Planning Permission

Rules governing outbuildings apply to sheds, greenhouses and garages as well as other ancillary garden buildings such as swimming pools, ponds, sauna cabins, kennels, enclosures (including tennis courts) and many other kinds of structure for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the adwellinghouse.

Other rules relate to the installation of a satellite dish, the erection of a new dwelling or the erection or provision of fuel storage tanks.

Under new regulations that came into effect on 1 October 2008 outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
  • Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
  • Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container  within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from house to be limited to 10 square metres.
  • On designated land* buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.
  • Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.

*The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

*Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.

Please note: the permitted development allowances described here apply to houses not flats, maisonettes or other buildings.

Building Regulations

If you want to put up small detached buildings such as a garden shed or summerhouse in your garden, building regulations will not normally apply if the floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres.

If the floor area of the building is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations approval providing that the building is either at least one metre from any boundary or it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.

In both cases, building regulations do not apply ONLY if the building does not contain any sleeping accommodation.

However even if planning is required do not be deterred as most planning departments are very helpful, and most buildings that require planning consent get it. At Oakenclough we have literally dealt with hundreds of buildings that require planning consent. Most only require the applicant to fill in a simple form, submit a scale drawing and site plan and pay the relevant fee. A decision is usually made within 6 weeks and a certificate of lawfulness is issued.

To assist in any such application we have a fully trained CAD team who will supply CAD drawings for planning applications, or alternatively the drawing produced from our website may suffice.

Full planning permission

For larger or more complicated buildings, full planning consent may be required. This may include a lodge for living in or buildings outside a domestic garden setting. If this is the case we have our own architect available to deal with any such application. Scale drawings and site plans can be prepared, as well as a full site survey, together with design and access statements. Due to our experience in dealing with such issues we can also offer help and advice on making a successful application. However as a general rule of thumb planners are very helpful, and speaking to them at an earliest possible stage is often the best way to approach any application.

Building Regulations

Buildings over 30 sq meters of internal floor space  generally require building regulations consent, and this is often a condition of the planning consent. Unlike planning,  building regulations tends to be more complicated. To assist in this area our architect can again prepare building regulation plans, and structural calculations together with any on site surveys, and environmental reports to assist the application.

Building regulations do add to the cost, but it can be an expensive mistake if not dealt with correctly, however because we use our own architect he knows how we build and as a result this can save several thousands of pounds in building costs . In our experience architects are notorious for taking projects from a factory build to a site build, as generally they have little experience in building entirely out of timber. It is therefore often sound advice to take on the services of our architect early, as it will be easier to price the project, and it will save money on material and labour costs during the project.

As a general guide the main points that need to be covered in most projects are

  • Fire
  • Access
  • Insulation
  • Drainage
  • Structural integrity

Building regulations do add to the cost, so in many cases it is often easier to build 2 smaller buildings than one larger building. Also if the building is designed correctly it may be easier to design out the need for building regulations, as it only applies to internal floor space so canopies do not count, so they can be used to create additional space but still keep the building exempt from building regulations.


Attached are a number of projects that have required planning consent.