning is needed. It’s worth mentioning that in 13+ years we never had an application for a garden office turned down and many of the garden office suppliers in this guide have a 100% success rate when it comes to planning permission.
In the next chapter of this guide to buying a garden office we look at site visits.
[box type="info"]This article is intended as a guide and is not designed to be a definitive source on the subject, please refer to the Planning Portal for more information.[/box]
Today we ask Garden Affairs questions about buying their garden rooms:
What makes your company / garden rooms unique?
’Quality and service’ is what we are all about. We don’t want to be the cheapest or the biggest we just want to be the best and that’s what makes us stand out.
What feature of your garden rooms are you most proud of?
The speed from design to installation. We can take an idea, produce a design and have it manufactured and installed in an incredibly short space of time.
When designing your garden rooms, which is more important form or function?
We think you have to start with function. The reason most people want a garden room is because they have a need for space be it for business or pleasure. Once you have satisfied the function you can concentrate on the form.
What scope do you have for incorporating the customers design ideas into your garden rooms?
We offer a wide choice of styles and types of buildings. Most of our standard buildings can be customised or we can design just what you want from scratch.
Many customers are concerned about planning permission, how can you help customers with this issue?
Easy we will take care of the whole planning process for you from site survey through to detailed drawings.
Not every site is level, what options do you have for building your garden rooms on uneven ground?
We have the perfect solution. Our Deckbase foundation system can be installed on just about any uneven surface. We utilise special recycled plastic foundation posts that are incredibly strong and totally rot-proof these are concreted into the ground and a pressure treated timber subframe is bolted to it. We design and install each Deckbase to suit the building and all the work is carried out by our own experienced staff.
Some customers are concerned about the ongoing maintenance of a garden room, what annual maintenance do your garden rooms require?
Looking after your building is critical to its longevity. We recommend and specify good quality materials, paints and preservatives from the start so that maintenance is kept to a minimum. Check to make sure any guttering is kept clear of debris. Inspect the building for any signs of wear to the paint finishes. Keep foliage away from the walls to stop walls getting damp.
What aftercare do you offer your customers?
We offer a 5 year guarantee on all our buildings and our customers know that if they have a problem they only need to pick up the phone.
Describe your company in three words!
Easy, “Quality Garden Buildings” its in the title!
Like what you read? Visit the Garden Affairs website for more details.
A guest blog from the team at The Home Office Company about finding a garden office that will appeal to the planning department…
Whilst it’s true that most garden buildings don’t require planning permission, listed properties and properties in areas of outstanding natural beauty almost certainly will. So how do you convince the planners that your building will be in keeping with your property and the surroundings?
Planners are essentially human beings. No, really. Any of us who has had dealings with them will know that they live by constraints imposed over decades if not centuries of often out of date rules and regulations and whilst they personally may love an idea, they have to ensure that their decision is in keeping with these dictates.
Put yourself in their shoes. You walk into a beautiful 16th Century property and are faced with the new owners thinking of a home office in the garden. No problem. Then, they show you something that resembles a shiny wooden dice with windows and ask you, with an expectant look on their face, if this will be ok. It is immediately clear to you that allowing this structure to be erected in their garden would be like putting a helter-skelter inside the front gates at Buckingham Palace and you have to inform them of this in the nicest way possible. Good luck.
Consider the same scenario then, but this time the owners have selected a traditional style garden building; pitched roof, a sensible ratio of glass to wall and which, in a traditional green colour, will melt into the garden as if it had been there since the house were built. All of a sudden the decision becomes far more straightforward and the owners will be left with smiles rather than frowns – or worse, tears- on their faces.
The Home Office Company was established in 1998 and decided on a traditional style building. Not only has this meant zero problems with the planners but the buildings look just as good in the gardens of modern homes as they do in those of period properties.
Externally, 10 different colours are now available (although traditional green is still most popular), which allows homeowners with more flamboyant tastes to add colour to their garden in a way that still allows their building to blend into the planting and environment.
So the easiest way of negating any potential planning issues is to contact The Home Office Company. Simple.
A must for anyone considering buying a garden room, is a visit to the governments Planning Portal, they have a useful tool for indentifying if your garden room needs planning permission, or falls within the householders permitted development rights.[caption id="attachment_1910" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Screenshot of listed building rules"][/caption]
The tool shows various different scenarios in 3D, for instance if you live in a listed building the tool clearly shows that outbuildings don’t fall within permitted development rules so planning permission will be required.
An easier format to understand than a list of rules, you can access the tool by clicking here.