Unlocking Your Backyard Paradise: The Ultimate Guide to Decking Planning Permission

Welcome to your ultimate guide to decking planning permission in the UK. We know that navigating the world of planning permission can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to creating your dream outdoor space. At Shear Architectural Design, we are dedicated to helping you build your backyard paradise with ease. With our extensive experience and impressive success rate in gaining planning permission, we have put together this comprehensive guide to answer all your decking planning permission questions.

How Big Can Decking Be Without Planning Permission?

When it comes to decking planning permission, size does matter. In most cases, decking that is no higher than 30cm from the ground and covers no more than 50% of your garden area can be built without planning permission. However, if your decking exceeds these limits, you may require raised decking planning permission.

Are There Building Regs for Decking?

Yes, there are building regulations for decking, particularly when it comes to ensuring the safety and structural integrity of your deck. While planning permission may not always be required, you should always adhere to building regulations. To ensure compliance, consult with our team at Shear Architectural Design.

What is the Decking 4 Year Rule?

The decking 4-year rule refers to the time limit within which enforcement action can be taken against a decking project that was built without planning permission. If your decking has been in place for more than four years and no enforcement action has been taken, it is considered immune from enforcement. However, we always recommend seeking appropriate planning permission to avoid potential issues.

Why Do I Need Planning Permission for Raised Decking?

Raised decking can have a significant impact on your neighbours’ privacy and the overall appearance of your property. For this reason, you may need planning permission for decking that is over 30cm high. At Shear Architectural Design, we can guide you through the process of obtaining raised decking planning permission, ensuring a smooth and successful outcome.

How Close to My Boundary Can I Build a Deck?

Generally, you can build a deck up to your property boundary, but it is essential to consider the impact on your neighbours and any potential planning permission requirements. For more information on the best approach to building a deck close to your boundary, consult our guide to building without planning permission in the UK.

Do You Need a Permit for a Deck Next to Your House?

A permit may be required for a deck next to your house, particularly if it is raised or covers a significant portion of your garden. Consult our experts at Shear Architectural Design to determine if you need a permit for your specific project.

What is the Minimum Gap Between Decking and House?

A minimum gap of at least 10mm should be maintained between your decking and house to ensure proper ventilation and prevent potential damp issues.

Does Decking on a Slope Need Planning Permission?

Decking on sloping ground may require planning permission, particularly if it is raised or involves significant excavation. For expert advice on decking planning permission on sloping ground, contact our team at Shear Architectural Design.

Can You Have Too Much Decking?

While decking can greatly enhance your outdoor living space, it is possible to have too much decking. It is essential to maintain a balance between your decking and other landscaping elements to create a harmonious backyard. Additionally, planning permission may be required if your decking covers more than 50% of your garden area. Consider consulting with our professionals at Shear Architectural Design to help you create the perfect balance in your outdoor space.

Do I Need a Balustrade on My Deck?

A balustrade is required on your deck if it is raised more than 30cm above the ground. Balustrades are essential for ensuring the safety of you and your guests while using the deck. At Shear Architectural Design, we can help you design a balustrade that is both safe and aesthetically pleasing.

Decking Planning Permission: Your Step-By-Step Guide

To make the decking planning permission process as smooth as possible, follow these steps:

  1. Assess your project: Determine if your decking project requires planning permission based on the size, height, and location.
  2. Consult with experts: Seek professional advice from our team at Shear Architectural Design to ensure your project is compliant with building regulations and planning permission requirements.
  3. Prepare your application: Gather all necessary documents, including detailed plans, and submit them to your local planning authority.
  4. Liaise with neighbours: Keep your neighbours informed of your plans, addressing any concerns they may have.
  5. Await the decision: The planning authority will review your application and make a decision. This process can take up to eight weeks.
  6. Begin construction: Once planning permission has been granted, you can start building your dream decking with confidence.

By following these steps and partnering with Shear Architectural Design, you can ensure a successful decking planning permission process and unlock your backyard paradise. For more information and inspiration on enhancing your outdoor space, check out our blog for the latest trends and expert advice.


Maintenance and slipping:


  1. Regular Cleaning: One of the most important parts of maintaining garden decking is to keep it clean. This includes sweeping away leaves, dirt, and other debris regularly. Doing so prevents the buildup of organic matter that can cause discoloration and, eventually, rot.
  2. Pressure Washing: Use a power washer every once in a while to remove deep-set dirt and grime. But be careful not to use too high a pressure setting as it may damage the wood.
  3. Staining or Sealing: If your deck is made of wood, it will need to be sealed or stained every one to three years to protect it from the elements and prevent water damage. Choose a sealant or stain that’s suitable for the type of wood your deck is made of.
  4. Inspection: At least once a year, do a thorough check of your deck for any signs of damage such as splintering, rotting, or loosened nails or screws. Early detection will prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.
  5. Repairing Damage: If you spot any damage during your inspection, address it as soon as possible. This might mean replacing a rotten plank or tightening a loose screw.

Preventing Slipping:

  1. Anti-Slip Decking Oil: You can buy anti-slip decking oil, which has small particles in it that help to create a more grippy surface when applied to your deck.
  2. Non-Slip Mats: Consider non-slip mats or outdoor rugs, particularly in areas where you know water tends to collect. These mats also protect the wood from damage.
  3. Algae and Mold: These can make a deck very slippery. Using a decking cleaner once or twice a year can help. In addition, ensure your deck is properly ventilated and try to limit shade where possible, as these are conditions in which algae and mold thrive.
  4. Decking Paint with Grit: A decking paint or stain with added grit or particles can add some extra slip resistance.

Remember, different types of decking material (e.g., composite decking, hardwood, softwood) will require different types of care, so ensure that you’re following the best practices for your specific type of decking.

Maximising Your Deck’s Potential

Once your decking project has been given the green light, it’s time to make the most of your new outdoor space. Here are some tips to help you create a backyard paradise that is both functional and visually appealing:

  1. Choose the right materials: Select high-quality, durable, and sustainable materials for your decking, such as composite or responsibly sourced hardwoods.
  2. Incorporate lighting: Thoughtfully placed outdoor lighting can create a warm and inviting atmosphere, allowing you to enjoy your deck during both day and night.
  3. Add comfortable seating: Provide ample seating options for you and your guests, including built-in benches, lounge chairs, and outdoor sofas.
  4. Include greenery: Integrate planters, trellises, or even a green roof to bring life and colour to your deck.
  5. Create shade: Consider adding a pergola, canopy, or umbrella to provide shade and protection from the elements.
  6. Make it personal: Add your personal touch with outdoor rugs, cushions, and decorative accessories to make your deck truly feel like an extension of your home.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a backyard oasis that is perfect for relaxation, entertainment, and making memories with family and friends.

At Shear Architectural Design, we’re passionate about helping our clients bring their vision to life. From gaining planning permission to providing expert advice on design and materials, our team is here to support you every step of the way. Explore our portfolio for more inspiration and get in touch with us to start your journey towards your dream outdoor space 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. Contact us today, on 01273 740642 to learn more about how we can help you create the home of your dreams!

Our Services

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

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!

Our Services

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

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!

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