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Do you need planning permission for a garden room?
Most garden rooms don’t require planning permission. They are considered outbuildings and you are allowed to build one as long as you comply with certain regulations. Does your property have permitted development rights? Having permitted development rights allows homeowners to extend or build a garden room without the need for planning permission.If your property has these rights then the guidelines state –

  • The garden building must not be used for overnight accommodation
  • The garden building must not be self-contained accommodation
  • If the garden room is within 2 metres of the boundary then the maximum height needs to be 2.5m
  • If the garden room is further than 2 metres from the boundary then a pitched roof with a maximum height of 4m is allowed.

However, living and working in Bath, a World Heritage city, the situation regarding planning permission for your garden building can be a little bit more complicated, and is an issue that we come up against frequently!
So, what can also affect whether you are required to have planning permission for your new garden building?

Is your property on designated land?
  • What is designated land? This can include World Heritage sites, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Parks, or conservation areas. If you live in the city of Bath and are hoping to build a garden room it is worth checking if your property has permitted development rights and they haven’t been removed by a planning condition such as an Article 4 direction, or other restriction. Your property deeds should mention this.

For homeowners who are planning to build a garden room on designated land, there are also a few more outbuilding planning permission requirements in addition to those stated previously.

Can I build a garden room anywhere in my back garden?

In an AONB/National Park you must build within 20m of any part of your house. If you are further than 20m, then your garden room cannot exceed a total footprint of 10m2.

Other Special considerations for garden room planning permission
There are a few more things to think about regarding your property and whether you need building consent. Here are some examples:
Do you live in a flat or maisonette?
Flats and maisonettes have no permitted development rights so will always need planning consent for a garden building.
Do you live in a listed building?
As a garden room is built separately from the main building then planning permission is not usually required as the Listed Building status applies to the building and not the garden. Other features to bear in mind though are walls and trees as these can be listed as well.
Can I have a garden room built in my front garden?
A garden rooms installed in front of your house will always require planning permission. A garden room built to the side of the house is allowed unless you live in a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty/national park – in which case planning permission will be required.
Running a business from your garden room
What are the rules about running a business from your garden room / office? Well, there are
important questions to consider, such as –

  • Will my business involve clients visiting me in my premises?
  • Will there be an increase in traffic to my property?
  • Will my business affect or disturb my neighbours?

If the answer to yes to these questions you may need to apply for a Certificate of Lawful use you’re
your business to be able to operate from your garden building. If your answer is No to these
questions then you may not need permission to un your business but maybe planning consent to
build it!