DO I NEED PLANNING PERMISSION?

Updated: Feb 4

Many do not realise that you can actually build the likes of a garden room without the need for planning permission. This is what is known as ‘Permitted Development Rights. This is however, providing you follow the below:


THE RULES


  • It is single-storey.


  • With a mono pitched roof (like that of our cabins), the eaves are no higher than 2.5m and the ridge no higher than 3m.


  • It is not positioned on land at the front of your property which is forward of a wall forming the principal elevation


  • It does not cover more than 50% the area of land around the ‘original house’ (‘original house’ being the house as it was first built, or as it stood on 1st July 1948 if built before then). If you already have an extension, conservatory, shed or decked area, you will need to ensure that these, collectively with your new building, do not cover more than 50% of the land around the ‘original house’.


  • It does not have any verandas, balconies, or significant raised platforms. If you wanted to add a decked area for example, the maximum height is 300mm.


  • It is not separate, self-contained living accommodation i.e. it does not have a bedroom and bathroom. If you are simply looking to have a separate, small bathroom/toilet or small kitchenette for whilst you are working in an office cabin for example, you may be allowed under Permitted Development, but it is subject to site conditions and discretion of your local planning authority.


  • It is an ‘incidental’ building, meaning it is to be used for leisure or occasionally used when working at home. If you are planning to run a business from your new cabin 24/7, with obvious business use, you may need to apply for planning permission, even if the building conforms to all of the above rules.


We use the word ‘may’ as each local authority interprets the permitted development rules differently so we would recommend seeking advice from your local authority prior to going ahead with any work if that is the case.


Local authorities are supportive about garden offices so if you need planning permission, you are highly likely to get it. It is also worth checking about planning if you intend to sell your property in the future so that you have all of the correct planning paperwork in place.

Please note however, that you will need to apply for planning permission regardless if you live in the following:


  • A listed property.

  • A Conservation Area.

  • National Park or The Broads.

  • An Area of Outstanding Beauty

  • A World Heritage Site




BOUNDARIES


If your building is no higher than 2.5m high overall, it means it can be sited within 2m of any boundary.


If your building has a mono pitched roof with the ridge up to 3m high, and the eaves 2.5m high, it means it cannot be sited within 2m of any boundary, but instead must be at least 2m from any boundary.


The only exception is when the size of your cabin becomes larger than an internal floor area of 15m2, whereby Building Regulations come into play. See below under Building Regulations for more information.





BUILDING REGULATIONS


If your cabin is under 15m2 internal floor area & does not contain any sleeping accommodation, it will not need to meet Building Regulations.


If it contains sleeping accommodation, then it will need to meet approval, something which we can tailor our cabins in order to conform.


If your cabin is over 15m2, and up to 30m2, then it simply needs to be a minimum of 1m from any boundary, unless it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials. The height of the cabin supersedes this rule.


If your cabin does not include a sleeping accommodation, and is under 15m2, but you would still like your cabin to meet Building Regulations, then we can most certainly do this for an additional cost.





I NEED PLANNING - WHAT NEXT?


Gaining planning permission will always be the responsibility of the householder and it is not something we can take care of for you unfortunately.


If you are unsure of what you need to apply for, or how to go about applying, or just generally need some more advice, you can always contact your local authority to seek pre-application advice from a planning consultant. This may be chargeable, however.


// You can search for your local authority here.

THE PLANNING PERMISSION PROCESS


If you need to apply for planning, you will need to go to 'The Planning Portal' (this is where you can find everything you need to know about planning in general) to apply online.


// You can find this here.


Once you have submitted your application, it will automatically be received by the relevant local planning authority.


Your application will incur fees which could be anything in the region of £200 - £500 dependent on the extent of your project.


As part of your application, you will need to submit various documents.


// A guide on this can be found on the Planning Portal here.


For an agreed fee, we can provide you with general drawings (elevations and plans) relating to the cabin itself, to submit as part of your planning application.


A decision on your planning application normally takes between 8 – 10 weeks from submittal so it is important to factor this into your build schedule. Building works can commence as soon as you have approval.





FEAR OF COMPLAINTS


You may be thinking about an office cabin for example, but worried about what your neighbours might think and whether they might make a complaint. Of course, this will always be unavoidable as everyone has the democratic right to make a complaint, however please bear in mind that planning departments are used to receiving complaints and they will always take both parties into account.


The planning department is unlikely to uphold a neighbour’s complaint about your proposed office cabin if your cabin is well considered. This includes being a sensible size in relation to the rest of your property, being sited in a sensible location, and well designed with the use of high-quality materials, something our cabins will always be.


If you are planning to run a business from your cabin and it is quiet and unobtrusive, then it is highly unlikely it will be rejected. Of course, if your business will have lots of visitors, deliveries and be noisy, together with your office being sited right by one of your neighbour’s windows, then naturally the planning department will take this into consideration for the party making the complaint.


As long as you are sensible with your office cabin, and take your neighbours into account, you will more than likely be absolutely fine with your application. It is polite to inform your neighbours ahead with what you are planning to do and show them your proposed plans - a courteous, transparent neighbour is always a better neighbour! You do not have to do this of course if you would rather not.

If you are thinking about a cabin, but not sure if you will need planning, please do get in touch – we’d love to help you with your new cabin project.

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