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By Amy Hanlon on 23 Aug 2023

How Do I Apply For Planning Permission?


More about planning permission!

Hopefully, you’ve already read our handy guide, and if so, you might well be in the majority of shed- and garden room-owners that don’t need to worry about it any further.

Good old permitted development!

But if you do need to apply for planning permission, we can let you see exactly what you need to do.

You know me – I love a checklist! While some aspects of applying for planning permission are complicated, this part is simple. You won’t need planning permission if you can answer no to all of the following ten questions:

The Gillies and Mackay Planning Permission Checklist, which asks ten questions to determine whether or not planning permission is needed.

But what if you can’t answer no to all of these questions? Is your garden building dream doomed before it’s even gotten started?

Not at all. 

All this means is that your building can’t be built under the permitted development rules, and you will have to apply to your local authority for planning permission. 

What documents do I need for planning permission?

You’ll have to submit the following documents with your application:

  • A scale drawing of your proposed building
  • An Ordnance Survey map
  • A plan of your site
  • Supporting pictures

What is a scale drawing and where can I get this?

A scale drawing is a drawing of the front, back and side elevations of whatever you’re planning to build. It should show the dimensions of the building on a scale of 1 to 50. If your building is 5m x 6m, you’d draw 10cm by 12cm lines to represent this. 1cm = 500mm

Your drawing can be hand-drawn or use digital software, as long as it shows these elevations and is drawn to the correct scale

If you’re buying your garden building from a manufacturer, they will be able to supply you with these drawings. There will most likely be a charge for this service. Many garden building companies will also offer a planning permission application service, which will also carry a charge. So if all this talk of scale drawings has got your flustered, get in touch with your friendly garden building company and find out if they can do it for you.

What is an Ordnance Survey map and where can I get this?

Ordnance Survey (OS) is the national mapping organisation for the UK. If you’re an outdoors hillwalking sort of person you’ll likely be familiar with their foldable paper maps. 

Your planning application must include an official OS map of your property, showing exactly where your proposed building will be. Their website shows you their official partners who provide these maps for planning applications. A 1:1250 scale map is usually included if you live in an urban area, or a 1:2500 scale if you live in a larger property or rural area. This map should have north clearly marked on it, and should fit on a piece of A4 or A3 paper. You should draw your proposed building on this map at the same scale.

The cost for these maps varies. Some of the OS official partners have prices starting at £7.99, but in order to see how much your requested map will cost, you have to log in and input your postcode and address.

What is a site plan for planning permission?

This is a more detailed version of the Ordnance Survey map, which shows specific details that may not be on this map. It should show the layout of your garden, including any shrubbery, flower beds, trees and patio spaces. It should also show where your proposed building will go. Like the scale drawings, you can draw this plan by hand or create a digital version. 

What supporting pictures do I need for planning permission?

You should take photographs of your garden showing the area where the garden building will go. Make sure these photos are clear. Remember that planning departments decide what impact any building work will have on the area as a whole. Take photos that show both the immediate surroundings of your building and the wider area.

How much does planning permission cost?

As well as all these documents, you must pay for your planning application. For garden buildings, the charge is £300. If you have to resubmit there is no further fee as long as you resubmit the same application within 12 months of the first one. 

If you use a planning application service, there will be a charge for this. Our planning service costs £650, which includes the £300 planning fee. 

Will I get planning permission if I live in a listed building?

If you live in a listed building or conservation area, there are a few more hoops to jump through, but you can still apply to add a garden building to your home. 

You can check if your home is listed on the Historic Environment Scotland website. They also have plenty of information about the process of applying for planning permission for a listed building. The chief consideration is whether or not the building works will affect the overall character of the building. Timber buildings are usually considered to do this, but each case will be considered differently by your local authority.  

What if my planning permission application is turned down?

Most planning applications that are turned down are successful on resubmission. The most common reason for rejection is that the application doesn’t have all the documents and evidence that are needed. The vast majority of applications are granted on resubmission. While this adds stress and time to your project, for the most part, planning applications are successful. 

Planning permission is a famously tricky and complicated beast, but applying to add a garden building to your home isn’t a hugely complex process. There are plenty of documents online that give information about planning permission, but these are intended to cover all bases for every single possible type of application. It’s easy to get lost in the screeds of information online.

But remember – timber garden buildings are classic, unobtrusive, and if you buy one of ours it’ll be seriously good-looking too. 

We’re happy to answer your questions about planning permission or anything else garden building-related. Come and see us at our Show Area here in Errol, have a good look at all the many types of timber buildings we offer, and let’s get those dreams back on track, even if they do mean filling in some forms!

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