Garden room planning rules explained

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about planning permission and what that means for building a garden room.

When it comes to investing in a garden room, there are a lot of considerations that come into play. You’ll have to think about the size, style and cost of the building before diving head first into kitting your garden out with extra space to work or play.

One of the main causes for concern surrounding garden rooms is all in the formalities and legalities of it – is the planning permission process the same as applying for an extension?

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about planning permission and what that means for building a garden room.

First and foremost, let’s take a look at what planning permission is.

What is planning permission?

If you’re planning on constructing a new building or making considerable changes to the size or structure of an existing building, then the law requires that planning permission is granted to be able to carry out the work.

In all cases, it is your responsibility to apply for planning permission from the planning authority within your local council before any work takes place. An application for planning permission should explain what the work will consist of and why you think you should be granted permission, with accompanying diagrams to provide an accurate overview.

Planning permission applications will be assessed and either granted or refused. If refused, you should not go ahead with any building work, but may have the opportunity to revise the plans and re-submit the application.

However, planning permission may not always need to be granted in all circumstances, particularly when it comes to garden rooms or summer houses.

garden room floor plan

Do I need planning permission for a garden room?

The good news is, most garden rooms in the UK don’t require planning permission as they are classed as outbuildings. Providing you meet certain requirements, you will likely have permitted development rights at your home which means you can go ahead with a garden room build.

In some cases, you may not have permitted development rights. These include:

  • If your home is a listed building
  • If your home is in a designated area (eg a National Park, area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), conservation area or World Heritage Site)

If you’re unsure whether or not your home falls within these categories, be sure to check first with your local planning authority.

What about building regulations?

Building regulations concern the design, build and insulation of any building which includes any extensions or additions to your property or land. When you come to sell your house, it’s important that you have the right certificates of compliance that deem the structure to be safe for use.

For the most part, building regulations don’t typically apply to outbuildings such as garden rooms, provided that they’re not intended to be used as sleeping accommodations. Instances where building regulations don’t apply to garden rooms include:

  • The outbuilding isn’t attached to your home
  • The total floor space is less than 15 sq m
  • It doesn’t include sleeping accommodation

In many cases, building regulations also don’t need to be applied for if the floor area is between 15 and 30 sq m – providing that it sits more than 1 metre from the home, doesn’t include sleeping accommodation and is made from non-combustible materials.

Generally, if your garden room is larger than 30m2 or contains sleeping accommodation, or both, then building regulations will be required.

When it comes to fitting your garden room out with electrics, you will need to ensure that the installation complies with part P of the building regulations. This must be installed by a qualified electrician and connected to your mains supply.

For a garden room with electricity that you can trust, get in touch with Pegasus. Our qualified electrician has over 20 years of experience and you will be issued with an electrical installation certificate that demonstrates compliance with building regulations.

garden room with lighting and electricity

How big can a garden room be without planning permission?

The quick answer is that a garden room must not cover more than 50% of your total garden space in order to avoid having to apply for planning permission.

However, there are a lot more considerations that need to be made in order to ensure that your building complies with all restrictions. These include:

  • Location: A garden room must not be at the front of your home. In a conservation area, it should be situated directly behind the home, and in if you live in a national park area, it should be within 20m of the rear of the house.
  • Size: Whilst it mustn’t cover more than 50% of your garden, 30 square metres is still the maximum floor space allowed before planning permission is required.
  • Height: It must be a single-storey building which is less than 3 metres in height (4 metres with a dual-pitched roof). If it is within 2 metres of your boundary, it must not exceed 2.5 metres in height. The building must also not have eaves more than 2.5 metres above ground level or feature a balcony, veranda or raised platform.
  • Use: If you plan on building a granny annex or intend to use your garden room as sleeping accommodation, you will need planning permission.

Choosing the right garden room for you

Providing you have the outdoor space at your disposal and have understood all of the terms and conditions laid out in this article, you should have no problem installing a garden room.

Whether you’re looking for a garden office, outdoor man cave or garden cinema, Pegasus Garden Rooms can help. Even if you’re in the market for a granny annex to offer extra living space to elderly relatives, we have the experience and expertise needed to offer advice and guidance on applying for planning permission where needed.

All of our luxury garden room designs can be tailored to your bespoke needs. Designed from the ground up, we work with you to build your dream outbuilding, complying with all regulations along the way. We can provide garden rooms in Manchester, Cheshire, Stockport and Liverpool – get in touch with us to enquire.