Alarmingly, we hear that some buyers have been advised that they don’t need planning permission for their garden room, when they know they do.
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.
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!
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.
In a series of new articles we are going to look at why people buy garden rooms, the options available, and process of building and installing a garden room.
If you ask people why they want a garden room, the most common answer is….they need more space!
With the property market at a standstill, and 75% of homeowners planning to stay put in their homes for the long term (Aviva) the motto for creating extra space is ‘don’t move, improve’, and a garden room is a real alternative to traditional extension. Garden rooms are commonly used as home offices, artists’ studios, guest accommodation, music rooms and gyms – all uses that actually benefit from being situated away from the distractions of the main house.
If your first thought when you think about a garden room is a flimsy shed or summerhouse, think again, garden rooms of the 21st century feature cutting edge design and the most up to date materials and building techniques, in fact they are often better designed and better performing than the house who’s garden they sit in!
Whilst commonly made of wood, there are a number of metal garden rooms on the market, and many buildings feature on trend elements such as bi-fold doors which fold back to create flowing indoor / outdoor space, and living roofs which are not only aesthetically pleasing but good for your gardens biodiversity.
A garden room is a cost effective alternative to a home extension, traditional brick extensions cost in the region of £1500 per square meter whilst garden rooms average out at around £1200, so significant savings can be made. If you do come to move, estate agents say that a quality garden room increases the saleability of your home and adds value.
Planning permission is often not required for a garden room, with many contemporary flat roof designs coming in lower than the 2.5m height restriction for buildings sited within 2 meters of a boundary.
The process of purchasing a garden room is quick and easy, most projects are completed within 12 weeks of ordering and most garden room suppliers project manage everything from start to finish (normally the customer organises connection of the mains electricity) and actual onsite build time can be as little as one day!
A garden room is a quick, easy, stylish and cost effective way to gain extra space.
Garden rooms often don’t require planning permission, but it is important that you check before you buy. This guide looks at the basic planning regulations for garden buildings.
Even if your garden room is at the bottom of your garden it’s important that you check with your local planning office as to whether you need to apply for planning permission. It’s no good relying on your garden room supplier to tell you if permission is or isn’t needed, as at the end of the day it is your responsibility as the householder. In the worst cases the planning office can make you take down a building that is breeching planning rules.
However planning permission is generally not as daunting as it sounds!
You will need planning permission if:-
- You live in the curtilage of a listed building.
- The building is to be located on land in front of the principle elevation of the main house i.e. the building is to be situated between the front elevation and the highway.
- The building is to be more than single story with an eaves height of more than 2.5 meters.
- The building has a single pitched roof higher than 3 meters.
- The building has a double pitched roof e.g. a gable roof higher than 4 meters
- The building has a raised platform such as a balcony, veranda or platform.
- More than half the land around the ‘original house’* is covered in outbuildings.
- The building is higher than 2.5 meters and situated within 2 meters of the boundary.
- Has a volume over 10 cubic meters.
- You live in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Broads, National Parks or World Heritage Site the maximum area that can be covered by buildings, containers, enclosures or pools more than 20 meters from the house is limited to 10 square meters.
You generally won’t need planning permission if:-
- You don’t live in the curtilage of a listed building.
- You don’t live in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Broads, National Parks or World Heritage Site.
- The building is not located on land in front of the principle elevation of the main house i.e. the building isn’t situated between the front elevation of the house and the highway.
- The building is only single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 meters.
- The building has a single pitched roof lower than 3 meters.
- The building has a double pitched roof e.g. a gable roof lower than 4 meters.
- If the building doesn’t have a raised platform such as balcony, veranda or platform.
- Less than half the land around the main house is covered in outbuildings.
- The building is less than 2.5 meters high if situated within 2 meters of the boundary.
- Has a volume less than 10 cubic meters.
*Original house means the house as it was originally built before any extensions were added or as it stood before 1 July 1948.
You don’t need to apply for Building Regulations if the building floor area is less than 15 meters square.
If the building is between 15 and 30 square meters you don’t need Building Regulations if the building is at least 1 meter from the boundary or is constructed from non combustible materials.
In both cases Building Regulations only apply if the building contains sleeping accommodation.
For more information visit the governments planning portal
For tips on choosing the location of your garden room click here.