SHEDS, GREENHOUSES AND OTHER OUTBUILDINGS – PLANNING AND PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS
If you want to add floorspace or more storage to your property, one option available is to construct an external outbuilding such as a shed, garage, greenhouse or other outbuilding. To build such a structure, you may need planning permission – requiring a planning application to your local authority.
Planning applications cost money, take time, and require an assessment to be made by a local planning authority officer. Your neighbours will be consulted and can object to your proposals.
However, as with any extension to your house, you can undertake certain works without the need to apply for planning permission – subject to ‘permitted development’ rules being met in terms of extension size, type and location.
The relevant rules are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended.
Rules for new buildings within the curtilage of a house are some of the most generous in the GPDO – in the right circumstances, up to 50% of a whole property curtilage can be used to site outbuildings.
OUTBUILDINGS – PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RULES
Outbuildings such as garden sheds, greenhouses, ponds, but also swimming pools, kennels and summer houses, as well as containers used for domestic heating purposes all benefit from permitted development rights when located within the curtilage of a house.
These can be constructed under permitted development rights, where:
The total area of ground covered by the building as well as other buildings within the curtilage of the dwelling does not exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage (excluding the ground area of the original house*)
No part of the outbuilding is situated forward of the principal (usually the front) elevation of the original house
The capacity of any container does not exceed 3,500 litres
The proposal does not include any verandas, balconies or raised platforms (i.e. any deck or platform above 30cm from the ground)
The building is no more than one storey in height
The height of the eaves of the building is no more than 2.5 metres
Where not located within 2m of a boundary, the overall height of the building does not exceed 3 metres (unless it has a pitched roof, in which case the overall height does not exceed 4 metres)
If it is located within 2m of a boundary, the overall height of the building does not exceed 2.5 metres in height, regardless of roof pitch.
Outbuildings must be for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse – which includes the keeping of poultry, bees, pet animals, birds or other livestock for the domestic needs or personal enjoyment of the occupants of the house.
SEPARATE RULES APPLY TO:
- House extensions
- Decking, balconies and raised platforms
- TV aerials or satellite dishes
- Chimneys, flues or soil and vent pipes
- Any alteration to the roof of the existing house
- Changes of use
PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT – PROTECTED AREAS – OUTBUILDINGS
If you live in any of the areas listed below, additional limitations on ‘permitted development’ will apply:
- Conservation Areas
- Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- National Parks
- the Broads
- World Heritage Sites
In these areas outbuildings are not permitted if:
the total area of ground covered by buildings, enclosures, pools and containers situated more than 20 metres from any wall of the house would exceed 10 square metres; or
the building is proposed between a side elevation of the house and the property boundary (i.e. would only be allowed at the rear)
There are no permitted development rights for outbuildings within the curtilage of a Listed Building.
Contact your local authority or seek professional advice if you live in these areas or live in a property that is Listed.
REMOVAL OF PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS
Permitted development rights can also be removed by your local planning authority, either through the addition of a Condition on a previous planning permission, or through imposition of an Article 4 Direction.
CONTACTING YOUR LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY BEFORE COMMENCING WORKS
For the purposes of planning, contact with the local planning authority is generally only necessary before carrying out permitted development where:
- ‘prior approval’ from the local planning authority is required under PD rules
- a ‘neighbour consultation scheme’ is in place
- the local planning authority has a Community Infrastructure Levy in place which requires developers to contact the local planning authority before carrying out permitted development. Failure to do this may result in the local planning authority imposing a surcharge on a developer
- the permitted development rights require the developer to notify the local planning authority of a change of use
Schedule 2 of the GPDO sets out when any advance notification is required. If you are in any doubt, contact your local planning department or seek professional advice.
PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS FOR FLATS, SHOPS AND BUSINESSES
Permitted development rights under Part 1 of the GPDO only apply to houses – they do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings.
The rules above also do not apply to converted houses or houses created through the ‘permitted development’ rights for:
- ‘Changes of use’ (Schedule 2, Part 3, Classes M; N; P; PA and Q) or
- ‘New Dwellinghouses’ (Schedule 2, Part 20)
Check out our guides to non-householder PD rights (through the menu at the top of this page).
PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS AND CIL
If a development is over 100 sq m in size, it may be liable for a charge under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Check with your local planning authority whether they use CIL in your area and whether it applies to permitted development.
AND FINALLY …
PD rights are subject to change. The guide above is for general information only and does not constitute advice. Local and site-specific circumstances can differ and affect whether a planning application is needed.
Other consents (such as Building Regulations or notifications under the Party Wall Act) may also be needed.
To determine whether planning permission or other consents are required, seek professional advice or clarification from your local authority before starting works.
TownPlanning.info has an extensive catalogue of articles and guides which help explain the town planning system in England.
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