If you’re looking to add more space to your property and create a separate area that can be used as an office, gym, or studio, a garden room might be a great option for you. However, before you start planning your dream garden room, it’s important to understand the regulations surrounding their construction.

In England, Wales, and Scotland, garden rooms can be built without the need for planning permission as long as they meet certain criteria. These criteria are determined by the Permitted Development rules, which were last updated in 2019.

The size of the garden room you can build without planning permission depends on a few factors, including the height of the room and its distance from the property boundary. Here are the key rules you need to know:

  • A garden room can be up to 2.5 meters high at its highest point, and up to 4 meters high if it has a dual-pitched roof.
  • The garden room must be at least 1 meter away from any property boundaries.
  • The total area of the garden room must not exceed 50% of the total area of the land around the original house. This includes any existing sheds or outbuildings.

It’s also worth noting that if you live in a listed building or a conservation area, you may still need planning permission, even for a small garden room. Always check with your local council before starting any building work.

Building Regulations

Even if your garden room doesn’t require planning permission, it still needs to comply with Building Regulations. Building Regulations are a set of minimum standards that buildings must meet to ensure they are safe, healthy, and energy-efficient.

There are a few key areas that your garden room will need to comply with:

  • Structural integrity: Your garden room will need to be built to withstand the elements, including wind and snow loads. This means it will need to be properly designed and constructed, with suitable foundations and structural supports.
  • Thermal performance: Your garden room will need to meet certain standards for energy efficiency, including insulation and ventilation requirements. This will help to keep the space warm in winter and cool in summer and reduce energy bills.
  • Electrical safety: If you plan to install lighting or electrical outlets in your garden room, they will need to be installed to meet Building Regulations. This will include using suitable materials, such as fire-resistant cables and fittings, and ensuring that they are properly installed and tested.

Getting Planning Permission

If your garden room doesn’t meet the criteria for Permitted Development, or you want to build something larger or more complex, you will need to apply for planning permission. The process for applying for planning permission will vary depending on your local council, but typically involves the following steps:

  • Submitting a planning application: You will need to fill out an application form and provide detailed plans of your proposed garden room, including its size, height, and location. You may also need to provide information on the materials you plan to use and how the garden room will be accessed.
  • Consultation period: Your local council will consult with neighbours and other stakeholders to gather feedback on your proposal. They may also visit the site to assess the impact of the proposed garden room.
  • Decision: Your local council will make a decision on your planning application based on a number of factors, including the impact on neighbouring properties, the character of the area, and any environmental or heritage considerations.

In summary, garden rooms can be a great way to add extra space to your property without the need for planning permission. In England, Wales and Scotland, you can build a garden room to a maximum height of 2.5 meters at its highest point or 4 meters with a dual-pitched roof without having to seek planning permission – as long as it does not span over 50% of the total area surrounding your original house and is situated 1 meter away from any property boundaries. However, it’s important to ensure that your garden room complies with Building Regulations and any other relevant regulations.

If you’re unsure whether your garden room will require planning permission, or you need help with the application process, it’s always best to consult with a professional, such as an architect or planning consultant.


– https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/frequently_asked_questions_faqs

– https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/planninganddevelopment/theplanningprocess/whatisdetailedplan