The Importance Of Securing Planning Permission BEFORE Your Project

Written by on June 17, 2013 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page

Image by Henry Burrows

Image by Henry Burrows

Check Planning Permission Requirements

If you find space is at a premium in your home, then an outbuilding can provide a versatile and cost effective solution to your needs.

Whether you’re looking for a games room, home office, or simply a den to provide you with a peaceful refuge, garden buildings make a practical enhancement to your home.

However, before you begin your construction, make sure your project complies with planning regulations.

Failure to obtain or comply with the relevant planning permission can result in a “planning breach” and may ultimately lead to prosecution.

Permitted Developments

Permitted development rights allow you to make certain changes to your home without applying for planning permission. Garden buildings including sheds, greenhouses, garages and cabins are classed as permitted developments, and therefore do not require planning permission subject to the following conditions:

  • No outbuilding is forward of the original dwelling.
  • Outbuildings must be single storey with a maximum pitched roof height of 4m, or 3m for any other roof type. Height of the eaves must not exceed 2.5m.
  • Outbuildings within 2m of the property boundary must be no higher than 2.5m.
  • Outbuildings must not cover more than 50% of the garden space around the house – 30% in Scotland.
  • Outbuildings cannot have balconies, raised platforms or verandas
  • In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, outbuildings closer than 5m to the house count as extensions, therefore planning permission may be required.
  • Your property is not in a designated area e.g. a conservation area, an area of outstanding natural beauty or a national park.

Check Building Regulations

Even if your home improvement does not require planning permission, building regulations may still apply. Building regulations are defined by the use of the building and can be extremely complicated; however, garden outbuildings are exempt if they meet the following criteria:

  • The building is not used for sleeping purposes.
  • The floor area is less than 15 m2.
  • The floor area is between 15 and 30 m2 and the building is at least 1m from any boundary or is constructed from substantially non-combustible materials.

Check With Your Local Planning Authority

Before undertaking any work, check with your local planning authority (LPA) to see if you need permission to begin work. Information regarding planning can be found online, and you can also apply for planning permission on the Planning Portal website.

It is essential that you find out the requirements for your area before beginning work. The property owner is responsible for ensuring all development work complies with planning rules and building regulations, and will be liable for any remedial action if the relevant rules are breached; this could mean demolition and/or restoration of the property to the original state.

If you’re considering building a garden outbuilding check out Dunster House’s planning permission infographic to discover if your project is exempt from planning and building regulation requirements.

Have you ever had an outbuilding added to your property? What was the process like for you? Share your experiences in the comments!

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Roz McGann is a home and garden design expert who is always in need of more space.


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