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Do I need planning permission?

What are permitted development rights?

Planning rules





Building regulations


Garden Room Planning Permission: A Definitive Guide

Do I need Planning Permission for a garden room?

In most cases a garden room does not require planning permission. Garden rooms are classed as ‘outbuildings’ and therefore fall within ‘permitted development rights’ in the United Kingdom.

What are permitted development rights and does my home have them?

Permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application. Your property will automatically have permitted development rights granted as long as it is not: 

1)  A flat

2)  A maisonette

3)  A listed building

and/ or is not located in one of the following areas:

1) An area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

2) A national park

3) A conservation area 

4) A world heritage site

If you are unsure if you live in an area with restrictions, you can contact your local planning authority to find out more. 

A map of UK with AONBs in pink and where Garden Room Planning Permission is required

Garden room planning rules

To be classed as an ‘outbuilding’ a garden room must also meet the following rules:

Garden Room Location

Permitted development guidelines require that your garden room not be built in front of the ‘original house’. Original house is how the house stood on 1st July 1948, so if you have not built an extension, it is worth checking if a previous owner has. 

Garden Room Size

Your garden office must be single-storey. The maximum eaves height must be 2.5m if you are within 2m of your boundary. The eaves height is measured from the ground level of the outside wall to where that wall would meet the lowest point of the roof. The maximum overall height must be no more than 4m. If the building is within 2 meters of the property boundary then it can be no higher than 2.5m.

You also have to make sure no more than half the land around the original house will be covered by buildings and additions. 

A diagram of a garden room and border fence with details of Garden Room Planning Permission requirements

Garden Room Structure

Certain structural aspects affect whether garden room planning permission is required. If your garden office will have any of the following, it cannot be classed as an outbuilding and will need planning permission:

1) A balcony

2) A veranda 

3) A raised platform (over 300cm in height) 

Garden Room Purpose

The permitted development rules cover outbuildings that are ‘incidental’ to the house. This means that it is an additional building for the enjoyment of the homeowners, not disrupting the neighbourhood.

In most cases, a garden office class is incidental. Working on your own in the office is a minor accompaniment to your house. However, if it is a place for clients to come and see you, that may affect the neighbourhood, and your council could ask you to apply for planning permission. 

It is also important to note that it cannot be considered an ‘outbuilding’ if you intend to use your garden room for activities that you would usually do in your main home. This included things like cooking, showering or sleeping. Therefore you would need permission from your planning authority if you wanted to add a bed or shower.

Garden Room Building Regulations

Building regulations are a legal requirement, however, they do not usually apply to garden rooms categorised ‘outbuildings’. The following factors mean building regulations do not apply to your garden office: 

1) The floor area is between 15 m2 and 30 m2. 

2 ) It is not attached to the main house. 

3) There is no sleeping accommodation. 

Any electrics in your garden office will also need to comply with part P of the building regulations. Usually, an electrician will check the electrical system is safe and provide you with a certificate showing it meets the regulations. 

hand wiring an electrical junction box


Overall the majority of garden owners across the UK do not have to apply for planning permission as long as the planning rules and regulations are followed properly.

All Little Green Rooms garden offices have been designed to comply with the guidelines set out in your permitted development rights. If you need any advice please contact us today.


Email: jack@littlegreenrooms.co.uk


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