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Planning Permission Guide - Log Cabins

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Log Cabin?

Are you thinking of adding a log cabin to your garden? There are plenty of good reasons to do so. It gives you more space, an extra room to use for all kinds of reasons, and it also enables you to make the most of your garden.

Yet there is a lot to think about before you get to the stage of choosing and ordering your log cabin. First and foremost, it makes sense to check whether or not you need planning permission.

What is permitted development?

This is a phrase you’re likely to hear quite a lot when you start looking into the issue of planning permission. We’re going to look specifically at outbuildings here, since a log cabin is essentially an outbuilding on your property, just as a shed would be.

Basically speaking, outbuildings are regarded as permitted developments. This means you won’t need to seek planning permission before building something. However, there is a caveat with this. Permitted developments of all kinds must adhere to a set of conditions laid down under planning laws. Providing you meet all these, you should be fine.

Your log cabin should be constructed behind your property rather than to the side of it. Furthermore, you will only have a chance of constructing a log cabin as a permitted development if your property is not listed.

There are separate distance requirements for outbuildings that are located in national parks or on designated or protected land. For all other land, you cannot exceed 50% of the total area of land that exists around the original property. This will either be the date the property was built or 1st July 1948 if it is older than this. Your log cabin mustn’t be used as self-contained accommodation either, otherwise you will need planning permission.

What about the size and placement of the log cabin?

Your log cabin must only have one storey. Its eaves should be no higher than 2.5 metres. The maximum height of the entire building should be no more than 4 metres if the roof has a dual pitch. If it doesn’t, and has some other type of roof, the maximum height overall should be no more than 3 metres. In other words, if your chosen cabin has a flat roof, it can’t be any higher than 3 metres. However, keep reading as there is an important caveat to remember with this.

With regard to placement, the chances are that unless you have a large garden, you’ll want to place your log cabin within two metres of your boundary in at least one direction. If this is the case, your maximum height requirement is lower, at 2.5 metres, whether the roof is flat or pitched.

Make sure you do your homework

Even though we have provided a guide to help you here, it is always best to check and see whether there have been any updates to the planning portal information provided by the government. It is your responsibility to make sure your chosen log cabin – not to mention the spot where you intend to build it – will fall with permitted development laws.

Better safe than sorry

If you are at all uncertain about any aspect of your plot, your garden or the type of log cabin you want, it is always best to seek advice from your local planning department. The law can be different in different parts of the UK too. You should assume all the advice given here is relevant for properties in England. If you live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, check with your local planning officer to see which rules apply where you are.

Why choose a log cabin that is permitted?

Planning permission can be granted for log cabins that are bigger or taller than those that would be permitted, but it takes time. Similarly, there is no guarantee that you will get the permission you’re looking for.

If you look for a log cabin that falls within the size, height and other restrictions given, you won’t need permission and you can therefore build it straightaway. Even if you are in no particular hurry, this puts you in control of the project and allows you to get on with laying the foundations and building the log cabin itself.

As mentioned, it is very important to check the dimensions and plot you have to work with, to ensure you fall within the guidelines. Visit the government’s planning portal to view the regulations first-hand and you will see that it could be easier than you think to make sure your log cabin is permissible.

All that would remain then would be to install it and enjoy having a new look to your garden. How will you use and enjoy your chosen log cabin?

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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