Do I need planning permission for a garden room?

Garden rooms or buildings do not require planning permission, if they fall within permitted development guidelines. To classify as an ‘outbuilding’ under permitted development rules, it must not contain sleeping accommodation and must be single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5m. There are a few other restrictions listed below.


How big can I build a garden room without planning permission?

  • MAXIMUM HEIGHT: As mentioned above the eaves height would be limited to 2.5m. The maximum overall height depends on the roof shape – four metres for a dual pitch and three metres for any other type. However, if the building is within two metres of a boundary, the overall maximum height is restricted to 2.5m.
  • FOOTPRINT: Have you or any previous owners extended the house since 1948? If so, these extensions will eat up your permitted development allowance. Overall, you are not allowed to build on more than half the land associated with the house without full planning permission.
  • LOCATION: It must not be located forward of the main front wall of the original house. The original house means as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948.
  • No verandas, balconies would be allowed without planning permission and raised decking should be no higher than 300mm.


garden room

Garden room planning permission

Images: (Left) garden observatory by Mike, garden designer and (right) garden studio by Daan, architect on Design for Me. Click the images to see their full profiles.

There are some specific restrictions regarding your particular property that you will need to check too:

1. Is your property a house?

Flats, maisonettes or any other type of buildings do not have permitted development rights, so you won’t be able to build your garden room without getting full planning permission. Also, be aware that if your property has undergone a change of use or has been converted into a house in the past, it may not enjoy permitted development rights.


2. Is your house, or any buildings contained within the boundary, listed?

If so, your garden room will require full planning permission.


3. Is your house in a conservation area?

You will not be able to build a garden room to the side of the main house without planning permission.

4. Is your house within a National Park, area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads or a World Heritage Site?

As above, you will not be able to build a garden room to the side of the main house without planning permission. Also, if you wish to build your garden room more than 20 metres from the house, the footprint will be limited to 10 square metres.


Get professional advice

Choosing the right architect for your design project is a critical first step, but can also be a bit of a minefield. This is exactly why I set up this website in the first place!

As well as being founder of, I am also a qualified architect. I found that many homeowners search online to find an architect and discover well established or high-end practices (it makes sense – these companies have bigger marketing budgets with stylish websites). However, such practices are often too busy, too expensive and, in fact, often less experienced in dealing with small residential projects on ‘normal’ budgets.

So, I wanted to create this platform for those design professionals I know who are suitable, experienced and eager to take on domestic projects like yours. They include small, young practices or freelancers. The problem was that, before Design for Me, they were very difficult to find! All you need to do is tell us a bit about your project…

Emily  Design for Me

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