Do you Need Planning Permission for a Summer House or Garden Room?

One of the most common questions asked by customers buying a garden room or summer house is whether planning permission is required. Here we explain what’s involved with summer house and garden room planning permission so that you can be confident you are following the appropriate rules and regulations.

Garden room planning permission

Under Permitted Development rules, garden room planning permission is not required, providing certain conditions are met.

These conditions are:

The garden building must not be closer to a road or public highway than the original house as it was first built, or as it was as of 1 July 1948, whichever is later. An extension is not considered part of an original house, unless it was constructed prior to 1 July 1948.

The garden building must not occupy more than 50 per cent of the area surrounding the original house.

The garden building must be single storey.

The height of the garden room must not exceed:

  • 4 metres for buildings with dual-pitched roofs
  • 5 metres for buildings situated within 2 metres of the garden boundary
  • 3 metres in all other cases

The garden room must not be used as self-contained accommodation.

The garden building must not have an antenna.

If the garden room is on a decking base, the decking must not exceed 30cm in height, and any verandas or balconies must not exceed the same height of 30 cm.

For properties located within National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or World Heritage Sites, or those situated on the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, garden room planning permission will be required for any size of outbuilding and, if granted, the building must not exceed 10 square metres if it is situated more than 20 metres away from any wall of the house.

Summerhouse planning permission

For listed buildings, and properties located in Conservation Areas, garden room or summer house planning permission will be required for any size of garden building. This rule applies if there are any listed buildings within the boundary of the property, even if they are not the main house.

Properties other than houses, such as flats or maisonettes, do not fall under Permitted Development rights which means full planning permission will be required to build a garden office or summer house.

Lastly, if your property has been subject to a change of use, or has been converted into a house in the past, it may not benefit from Permitted Development rights.

Where can I find more information about garden room and summer house planning permission?

The Government Planning Portal provides advice specifically related to garden room planning permission.

Here at Surrey Hills Garden Buildings, we offer personalised advice on all aspects of summer house and garden building design and installation.

If you are considering investing in a garden building, you are welcome to get in touch with our friendly, experienced team. We’ll ensure you are fully aware of your planning permission responsibilities, so that you can relax and enjoy your new garden room for years to come, safe in the knowledge that all regulations have been complied with.

Why not visit one of our dedicated show sites for inspiration and advice?

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