While many of us have a shed in our garden, most people tend to just use their shed as a place of storage, as a workshop, or for gardening purposes. However, there has also been an increase in people using their sheds for less utilitarian purposes, such as creating a place for relaxation. Garden rooms are perfect for creating additional space outdoors and when it’s properly built, it can even become a second room or an office space.
Now that more people are considering using their shed space as more of a garden room to expand your living space, there are a few things that you need to know. Garden rooms are usually classed as ‘outbuildings’ which means that you are permitted to build one as long as you are compliant with the rules. These buildings also usually do not require planning permission.
What are the Exceptions?
Most buildings have ‘Permitted Development Rights’ which means that you are able to carry out certain types of work without needing to apply for planning permission. However, there are exceptions to this. If your property is in a World Heritage Site, a Conservation area, or a National Park, the local rules may not permit the development of outbuildings or special permission may be required. Flats and maisonettes also won’t have these rights as they are communal buildings.
If you’re planning some building works, it’s a good idea to check with your local planning office beforehand. Whether you live in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales, the rules are the same.
What are the Planning Rules?
If you are planning on a building project for permitted development, there are rules that you must follow:
- The garden room must not be for self-contained living accommodation.
- The room must not be at the front of the house.
- The room must not have a balcony, veranda or a raised platform.
- The room must be single-storey and less than 3 meters high.
- The eaves must not exceed 2.5 metres above ground level.
- The total area of all external structures (including extensions, outbuildings, and sheds) must not be more than 50% of the outside area surrounding the house.
Can I use a Garden Room as an Office?
You may use a garden room as an office as long as it’s for incidental use (for example, working alone at a computer). However, councils will not approve garden room offices where business appointments or meetings are held.
Although you can apply for planning permission retrospectively, councils may issue an order for removal of the garden home office if the rules are not followed. Again, it’s a good idea to check with your local authority if you have any doubts.
About Stuart Mosley
Stuart Mosley (CeFA, CeMap, CLTM) founded SJ Financial Solutions in June 2005 having spent 12 years with big corporates such as Halifax and Santander. He felt the personal touch and straight speaking was missing from financial and mortgage advice services and set up SJ Financial Solutions to change this.
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