What Is The Maximum Height Garden Building I Can Have Without Planning Permission?

Garden Buildings are considered Permitted Development and do NOT require planning permission as long as:

Max 2.5m
  • The building is to be placed less than 2.0m from the boundary of the property with a maximum overall height of no more than 2.5m from existing ground level. If you want a large building this close to the boundary, which, as a general rule, will have a taller roof height, we can lower the overall roof height of the majority of our apex roof buildings, and our garden buildings with pent roofs are all under 2.5m in height as well.
More than 2m
  • The building is to be placed more than 2.0m from the boundary of the property. If this is the case, a single storey garden building can have a maximum eave height of 2.5m, which is a maximum overall height of 4.0m for a dual-pitched roof and 3.0m maximum overall height for a pent roofed building. If you would like the overall height to be taller than these roof heights, you will need to apply for planning permission.

Other Criteria to Consider Regarding Planning Permission for your Garden Building

Other considerations illustration
  • The building is not to be used as self-contained living accommodation or have an antenna*.

While this criterion is one of the rules for outbuildings, Crane Garden Buildings does NOT sell buildings for use as self-contained living accommodation; this is because buildings for this purpose need to comply with the strict rules of building regulations, which our buildings do not.

Other considerations illustration
  • No more than 50% of the area of land around the original house** should be taken up by garden buildings or other buildings.
Other considerations illustration
  • Outbuildings should not be closer to a road or public highway than the original house** itself.

** (The term original house means the house as it was first built or as it stood as of 1 July 1948 (if it was built before this date). Any extension, even if completed by a previous occupier, does not constitute as the original house (unless it was in place on 1 July 1948).

If your garden building does NOT meet the above criteria, e.g. if you want a garden building taller than 2.5m and situated less than 2.0m from a boundary of your property, then you would NEED to apply for planning permission.

If, however, your garden building DOES comply with the above criteria, you won’t need to apply for planning permission and you can have a garden building up to 30m2 (internal size). Anything bigger than 30m2 will need to go through building regulations.

Special Considerations

Listed Buildings

Listed buildings are objects or structures that have been judged by Historic England and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to be of national importance in terms of architectural or historic interest. These structures, once approved, feature on a dedicated register called the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

Other considerations illustration

There are increased rules around listed buildings, so any garden building or outbuilding that is to be placed within the curtilage of a listed property will require planning permission. If you go one step further and require a structure to be built and attached to a listed property, you will need both listed building consent AND planning permission (although this is a service that Crane does not offer).

These restrictions should not put you off though, as we build a considerable number of garden buildings for customers with listed properties.

Designated Land

There are also additional limitations if your property is located on designated land. Designated land is the term used to describe areas of interest such as: national parks, the Broads, World Heritage Sites, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and conservation areas.

There are two main points to get your head around with designated land: one includes conservation areas, one does not:

20m illustration
  • Let’s start with the first point (this point only refers to garden buildings that are to be placed in either national parks, World Heritage Sites, the Broads or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. NOT conservation areas): the maximum area to be covered by garden buildings that are positioned more than 20m from any wall of the house is limited to 10m2. You can still have a garden building larger than 10m 2 in your garden if you wish, you would just need to obtain planning permission before you can do so.
Other considerations illustration
  • The second point refers to designated land as a whole (so it INCLUDES conservation areas): on designated land you cannot have a garden building to the side of a property without requiring planning permission.

Once you have clarified these points and know that you are following the above criteria, you can refer to what we call, the ‘normal planning rules’. These are the criteria that have been specified from the beginning of this article in the first two sections.

Obtaining planning permission is not as difficult a process as popular myth would lead you to believe; our dedicated team are always on hand to advise and help if you should have any concerns or wish to check any information with us.

For further information, visit the Government Planning Portal website.

We hope this planning advice has been helpful to you.

Rules governing outbuildings apply to sheds, playhouses, greenhouses and garages as well as other ancillary garden buildings such as swimming pools, ponds, sauna cabins, kennels, enclosures (including tennis courts) and many other kinds of structure for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse.

If you are unsure if your planned building falls into the category of ‘outbuildings’ or if you are unsure if planning permission is required, please contact your local planning authority.

Other rules relate to the installation of a satellite dish, the erection of a new dwelling or the erection or provision of fuel storage tanks.

Outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.

Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.

Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.

No verandas, balconies or raised platforms (a platform must not exceed 0.3 metres in height)

No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.

In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from the house to be limited to 10 square metres.

On designated land* buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.

Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.

*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). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

*Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.

Please note: The permitted development allowances described here apply to houses and not to:

Flats and maisonettes (view our guidance on flats and maisonettes)

Converted houses or houses created through the permitted development rights to change use (as detailed in our change of use section)

Other buildings

Areas where there may be a planning condition, Article 4 Direction or other restriction that limits permitted development rights.

Do I Need Building Regs

If you want to put up small detached buildings such as a garden shed or summerhouse in your garden, building regulations will not normally apply if the floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres and contains NO sleeping accommodation.

If the floor area of the building is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations approval providing that the building contains NO sleeping accommodation and is either at least one metre from any boundary or it is constructed substantially of non-combustible materials.

This section provides you with general information to help you comply with the Building Regulations when constructing a new outbuilding within the boundaries of an existing property, such as:

garage or carport
summerhouse or shed

Building a new garage attached to an existing home would normally need building regulations approval.

Building a new attached carport (open on at least two sides) would not normally require building regulations approval if it is less than 30 square metres in floor area.

Building a detached garage of less than 30 square metres floor area would not normally need building regulations approval if:

the floor area of the detached garage is less than 15 square metres.
the floor area of the garage is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, provided the garage is at least one metre from any boundary, or it is constructed substantially of non-combustible materials.

If you want to convert an integral or attached garage into habitable use, building regulations will normally apply, view specific information for garage conversions.

In many cases, these structures will be exempt from requiring approval under the Building Regulations if they meet certain exemption criteria.

If the Regulations do apply to the building then it must be built to reasonable standards.

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