How To Get Planning Permission For Your Garden Building

It is my property and I will put what I want on it! You have no idea how many people have had this mind set and then have been forced to tear down a tremendous shed, summerhouse or some other kind of garden building! The fact is planning permission is something you need to know about and today we are having a little look at how to make getting planning permission as straightforward (well as straightforward as it can be) as possible.


So What Is Planning Permission?

Well just because you own your property does not mean you can just do what you want on it. Planning permission is exactly what it sounds like. You put forward to your local authority what you would like to do and then they either tell you it is ok and you can go ahead and do it or they tell you to get lost… ok so they might not do that, but there is always the chance you can be denied planning permission. To be fair most local authorities will work with you and help you in some way get what you would like. You just might have to make a few changes to your original plan.


Do I Need Planning Permission?

This is quite a tough one to answer directly, but if the structure you are building is larger than 10 m2 then you will have to get planning permission. If you plan on installing whatever the garden building is 20 meters or more from the walls of your property then you will need to get planning permission. We would say that these two are the most common (especially the size one) for the majority of people. If you live in a listed building or if your house is on some kind of special heritage site then it is much harder to get planning permission. The easiest way to think of it is that if the structure you are building is big, give them a call. It is better to be safe than sorry!


How Do I Know If I Do Not Need Planning Permission?

Most standard sized sheds, summerhouses, playhouses or anything else cool you want to put in your garden will be fine. You will should not need planning permission If your garden building is meeting any of the following criteria.

  • Your building is not over 2.5 M in height from ground level
  • The whole area the building takes up is less than 30 m2
  • That it falls within 2 M Of Your Property Boundary
  • You will not be living in it (not sure if hiding out from the other half counts!)
  • That the building is not going to take up more than half of your total land
  • That the building is single story
  • Any fences must not be over 1 M in height if you live near a main road or highway
  • If you are worried about any of these then it is best to give them a call rather than just chancing it.


Who Do I Contact About Planning Permission?

This one is nice and easy. All you have to do is find out who your local planning authority is. You can use this link to do it. You can then make your application online. As this is your local authority you are dealing with it is not exactly the speediest process in the world so be warned it can take up to eight weeks to get a final decision.


Other Planning Permission Tips & Things To Think About

Do not mess around once you get planning permission. You have three years to get the work done. If it takes longer then you have to apply all over again!

Some properties have “Permitted Development” which means that you may not actually need to get planning permission for the job you want to do. This is great, but always check before you start to build something.

While not a legal requirement it is always good to have a chat with your next door neighbours to let them know what you plan to do.

Once you have planning permission you cannot just start making changes to the project and assume that it will be ok.

Decking is not invincible to the might of planning permission. If you plan on having a large decking area then always check before you start to build it. Especially if the decking is raised.

Ask questions! The last thing you want is for your new shed, summerhouse or whatever it is to be forced down. So make sure you ask as many questions as possible and keep a record of who you spoke to, when you spoke to them and what they said.

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