Erecting a shed, summerhouse or other outbuilding can be a fast, cheap and enjoyable way of maximising the use of your garden. Some small buildings can be built without planning permission, but there are certain aspects that should be considered before embarking on such a project:
Outdoor structures must be single storey with eaves no higher than 2.5 metres, with the overall maximum height being 4 metres for a dual pitched (inverted V-shape) or 3 metres for a single pitch or flat roof. The building must be at least one metre away from a boundary and the maximum height is restricted to 2.5 metres where the building is within two metres of a boundary. There must be no veranda or balcony and the building should not be a separate self-contained living area. The maximum floor height off the ground is 300mm.
The building should not be in front of principal elevation of the original house nor take up more than 50% of the land around it, including other outside buildings. Extensions and conservatories are not considered part of the original house, and so are classed as taking up a portion of the surrounding area as well. There are various other restrictions for buildings on Designated Land and National Park land and you will require planning permission if your property is listed.
Your intended use of the outdoor building is also affected by the regulations. For example, using a shed as a home office is fine, as long as the main property is still primarily used as a private residence. There must be no marked increase in people visiting the house and there must be no deliveries, smells or noise that might disturb neighbours, especially at night.
If it is intended that anyone will sleep in the outdoor building, then planning permission should certainly be obtained. This is not necessarily a problem, and many people build wonderful outdoor properties as temporary accommodation for guests/student children etc. A moveable structure, such as a shepherd’s hut does not generally require consent in the garden of a residential property and can be taken with you when you move. Enjoy!
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