Getting planning permission for your garden room

Depending on the size, height and location of your home and your intended garden room, planning permission may not be required. This has always been the case for a small, temporary structure such as a shed, but recently the rules have changed to include other buildings. So before you start thinking about what you can or can’t get permission for, check out the new planning permission guidelines.

Getting planning permission for your garden room

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Planning permission has always comprised of a number of individual rules rather that one single regulation. This has required homeowners to consider their desired garden room first, and only afterwards, to check if it complies. One such rule stated that a one metre gap must always exist between the extra room and the main building if the room is larger that 15 square metres. In general, new garden rooms could not exceed 30 square metres.

New regulations for garden rooms

However, a more simplified rule was introduced in 2016, which applies specifically to garden rooms and the garden office studio. Now, provided that your room doesn’t exceed 2.5 metres in height, the traditional allowance for a garden shed, you may use up to 50% of your existing free land for your new structure.

Your existing free land is understood as the total square metreage of your back garden, front garden and any side garden, minus any area already occupied by sheds, fuel tanks and carports. However, if your front garden is larger than your back garden, you still won’t be able to erect your garden room in front of your house.

The 50% rule replaces the 30 square metre rule as long as the room is single story and less than 2.5 meters high. It also allows for garden rooms like those at to be constructed within the back gardens of homes within conservation areas.

Where the rules haven’t changed

Owners of properties in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and listed properties should still consult their local planning authorities. Generally, properties in an ONB area may only have erected extra rooms to a maximum size of 10 square metres and they must be 20 metres away from the house. Garden rooms within the gardens of listed properties are always considered on a case-by-case basis but don’t be dishearten because most applications for a garden room are successful.

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