Green Retreats: Unlocking Planning Permission Secrets for Garden Buildings

Whether you’re craving a garden office, a summer house or a cosy garden room, understanding planning permission for garden buildings in the UK is crucial.

As an Architectural Design company, we’re here to help you navigate the planning permission maze and make your garden building dreams a reality.

Do You Need Planning Permission for Garden Buildings?

Before diving into planning permission specifics, it’s important to clarify that not all garden buildings require planning permission. Many structures fall under ‘permitted development rights’ which means you can build them without seeking permission from your local planning authority. However, it’s always wise to check with your local council before proceeding.

What Size Outbuilding Can I Build in My Garden Without Planning Permission?

To build an outbuilding without planning permission, you need to follow the ‘permitted development’ guidelines. Some key rules include:

  1. The outbuilding should be single-storey, with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres.
  2. The total area covered by the outbuilding should not exceed 50% of the total area of the garden.
  3. If the outbuilding is within 2 metres of the property boundary, it should not exceed a maximum height of 2.5 metres.

What Are the Planning Rules for Garden Buildings?

While some garden buildings fall under ‘permitted development’ guidelines, others may require planning permission. This could be due to size, location or other factors. To determine whether your garden building needs planning permission, consider the following questions:

  • How big can the garden building be without planning?
  • How close can a garden building be to a boundary?
  • What is the maximum size summerhouse or shed without planning permission?

Each of these questions will help you understand if your garden building project is within the ‘permitted development’ limits or if you need to seek planning permission.

At Shear Architectural Design, we provide professional advice and assistance with gaining planning permission and building regulations for a variety of projects, such as new build houses, house extensions, renovations and conversions, loft conversions, garage conversions, barn conversions, and driveways.

Garden Building Regulations and Planning Permission

It’s essential to consider both garden building regulations and planning permission for garden buildings.

Garden Building Regulations and Planning Permission are crucial aspects to consider when embarking on your garden building project. Navigating the complex world of regulations and permissions may seem daunting, but understanding these requirements will ensure a smooth and successful construction process.

It is important to note that planning permission may not always be necessary for smaller, single-story garden buildings; however, it’s always best to check with your local planning authority before proceeding. Familiarise yourself with the guidelines on size, height, and location restrictions to avoid potential complications down the line.

By adhering to these regulations, you can create a stunning and compliant garden building that meets both your needs and legal requirements.

Planning Permission vs Permitted Development

When it comes to garden buildings, it’s essential to understand the difference between planning permission and permitted development. Planning permission is required for certain types of development, while permitted development allows you to build without seeking permission from your local planning authority.

To make sure your garden building project is in compliance with the rules, it’s essential to know the regulations for outbuildings, which are covered under Class E of the General Permitted Development Order. Here, we’ll address some common questions and provide the answers you need to proceed with confidence.

Garden Building Size and Boundaries

How big can a garden building be without planning? You can build a garden building without planning permission if its total area is not more than 50% of your property’s land area. Additionally, it should not be more than 2.5 metres in height if it’s within 2 metres of a boundary or more than 4 metres if it has a dual-pitched roof.

What size outbuilding do I need without planning permission? The size of an outbuilding without planning permission depends on the land area of your property. As a general rule, your outbuilding should not exceed 50% of your property’s land area, and it should comply with height restrictions.

How close can a garden building be to a boundary? A garden building should be at least 2 metres away from a boundary if its height is more than 2.5 metres. If the structure is less than 2.5 metres in height, it can be closer to the boundary.

Garden Shed, Summerhouse, and Log Cabin Regulations

What is the biggest size garden shed without planning permission? The biggest size garden shed you can build without planning permission is one that does not exceed 50% of your property’s land area and adheres to height restrictions.

What is the maximum size summerhouse without planning permission? The maximum size summerhouse without planning permission is one that does not exceed 50% of your property’s land area and complies with height restrictions.

Can I build an outbuilding in my garden? Yes, you can build an outbuilding in your garden as long as it complies with the permitted development rules and does not require planning permission. With the right planning and adherence to regulations, you can create a beautiful garden building that serves your needs.

The key is understanding the planning rules, working with an experienced Architectural Designer, and ensuring your project complies with all necessary regulations.

Securing Planning Permission for Your Garden Building

If your garden building project does not fall under permitted development or if you want to build a more extensive structure, you will need to secure planning permission. An Architectural Designer can help guide you through the planning permission process, from initial consultation to submitting the application and liaising with the local planning authority.

At Shear Architectural Design, we specialise in gaining planning permission and building regulations for various projects, including new build houses, house extensions, loft conversions, and garden buildings. Our expert team of Architectural Designers will work with you to create a design that meets your needs and adheres to planning regulations, ensuring a smooth and stress-free process.

Top Tips for a Successful Garden Building Project

To ensure your garden building project is a success, consider the following tips:

  1. Consult with an Architectural Designer: Engaging the services of an experienced Architectural Designer will ensure your garden building design is in line with planning regulations and maximises the potential of your space.
  2. Consider the purpose of your garden building: Before starting your project, consider the primary function of your garden building. Will it be a workshop, storage space, home office, or entertainment area? This will help you determine the size, layout, and materials required.
  3. Choose the right materials: Selecting the right materials for your garden building is crucial. Consider factors such as durability, insulation, and maintenance when making your decision.
  4. Invest in proper insulation: Insulation is key to keeping your garden building comfortable year-round. Ensure you have adequate insulation in the walls, roof, and floor to create an energy-efficient space.
  5. Plan for utilities: If you plan to use your garden building as a home office or entertainment space, consider how you will provide electricity, heating, and possibly plumbing. Consult with a professional to ensure your utilities are safely and correctly installed.
  6. Think about security: If your garden building will house valuable items, such as tools or electronics, invest in proper security measures, such as locks and a security system.
  7. Integrate the building with your garden: To create a seamless connection between your garden and the new building, consider incorporating elements such as pathways, landscaping, and outdoor lighting.
  8. Obtain the necessary approvals: Before starting any construction, ensure you have the required planning permission or verify that your project falls under permitted development.


A garden building can be a valuable addition to your property, providing additional living or working space, storage, or a place to relax and unwind. By understanding the planning permission and permitted development regulations, you can avoid potential pitfalls and ensure a smooth process from start to finish.

At Shear Architectural Design, we’re here to help you navigate the planning permission process and create a garden building that suits your needs and complements your property. Contact us today to discuss your project and find out how we can assist you in achieving your dream garden building.

Remember, when it comes to your building project, an informed decision is the best decision.



As always, thanks for reading!

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is intended to provide a general understanding of Planning Permission for Garden Buildings in the UK. It is not intended to provide specific advice for any specific circumstances. Always consult with a professional before starting any construction work.

About Shear Architectural Design

Shear Architectural Design is an award winning Architectural Design firm based in Sussex, specialising in residential and commercial projects. Our experienced team is dedicated to creating innovative, sustainable, and functional spaces that meet the unique needs of our clients. With a focus on collaboration and customer satisfaction, we work closely with you to bring your vision to life, from the initial concept to the final construction. To learn more about our services or to discuss your project, please contact us today.

Working with an Architectural Designer can help you to achieve your goals and ensure that your project is a success. Shear Architectural Design is a reliable and experienced company that can help you with your home renovation, building project or garden project, in Sussex.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today. Our experts are ready to guide you through the entire process, from design and planning to construction and completion.


As part of our comprehensive approach, we offer services to design a house plan tailored to your unique requirements.

Our Architectural Design process involves the creation of detailed Architectural Design drawings, which meticulously capture every aspect of your dream home. We also navigate the complexities of Building Regulation plans, ensuring that our designs adhere to both building regulations and planning permission guidelines.

By incorporating innovative Architectural ideas and working closely with you to draw a house design that reflects your vision, we strive to make the planning and design process as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Our commitment to excellence ensures that you receive a bespoke, high-quality living space that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.


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Our Services

At Shear Architectural Design, we offer a range of services to help you bring your vision to life:

Related Services:

  • Architectural Design Consultation
  • Planning Applications & Appeals
  • Permitted Development Advice
  • 3D Visualisation
  • Building Regulations Applications


We assist with gaining planning permission and building regulations, ensuring that your project meets all necessary requirements.

Contact us today, on 01273 740642 to learn more about how we can help you create the home of your dreams!

View the latest fascinating information on the Planning Portal website, about Planning Permission for Outbuildings: HERE

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