Groovy Garden Rooms - Planning Rules & Building Regulations

Blue and white Planning Applications sign

What's "Permitted Development?"

Permitted Development gives homeowners rights to enable them to undertake certain types of work at their property (i.e. installing a garden room) without the need to apply for planning permission - in most cases.

This implied consent of Permitted Development is granted in the form of General Development Planning Orders (GDPOs) which apply separately to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Most garden rooms do not require planning permission as they're classed as outbuildings.

So, you're allowed to build one as long as you comply with certain rules. That’s as long as you have permitted development rights at your home or the area you live in.

What Else Is "Permitted Development?"

Permitted Development rules cover outbuildings, like garden rooms, which are "incidental" to the main dwelling. 

Essentially, this means that their use is a minor accompaniment to the main house.

So for example,...

Working on your own on your computer in your garden office is more likely to be an "incidental" use.

Whereas using it as a business base, where there's a constant stream of clients coming for meetings, that could have an effect on your neighbours, might not be considered "incidental."

Discover who your Local Planning Authority (LPA) is, as well as their contact details, to confirm that your plans come under the Permitted Development rules.

What Are The Permitted Development Rules?

✓  The total area of your garden room, and any other extension you've already done or are also planning, must not cover more than 50% of the total area of your garden and/or land around your house.

✓  It's not located on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation (front line of your house). In other words, it should not be in front of your house.

✓  It's a single storey building.

✓  It isn’t self-contained living accommodation or being used for a business with lots of visitors.

✓  It doesn't have a balcony, veranda or raised platform. Decking around your garden room becomes a balcony, a veranda or a raised platform if it's more than 30cm above the ground.

Stunning sunset scene of green field and beautiful sunset

What Are Other Permitted Development Rules?

✓  If the curtilage of your home is within a World Heritage Site, a National Park, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Broads then your garden room can't be more than 10m² in size if it's more than 20 metres from any wall around your home.

✓  It has a maximum height of 2.5 metres if built within 2 metres of your home's boundary and, if it has a dual-pitched roof, a maximum overall height of 4 metres.

✓  It's not a Listed Building.

Regional Differences

These rules are for England & Wales. For Scotland you can find out the more details here.

Clipboard with Regulations - Follow and Or Else tick boxes!

Building Regulations

Building Regulations are about how a structure is designed, built and insulated.

But, as your garden room is a semi-permanent construction, it doesn’t need building regulations.

That said, we make sure that the quality or our parts and our Design & Build Team's skills, as well as their personal attitude and interpersonal skills, are of the highest standards. This is why we have our guarantees.

Tape measure on architect's drawing with pencil

Working With Local Planners

We advise you to contact your Local Planning Authority (LPA) and explain you want to build a garden room. So, when speaking with them, it will certainly help you to know the...

✓  Garden room's height, width & depth

✓  Exterior cladding material & colour

✓  Planned location in your garden

✓  Distance from your various boundaries

✓  Approximate percentage of garden space it would take up

✓  Intended use

✓  Electrical supply & plug points

✓  Foundations

Our Standard Specification build details will help you with any of the other specifics that might be needed.

While cardboard cutout house in grass

More About Working With Local Planners

It's always best to check with your LPA that you don't need planning permission - just in case you're one of the very few who might need it.

If the planners say you don't need planning permission, then make sure you get a reference number in writing (by email and/or letter) as proof.

Also, it can then be a nice idea to let your neighbours know what you'll be doing, as a goodwill gesture. Mind you, it depends on your neighbours!

Discover who your Local Planning Authority (LPA) is as well as their contact details.


Please be aware that the information we've given you here is general guidance to help you. It is not legal advice, as we're sure you understand.

We always advise that you double-check with you local planners as, ultimately, it's they who can give you the formal advice and, if needed, their formal approval. And, ultimately, it's you who has the responsibility to check with them.

Thank you.