Garden Rooms & Offices – Planning Permission. Important Advice
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Help With Planning Permission For Garden Offices
Will I Need Planning Permission For a Garden Office ?
Will you need planning permission? As the building is classed as a ‘Portable Building’ the answer is normally no; however, it is your responsibility to check with your local planning office. However, if you are in a listed building or conservation area, then they can be considered as notable exceptions. It may be that you need to position the garden room a certain distance from the house, or boundaries, but each area is different, so we’re afraid we cannot offer accurate information.
General guidelines include that it must not take up more than ½ your garden, it must be behind the building line, it should be 1 metre away from the boundary (although most garden and garden offices tend to be nearer than this), it should be less than 4 metres high (if it is an apex building) and should be 50 ft away from the nearest road. Check your phone book for your local council and ask to speak to a ‘planning officer’ to get the specific advice.
Guidelines from 1st October 2008 – Under the regulations from 1st October 2008, the following are considered to be permitted development, and don’t require planning permission, provided they adhere to the following:-
- No outbuilding to be forward of a wall forming the main elevation
- Outbuildings, garden sheds and garages to be single-storey and less than 2.5m to the eaves (gutter level) and no more than 4m to the ridge (top of apex or gable end) OR 3m for any other roof.
- Maximum height of 2.5m within 2 metres of your boundary
- Not taking up more than 50% of the land around the ‘original house’
- In National Parks, the Broads, and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the area covered must be less than 20 metres from the house and limited to 10 square metres
- Building Regulations
- Will not normally be applicable if the floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres AND contains NO sleeping accommodation
- If the building is between 15 and 30 square metres you would not normally require building regulations approval providing that the building is at least 1 metre from the boundary AND contains NO sleeping accommodation. Also, it must be constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.
Another thing to keep in mind is your neighbour’s reaction – always keep them informed of what’s happening, and be prepared to alter the plans you had for locating the building if they object – it’s better in the long run, believe me!
Garden offices are well established as being very versatile as well as being adaptable to the owner’s use which is not surprising considering the sheer number of choices and sizes available. Certainly from companies, such as 1st Choice, which remember that they should produce a building to suit YOU and not what suits them. Also, garden rooms, sometimes described as an office pod or studios and sometimes log cabins, lend themself to being adaptable. You will find the cheap garden room companies only offer building in just a few set sizes and just a couple of basic designs. Which can be OK if that is what you are looking for. However would it not be useful to utilise your garden, which in modern houses is smaller and smaller, to the full with an office to fit your garden. How about the door and windows, or no windows, or to be situated on a side to suit you. A wider door or double doors – why not?
Companies such 1st Choice Leisure Buildings, who have been involved in the manufacture of modern garden buildings since 1979, when Margaret Thatcher had not even become Prime Minister, and overall those years have listened to their customers about their requirements. That’s right – listened – what a novel idea. These values were instilled into the owners from their parents and grandparents, who were master butchers in Cleethorpes, and where service was a watchword.
The choice of a home office is yours, so it is understandable that in many cases they are more popular than home extensions. There are many reasons for this, but the fact that these type of buildings can be delivered and assembled within a few weeks after ordering and be working for the owner is a prime reason. They don’t normally need planning permission provided they are less than 2.5m high. If they are and you can site the building more than 2m away from any boundary, then that removes that obstacle (there are a few other restrictions but not many).
A home extension can be a long drawn out affair with architects being involved in the design of the extension. These typically would have to be submitted to the council for approval, which can take 6-8 weeks before anything can happen. You will also find that building regulations need to be met as well, for a good reason, before building can commence.
The virtues for a contemporary home extension is that it will add value to the home and make it more appealing to buyers in the future. You also have more space within the home for everyday living. The downside is the time it takes to build and the cost, which can be substantial. This can often be added to your mortgage, which can make it more affordable. Also, even though your home will be more appealing to home buyers, there is no guarantee you will recoup your layout.
The virtues for a standard or bespoke garden room are that it can be very quick to be assembled and in use and it can provide an area away from home, which can sometimes be a good thing. They don’t usually need planning permission or building regulations approval, They are very affordable, and the addition of these type of insulated buildings in the garden will help future home buyers. I would say that most home buyers would EXPECT to see a garden building with their new home and if it can be used as an office, then that will make your home very attractive for any possible purchaser.
The downside, on many, is that they do need some maintenance unless you go for the pressure treated rooms or made from Strongcore cladding and pre-painted. Be very aware of companies offering 10-year guarantees as these usually insist on the building being treated EVERY year, and if you don’t, the warranty will be null and void. You will find these details in their terms and conditions if you can find them. These are worthless guarantees. With pressure treated buildings, then you would expect 15 years without having to do anything except the addition of a water-repellent type of treatment. The pressure treatment will protect your new building from the rot, which is most important.
So maybe now is the time to take a look on our web site and see that will suit you. The beauty is that you can also visit their garden rooms UK display sites in Surrey so you can make your own mind up. Unlike the nasty shock, you can get if you buy one of those buildings made down to a price on the web and it turns up on your door if you go down that route.