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By Cara Mackay on 11 Jun 2016

Do you Need Planning Permission for a Shed?

More often than not, do I need planning permission for my Shed, is one of the first questions a customer will ask me. And my answer is always… It depends. I’ve been submitting planning applications longer than I’ve been applying mascara. So my quick 9 principle should do the trick when figuring it out for yourself.

In accordance to planning law a permitted development is one that answers NO to all of these questions.

  • Is your Shed for; Business Use?! – If you’re running a multi-million pound empire from your garden shed, the council will want to know about it. They love a bit of business rate action on that kind of thing.
  • Is your Shed going to be; Outwith your Garden?! – It’s a serious question… You can’t just put a Summerhouse up in a public park where you like to sit sometimes. Although I think this really applies to communal grounds, where you may have a plot for a Garage but the access is shared and there is maybe a certain size or style you need to adhere to.
  • Do you live; In a Tenement Block?! – This one’s for the neighbour who thinks it’s appropriate to erect a 9ft tall Pigeon Loft 3 inches away from your kitchen window #DBAD The council like to have a say on where you want to put the building in tenement or shared garden situations.
  • Do you live; In a Conservation Area? – Conservation; to conserve the historical environment against unsavory changes. I think unsavory is the right word but you could say – to stop you from putting up an ugly shed. Conservation Areas only like really, ridiculously good looking Sheds. The same rule applies if your house is a Listed Building.
  • Is your Shed going to be; Within 1mtr of a Boundary? –  This is my favourite! When I ask my customers this they always look at me as if I’m about to burst into a clever 5 line limerick… I’m not –  it’s a genuine question…

    “If the 1 metre boundary is crossed

    Then the trick is to keep your Shed bossed
    Below 2.5 metres
    That building’s a keeper
    And the planning permission form’s tossed!

    This is achievable for smaller buildings but becomes an issue for Garages and Cabins. Oh and a boundary is whatever separates your garden from the rest of the WORLD!

  • Is your Shed; Wall Height More than 3mtrs? – Seriously doubt it. Unless you’re housing The BFG, a 3mtr wall height is ridiculous. The standard wall height is roughly 1.980m (see what I did there, that’s not roughly, that’s accurate, there’s nothing roughly about me).
  • Is your Shed; Roof (overall) Height More than 4mtrs? – Again, this is just CRAZY! I can get a two storey building under 4mtrs but it’s really hard to do that – chances are if you’re going two storey then you’re already doing Building Control so will need Planning regardless. (WHAT THE DUCK IS BUILDING CONTROL?!)
  • Is your Shed; Being used to Create a Boundary? – so lets say if you’re thinking of putting your Shed inline with the front elevation of your house to create a boundary between you and the rest of the WORLD then… The council will want to tell you what colour to paint and maybe say you can’t put it there at all because you have too many freckles (no-one understands their logic, no-one).
  • Is your Shed going to; Take up More than 50% of Your Garden Area? –  For example; you’re trying to erect a 3 bedroom detatched house and class it as a shed in you back garden. Good luck. The council hate that. Keep it in proportion to the rest of the garden and don’t go mental big. In fact you can’t make it bigger than 30m2 anyway as that requires BUILDING CONTROL.

There you have it Sheddies! Answer NO to all of these and you can Shed away to your hearts content under the comforting blanket of permitted development.

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