Do you need planning permission to build a garden room?

Sep 8, 2021 | Tips and Tricks

Disclaimer: Most garden rooms don’t require planning permission, but we recommend you always seek professional advice beforehand.

Garden rooms have become one of the trendiest must-have outdoor accessories for homes across the nation and since lockdown, they’ve done nothing but grown in popularity. Whether it’s space for an office, a play area for the kids, a home gym, or extra accommodation for guests, the reasons for wanting to install a garden room are endless. But what are the next steps? You’ve chosen your model, you’ve decided where to put it, and are busy planning the interior design but you’ve forgotten one crucial thing: do you need planning permission?

In short, most garden rooms don’t need planning permission. However, that’s not always the case and this can depend on several factors, including the size of your garden room, where you plan to put it and what you plan to use it for.

In most cases, a garden room will be classed as an outbuilding, which means they fall into your ‘permitted development rights’, as long you follow a few simple rules, which are:


You cannot place a garden room in front of your home and the total area of the garden room should not cover more than 50 per cent of the total area of land around your house. This refers to the area as it was on 1st July 1948. Plus, the area that you want to put a garden room on must be your land.


If it’s a single storey, then your garden room must be less than three metres high (or four metres with a dual-pitched roof). If the garden room is within two metres of your boundary, the maximum height is two point five metres.

Design And Use

The garden room does not have a balcony or veranda and any raised platform should be no higher than 30cm.

It’s important to note that you might need planning permission if you intend to use it for activities that you would usually do in your own home, for example showering and cooking. Additionally, while you won’t need planning permission for your garden room if people stay in there occasionally, however, you will need to, if you want to sleep in it regularly, want to create a self-contained accommodation or a granny annexe.

There are also some details surrounding your property that you will also need to check before you install your garden room. These are:

Is your property a house?

Flats and maisonettes do not have permitted development rights, which means you wouldn’t be able to build your garden room without getting full planning permission. Additionally, if your property has undergone a change of use, or has been converted into a house previously, it also might not have permitted development rights.

Is your house a listed property?

If your house is a listed property, then you will need to get full planning permission.

Is your house in a conservation area?

If it is, then you will not be able to build a garden room on the side of your house without getting planning permission.

Is your house within a national park, area of outstanding natural beauty, the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, or a World Heritage Site?

If this is the case, then you will not be able to build a garden room on the side of your house without planning permission. Additionally, if you do build a garden room more than 20 metres away from your home, then it must be no more than 10 square metres.

Before you go ahead and get your garden room, you need to consider whether you’ll need building regulations or not. This will depend on both the size of the garden room and its placement.

If you’re exploring the idea of investing in a garden room, then it’s vital that you speak to the experts first. Ultimately, if you don’t get the correct support and guidance at the beginning, then this could cost you more in the long term and even lead to you having to take the building down. At Hippo Lodges, we manufacture stunning garden rooms, as well as shepherd huts and glamping pods, which means we are perfectly positioned to offer you all the necessary information and advice needed to make sure your garden room buying journey is as seamless as possible. Get in touch today.