Do I need planning permission for garden office – it is understandably one of the first concerns customers have. Here are the essential answers to many of the important questions.

The rules on planning permission for garden offices changed a few years back. They now allowed for larger garden buildings to be installed under permitted development. It has directly led to a huge rise in the popularity of these structures. The advent of a pandemic has seen more people than ever needing to work from home.

Do I need planning permission for a garden office, studio, gym or outbuilding?

Now, if your garden office is a maximum of 2.5m high or under, you can utilize up to 50% of the full garden area. This is the total land area of your property minus the original house area. You will need to include any extensions that have been added since the house was first built – even those built before you started living there.

There used to be a rule that you could only build a maximum of 15m2 if the building were less than 1m from any boundary. This is no longer the case, nor is the 30 sq. metres maximum rule. The maximum size of a garden office, gym, or studio is determined by the size of your garden.

If the building is to be further than 2m from any boundary, then the rules are more relaxed. For a mono-pitched roof, the maximum roof height can be 3m and for a dual pitched roof, the eaves height can be 4m. The eaves height for both must still be no higher than 2.5m

You are not allowed to build in front of the front elevation of the main house, or to the side. This has always been the case.

Many of our customers live in conservation areas and the rules for permitted development have changed here too. As before, you cannot build anything to the side or in front. However, now planning permission for a garden office is not required as long as it is under the 2.5m high limit and the area is less than 50% of the outside space. This has been a great benefit to our customers in London where there are many conservations areas dotted about.

Unfortunately, if you live in a flat then erecting a garden building will require planning permission. You may also need to check with your leaseholder if there are any restrictions on garden offices. We have found that planning permission is often possible, and we can help with making a planning application on your behalf for a small fee and the costs of the application.

Whenever the garden building is being used for overnight accommodation then planning permission must be sort. The reason is mainly due to fire regulations in our opinion, which makes sense. Garden buildings can catch fire more easily than a conventional brick-built building and if you are planning on sleeping in the room, even very rarely, then it would be advisable to make sure you have a fire alarm connected to the mains supply and should comply with fire regulations.

The planning process is much easier than that for kitchen extensions and loft conversions and many local planning departments are happy to let these structures pass quite easily. The application will still need to be made and drawings submitted. We can help with all this.

Planning departments follow quite basic rules when deciding on whether to approve an application and a well thought out design that is in keeping with the surroundings will certainly help.

Planning permission for garden offices and the Party Wall Act

Separate to any planning permission for garden office is the relationship with your neighbour. It is exceedingly rare that a garden building will need to serve a Party Wall Notice. If there is any shared or adjoining structure less than 3m away from the new addition, then there are some considerations. This does not include timber sheds or fences but will include brick walls and brick built sheds.

A Party wall notice will only be required if the foundations of the new garden room are deeper than those of the adjoining structure. This so far has never been the case for us. Most garden offices are built on either a concrete slab base or we use ground screws in the construction.

NB. London Town Cabins Limited are not planning experts and cannot be held responsible for any legal disputes or disagreements with the local council or any disgruntled neighbours. We suggest that you check with your local planning authority before you start instructing any building work or manufacture. Essentially, planning permission for garden offices is a breeze, relative to the return.