Planning Permission and Building Regulations

The information on this website is only a guide. It is the customer's responsibility to decide if planning regulations apply to their situation and to apply for any planning permission/building regs necessary before purchasing a building.

If you are unsure if you need Planning Permission or Building Control Approval you should contact your local council for advice.

Most buildings, are classified as Permitted Development and usually should not require Planning Permission providing you keep to the rules outlined in the Planning Permission section below.

Local planning permissions can vary and if you are unsure you should always check with your local planning office before purchasing. If you are in a conservation area you will nearly always need permission.



 Planning Permission – Outbuildings


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 dwellinghouse.

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 forward of the principal elevation fronting a highway.
  • Outbuildings and garages to be a single story with maximum eaves height of 2.5 meters and maximum overall height of four meters with a dual pitched roof or three meters for any other roof.
  • Maximum height 2.5 meters within two meters of a boundary.
  • 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 meters from house to be limited to 10 square meters.
  • 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.





Building Regulations - Outbuildings

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 meters.

If the floor area of the building is between 15 square meters and 30 square meters, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations approval providing that the building is either at least one meter 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.