In truth most customers never have to worry about planning, but here is our comprehensive guide to help you understand all the key issues
Planning for Garden Rooms falls within a set of rules & guidelines known as Permitted Development Rights, which allow you to improve your home or erect buildings, without planning permission.
In short these rules are concerned about
• The area and type of home you live in,
• The height of your studio
• What you plan to use it for.
Over the years they have evolved to protect your local environment, neighbours interests and the residential nature of your local area.
So what room can I build without planning permission?
Given that most people will want to avoid permission, let’s start with the height of your Studio
If you want to locate your office or room close to your boundary line, say less than 2m, then your Rooms overall height should be no more than 2.5 metres.
This means you will have to consider a flat roof, or gentle curved roof design to avoid planning
However if you are happy to build over 2m away from the boundary of your property, then you are allowed bigger studios without permission, as long as you follow these guides:
- Flat roof or mono-pitched rooms are OK, with overall height at the front of 3m and 2.5 at the eaves or back of the office.
- Dual pitched roofs must be no higher than 4m at the ridge and 2.5m at the sides or eaves
Other important points to help you avoid planning
Are you building a raised deck with your garden room?
As long as the decking is less than 300mm off the ground and does not cover more than half your garden area there is no need for planning permission.
Even if you have other outbuildings or extensions to your property, you will not require permission if your garden room, outbuilding and extension add up to less than 50% of your garden space.
And as long as your studio is behind the main wall, or building line of your house, then you will not have to bother with planning.
Ok, so when will I need permission?
If you’re fortunate to live in any of these areas or building types, then you will need to consider planning, regardless of the garden room size
- Listed building
- National Park
- The Broads
- An area of outstanding natural beauty
- World heritage site
- Flat or Maisonette
Do I have to consider anything else, such as what I’m using it for?
There are a number of different reasons why people want a room outside and how you plan on using your outbuilding can affect the need for planning approval.
One of the grey areas of Permitted Development is whether a building is Incidental or not.
So what does incidental mean to the planners?
The Governments Town & Country Planning Order says;
“(a) any building or enclosure, swimming or other pool required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house as such, or the maintenance, improvement or other alteration of such a building or enclosure”.
How you use your office can affect the need for planning, For instance If you only tend to use it occasionally the room will be viewed as incidental, however If you plan to use the office 5 or 6 days a week with customers calling at your home, then you may need to think about planning permission.
Garden rooms or studios
Any room used for leisure such as a garden space, art, music studio and gym, will be classed as incidental and not generally need planning permission. Unlike a Granny Annex with bedrooms, which is clearly not incidental to your main house
From our experience over the past 10 years, as long as your plans are not out of the ordinary, permission will be granted, even if neighbours complain.
The fact someone comments on your application does not mean refusal, as the planners make a judgement on whether it is reasonable - and most aren’t.
Local authorities are often very positive about the development of garden buildings, which is why they tend to accept the majority of applications.
So don’t let the thought of planning stop you creating the perfect room or garden office. Go for the size, and style that suits you, as it’s a major investment and will probably add considerable value to your house
The whole process only takes 8-10 weeks anyway, and Henley manages all the Drawings, Plans and various Statements for customers.
At Henley, we are happy to talk to you about any garden room planning queries, so please call or email our experts for a chat on 0870 240 7490 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org