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Planning Permission Guide

Do I Need Planning Permission For A Shed?

If you’re going to make any significant changes to the interior or exterior of your home, it’s best to check whether or not planning permission is required. There have been some changes to planning permission rules in recent years. These changes were designed to make certain home improvements easier to complete without having to get permission.

There are now certain things you can do that are said to be ‘permitted development’ projects. One area that comes into play here concerns garden buildings. This is good news for you if you want to buy a new garden shed, but you must make sure your desired shed doesn’t contravene any of the rules that apply to permitted development projects.

Points to bear in mind when erecting a shed

Here is a handy checklist of some of the main points to remember:

  • Your shed should not be positioned forward of a wall that forms the principal elevation of the property.
  • All sheds should be single-storey in nature.
  • The eaves height should be no higher than 2.5 metres.
  • The maximum overall height should be no higher than 4 metres for a dual pitch roof (all other roof options have a max height of 3 metres).
  • If the shed stands less than 2 metres from one or more boundaries of the property, the overall height should not exceed 2.5 metres.
  • In the case of designated land, planning permission will still be required.
  • In the case of land in national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and similar sites, any sheds or similar structures over 20 metres away from the house cannot take up more than 10 square metres.
  • In the case of a listed building of any kind, planning permission will be required.

It is also important to note your shed should not be designed to provide sleeping accommodation. Any building that essentially marks a change of use for the property should be looked into in more detail.

Check the government’s planning portal for complete details concerning all planning rules and requirements for permitted development projects.

We would always advise you to check the government’s planning portal prior to taking on any project at home, even if you are only intending to erect a shed. You can find out the details about Permitted Developments For Outbuildings simply by visiting the link given.

Remember it is your responsibility to check the project you have in mind is suitable under the permitted development rules. If you suspect you may need planning permission, or you are in any way unsure, you should always contact your local authority for more information and advice. You can find out more online via your local council website as well.

If you intend to use your shed for a home business, you may wish to seek further advice. Using it as an occasional home office will be fine. However, if your business involves customers visiting your home, or a lot of noise or dust (to give a few examples), you should definitely seek planning permission prior to proceeding. The golden rule is always ‘better safe than sorry’.

What size shed can I have?

In most cases, it would be possible to have quite a sizeable shed without falling foul of planning rules. However, it is worth bearing this statement in mind:

“No more than half the area of land around the ‘original house’ would be covered by additions or other buildings.”

That is taken verbatim from the planning portal relating to outbuildings. Any property that was built on or after 1st July 1948 is deemed to be the original house. If it was built earlier than that, you have to go by the house as it was on that date. So for example, if an extension was built in 1960, this would be discounted according to the above rule.

Unless you have a particularly small garden, the chances are you could choose a nice-sized shed without any problems at all. Most people find they can choose the size they need without swallowing up too much of the garden – which most of us wouldn’t want to do anyway.

It might surprise you to learn most log cabins come within the size requirements listed in the permitted development rules. That means you should be able to find the shed you want to put in your garden, and be able to position it somewhere that won’t fall foul of the rules.

The best idea is to see which shed you would ideally like to get, decide where you would like to position it and then check the permitted development rules. The chances are you will be fine. But if you are in any doubt at all, getting some advice from your local planning officer will be the best route to take.

Building Regulations

A shed with a floor space of less than 15 square metres would not normally have to comply with building regulations if it does not contain sleeping accommodation. Some restrictions do apply to sheds between 15 and 30 square metres. Of course normal safety standards have to be adhered to, particularly regarding any electrical connections.

Sheds In Woodlands

If you are lucky enough to own a bit of woodland, you may want a shed to store tools and equipment. For any permanent structure, you should seek planning permission. For details and advice, and further useful comments in the accompanying correspondence from woodland owners, see

Please note that the content on this page is no way binding and all planning permission decisions are dependent on local authorities. Please contact your local council for more information.

Detailed regulations can be found on the UK government's Planning Portal website.

All images are for illustrative purposes only. All dimensions are approximate and may vary with manufacturers tolerances. Dimensions contained within product names are approximate, for guidance purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all measurements are overall including roof overhangs where applicable.

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