Kevin McCloud
Brand Ambassador for Green Retreats

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Garden Rooms and Planning Permission

12th February 2020

What are the rules regarding planning permission?

One of the first questions asked by many of our customers relates to planning permission for garden rooms. It’s important not to fall foul of planning and have your garden room removed.

Fortunately, the rules are relatively simple, and most people can install a garden room without the need for planning permission.

The vast majority of homes in England, Scotland and Wales have permitted development rights. The rules are simple and allow for minor development without the need to apply for full planning permission. The rules are relatively easy to follow. As long as you don’t plan on using the building for permanent living accommodation you often won’t need planning or to meet building regulations.

Do I have permitted development rights?

Those living in flats, maisonettes and listed buildings have no permitted development rights. That includes those who own the freehold to the flat, or block of flats. Some houses will have an article 4 condition attached, which may restrict the permitted development rights available. You will be able to find this information in your deeds, or from the local council. Often put into place to prevent further development on overdeveloped plots, is an article 4.

The vast majority of homes have fully permitted development rights.


Can I install my garden room anywhere on my plot?

Permitted development rules differ slightly depending on the area in which you live. Any garden rooms installed in front of the house will always require planning permission. You can build a garden room to the side of the house unless you live in a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty/national park. In an AONB/National Park you must build within 20m of any part of your house. If you are further than 20m, then you cannot exceed a total of 10sq m, including existing buildings further than 20m from the home.

Why do garden rooms exceeding 15sq meters have to be a meter from the boundary?

There is a popular misconception that garden rooms must be 1m from a boundary for planning purposes. The rules actually relate to building regulations. A garden room not meeting building regulations must be built 1m from a boundary when its internal floor area exceeds 15sq meters. This is for fire safety reasons as garden rooms are not built entirely from non-combustible materials. To be signed off by building control and to build closer than one meter from a boundary, the entire garden room would have to meet building regulations, including the foundations.


What can I use my garden room for without needing planning?

The official term in the planning documents is, a use incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house, but not for permanent sleeping accommodation. In layman’s terms, this means a home office, gym, kids play den and art studio is accepted. An annexe for grandma, an Airbnb, or a teenager’s bedroom would not.

Do Green Retreats help with planning permission?

If you need planning, don’t be put off. At Green Retreats we’ve helped hundreds of customers successfully obtain planning permission. If you would like to obtain planning permission yourself, we will provide the CAD drawings of the elevations once you have paid your refundable £200 deposit. There is no additional charge for these drawings. Should you change your mind, you will only be refunded if planning is declined.  For those who want the whole process taken care of, we also offer a full planning service.

The Process is simple and straight forward and our helpful staff are always on hand to help through any hiccup that may occur. Don’t let the prospect of planning permission put you off building your dream garden room! Start your process today and request your free brochure, which provides all the details you will need to browse our range of garden rooms from the comfort of your home. If you’re ready to take it one step further, book your free site survey, to ensure your plot is suitable, and assist you in designing your perfect space.
You can also pay us a visit and see for yourself all that Green Retreats has to offer. Our showroom is located in Buckinghamshire, between Aylesbury and Bicester and features 11 fully furnished garden rooms to give you a feel of what exactly you’ll be getting.

For more inspiration, take a look at our videos!

Our garden rooms are priced based on the internal sizes rather than the exterior footprint, making it easier for you to plan your work space. A commercial unit from Green Retreats could end up saving you a fortune from the costs of renting a workspace alone. The price includes base, installation and VAT so there are no (nasty) surprises when it comes to final payment.

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Using our configurator you can design your perfect garden office with minimal effort, ensuring it’s tailored to your own personal preferences and specifications.

You can get a great idea of how your new garden office will look by using the 360 degree rotating viewer.

Also compatible with mobile and tablet devices

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