Planning consent: This is something that our clients regularly ask us about with regard to timber buildings. It is a minefield of an area, with various planning rules and regulations that you need to be aware of ahead of going through the design and build process.

To answer the vast majority of questions about the need for planning permission with regard to outbuildings, we can turn to the regulations surrounding permitted development. This is the information that we give to all our clients if they want to build an outbuilding, such as a garage, carport or carriage house. It helps to shed light on some of the exceptions when you might find that you do need to obtain planning permission.

Outbuildings and permitted development

Outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, provided all the conditions are met:

  1. On designated land, outbuildings to the side of the house are not permitted development. Designated land includes National Parks, The Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.
  2. Outbuildings are not permitted development within the grounds of a listed building.
  3. In National Parks, The Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the total area to be covered by any outbuilding more than 20m from ANY WALL of the house must not exceed 10 square metres to be considered permitted development.
  4. Outbuildings are not permitted development forward of the principal elevation of the original house. 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).
  5. Outbuildings and other additions must not exceed 50% of the total area of land around the original house. Sheds and all other outbuildings (see introduction) and extensions to the original house must be included when calculating this 50% limit.
  6. To be permitted development, any new building must not itself be separate, self-contained, living accommodation and must not have a microwave antenna.
  7. Outbuildings must be single storey with a maximum eave height of 2.5m and maximum overall height of 4m with a dual pitched roof, or 3m in any other case.
  8. If the outbuilding is within 2m of the property boundary the whole building should not exceed 2.5m in height.
  9. Balconies and verandas are not permitted development. Raised platforms such as decking are permitted development, provided they are no higher than 300mm.
  10. Containers, such as those used for domestic heating purposes, must not exceed 3,500-litre capacity to be considered permitted development. The other permitted development conditions which apply to outbuildings listed above also apply to containers.

Important note: The permitted development allowances described here apply to houses, not flats, maisonettes or other buildings. You should check with your local planning authority whether permitted development rights apply as they may have been removed by what is known as an Article 4 direction. Other consents may be required if your house is listed or in a designated area.

Are your planning permission questions answered?

We hope this will answer some of the most common questions around planning permission and permitted development. Here are a few more things you may need to consider in relation to specific types of buildings:

Garages, carports and carriage houses:

  • The garage must be for domestic use only.
  • No part of the garage can be in front of the principal facade or side elevation of the original house that faces onto a road.

Timber buildings (e.g. home offices, annexes, workshops, etc.)

This is a slightly different kettle of fish. If you were to build a home office, a workshop, or a gym, then you would not usually need planning permission (given that it falls within the permitted development rules outlined above). If, however, you are building a residential annexe for living in, such as a granny annexe, then you may need planning permission. However, there are ways around this if it is for part of the same extended family. It is worth seeking advice from us, as it can be complicated. Do be aware that there might be council tax implications once the annexe is built.

Pool houses

All you really need to bear in mind here is that if you are building a pool and pool house at the same time, the pool shouldn’t take up more than 50% of the space in your garden. Other than that, you should be absolutely fine to go ahead.

Ask us a question!

We are experts in what we do, and we have learnt a thing or two about planning permission over the years. If you want to ask us any specific questions about planning permission, please do.

Telephone: 01233 740 944

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