Do you need planning permission to install a garden room?

planning permission

If you’re considering installing a garden room, this is probably a question that has already crossed your mind. Generally the answer is no because garden rooms are classed as outbuildings and therefore fall under permitted development but there are some exceptions. This simple guide will help you answer the question, quickly and easily.


You will not need planning permission if:

  • Your room takes up no more than 50% off your garden
  • It is being built to the side or rear of the property, no more than 2.0m from the boundary
  • Does not exceed the maximum height of 2.5m
  • It is not being built on the site of a listed building
  • Adheres to the rules of designated land
  • The room is not intended as self contained living accommodation
  • There are no balconies, verandas or raised platforms


How much space will your garden room take up?

 To comply with permitted development the ratio of garden room to garden has to be correct. There should be no more that 50% of the garden around the original house taken up by your room or other outside buildings.

‘Original house’ means as the building was first built or as it stood as of the 1st of July 1948. Unless an extension existed before this date, it is not classed as the original house. Our garden rooms are bespoke so if you have a small garden, we can ensure the size of your room will follow the 50% rule.


Where will you garden room be positioned?

Where you choose to site your garden room will have a significant impact on whether or not you need to seek planning permission:

  • It should not be closer to a road or public highway than the original house
  • It cannot be positioned in the front garden of your home, only the side or rear
  • It must be installed less than 2.0 metres from the property’s boundary


How high will your garden room be?

The building should be single storey but there are various height restrictions based on different roof systems. A dual pitched roof should have an overall height of no more than 2.5m at the eaves, from existing ground level and should not exceed 4 metres at the ridge, while a single sloped roof should be no taller than 2.5 metres at the eaves and 3 metres at the ridge and for a flat roof, 2.5 metres. The great thing about our garden rooms is that if you choose a flat roof design, they will nearly always be within this height restriction. – Is that correct?


Is your house a listed building?

As you may well be aware there are far stricter rules when it comes to listed buildings and the area around it, due to their architectural and historical importance. Installing a garden room within the immediate boundary of a listed property will require planning permission and listed building consent. Don’t let that put you off though, whether you choose a contemporary or traditional garden room, our designs will always compliment a historic building.


Do you live on designated land?

This includes World Heritage sites, Ares of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks etc. that like listed buildings, also has certain limitations. There are a couple of points to think about:

  • Properties, which fall into these areas, cannot have a garden building to the side of a property without planning permission.
  • The second applies only to national parks, World Heritage Sites and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, not conservation areas. Without planning permission, garden rooms that are 20m from any wall of the house must be no more that 10m2 – if you want a bigger building you will need to seek planning permission.


What will you use your garden room for?

While our rooms can be used as an extra bedroom, a guest room or self-contained living accommodation, this will not fall within permitted development and you will need planning permission. This is because it will need to comply with strict building regulations. If you plan to use the room as an office, studio, playroom or any other purpose however it is defined as ‘incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house’ so you’ll be fine without planning permission.


Raised platforms

Any raised platforms such as balconies and verandas will require planning permission, however Permitted Development rules do state that as long as they are no higher than 30cm and with the garden room or other outbuildings don’t cover more that 50% of your garden planning permission will not be required.


This is an outline of the requirements for planning permission and should only be used as a ‘rule of thumb’ guide. If you’re still unsure, or you need clarification, we would be happy to help. Give us a call on 01392 244063 or email us at

You can also refer to the Planning Portal to find out more about planning permission and permitted development.