Do I Need Planning Permission for a Garden Room

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Garden Room? Is It Even Required?

Posted by Craig | Updated April, 2024 | 10 Min Read Time

At a glance 

  • Most garden rooms do not require planning permission, as they fall under the category of outbuildings and usually come under the permitted development rights.


In this article, you’ll find the following:

      • Familiarise yourself with the rules and restrictions that govern garden room construction.
      • If planning permission is needed, follow the application process and ensure adherence to building regulations.

Garden rooms have become increasingly popular as a way to extend living space, create a dedicated work area, or simply provide a tranquil retreat in your garden. However, many homeowners wonder whether they need planning permission for such a structure.

In most cases, planning permission is not required, as they are considered outbuildings and typically fall under permitted development rights. Nevertheless, certain rules and restrictions govern their construction and placement, which must be adhered to.

Understanding planning permission for your new garden room is essential to ensure compliance with local regulations and avoid potential issues down the line.

Exceptions that could necessitate planning permission include living in a listed building, a designated area with specific restrictions, or exceeding the allowed size or height limits for outbuildings.

To avoid potential complications, it’s important to consult with your local council and familiarise yourself with the specific requirements in your area.

Keep in mind, that even if planning permission is not needed, meeting building regulations and obtaining the necessary approvals is still essential.

More on this later…

Garden room built by CJ Smiths in st albans

Most Garden Rooms Do Not Require Planning Permission, As They Fall Under The Category Of Outbuildings And Usually Come Under The Permitted Development Rights

However, certain conditions and limitations apply depending on factors like the size and location of the garden room

Ever thought about utilising that space at the back of the garden?

Navigating Planning Permission for Garden Rooms

Key Criteria for Securing Planning Permission for a Garden

Garden rooms are popular additions to many homes, offering extra space for various purposes. In most cases, planning permission is not required for a garden room. However, there are exceptions and it is important to be aware of the criteria.

Some of these include whether your home is a listed building, in a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is also important to consider the size and location of your garden room about your property boundaries.

Understanding Permitted Development for Garden Buildings

Permitted development rights allow homeowners to undertake certain building works without the need for planning permission. Garden rooms are often considered as outbuildings and may fall within permitted development rights.

However, these rights can be restricted or removed in some cases, such as listed buildings or properties in conservation areas. Therefore, it is essential to check with your local council before proceeding with a garden room project.

Complying with Building Regulations for Your Garden Room

While planning permission may not always be necessary, garden rooms must comply with relevant building regulations. The regulations ensure that the structure is built to a safe standard with proper insulation, ventilation, and electrics.

If the garden room’s internal floor area is under 15m2, these building regulations are typically less strict3. Furthermore, if you plan to use the garden room for sleeping accommodation, you will need building regulations approval regardless of its size.

Evaluating the Impact of Location on Garden Room Planning Permissions

The location of your home or garden room can impact the need for planning permission. Properties within conservation areas or areas of outstanding natural beauty may have stricter regulations. Additionally, the distance from your home and the boundaries of your property can influence whether planning permission is required.

Garden Room Size and Boundary Considerations: What You Need to Know

There are certain size and boundary criteria that garden rooms must adhere to to avoid requiring planning permission. For example, garden rooms with internal floor areas between 15m2 and 30m2 should be placed at least 1 metre from any boundary3. Further, if the total area of any outbuildings, including the garden room, exceeds 20 metres, planning permission may be required.

By considering these factors and consulting with your local authorities, you can ensure that your garden room project is compliant with the necessary regulations, ensuring a smooth construction process.

Did we need planning permission for this garden room

The Application Process

Optimal Timing to Apply for Garden Room Planning Permission

In most cases, you won’t need planning permission, as they typically fall under permitted development rights. However, there are certain situations where you must apply for permission to build your garden room.

For instance, if you live in a listed building, a World Heritage site, or have specific planning rules affecting your property, obtaining planning permission is essential.

How to Successfully Apply for Planning Permission for Garden Rooms

To apply for planning permission, follow these steps:

  1. Research local planning policies – Consult your planning authority to understand the specific policies applicable to your area.
  2. Prepare a detailed application – Include accurate drawings of your proposed garden room, along with a detailed description of materials and any potential disruption caused during construction.
  3. Submit your application – You can submit your planning application either online via the UK Planning Portal or through your local planning authority.
  4. Pay the application fee – Fees for planning applications can vary, so it’s essential to check the appropriate fee for your particular garden room scheme.

Preparing for Your Garden Room Project: Additional Insights

Before submitting your application, you should also take into account the following factors:

  • Neighbour consultation: It’s a good idea to discuss your plans with your neighbours, as they may have valuable input or concerns regarding your garden room.
  • Site access: Ensure that the construction team will have unobstructed access to the building site during the project.
  • Building regulations: While most garden rooms do not require building regulation approval, it’s essential to confirm this with your local authority.
  • Conservation area or tree preservation order: If your property is in a conservation area or has a tree preservation order, additional planning constraints may apply.

By following these steps and considering the additional factors, you can ensure a smooth application process and increase the likelihood of obtaining planning permission for your garden room.


In summary, it is important to note that most garden rooms do not require planning permission, as they fall under the category of outbuildings and usually come under the permitted development rights. However, certain conditions and limitations apply depending on factors like the size and location of the garden room.

For instance, if your house is a listed building or is located in a conservation area, the rules may differ. It is always wise to consult with your local planning authority to ensure compliance and avoid potential issues. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. 


Craig Smith

The founder of CJ Smiths Construction Company for over 14+ years and a proud citizen of St Albans City.

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