Planning permissions and garden studios

A very short guide to permitted developments

Thinking about planning permissions is where every building project starts, and where most of the frustration lies.

Fortunately, when it comes to building a garden studio you have a little wriggle room in the form of what is called permitted development.

Under permitted development rights you are allowed to erect a studio behind the principal elevation of your house, without the need to apply for planning permission. Although, you do have to meet certain conditions!

Conditions of permitted developments

In case of garden studios the conditions you will have to meet are straightforward and simple.

The area covered by your planned studio should not exceed 50% of the total land area on which your house sits.

This studio must be behind the principal elevation of your house, which is the wall facing the main highway your house connects to.

It must be a single storey building.

The highest point of the roof mustn’t be more than: 4m if pitched, 3m if single-pitched and 2.5m if flat, with a maximum eaves height of 2.5m.

If you plan your studio to  be within 2m of the boundary of your property, than the maximum height of it can only be 2.5m, that is why you see so many flat roof designs around. Or because many find it easier to erect a flat roof, which is neither true nor necessary attractive, but I digress.

You can also erect a decking around your studio if its height does not exceed 0.3m.

And this is pretty much it, but (is the word we all dread!).

Exceptions of permitted developments

If your local authority has removed the permitted development rights at your area or on your property, which is within their rights, than none of the above will apply and you will need a planning permission. So first things first – check with your local planning authority to see if you still retain PD rights!

Similarly, if your house is a listed building, or if it sits within the boundaries of a National Park, World Heritage Site, Broad or area of outstanding natural beauty, than you’re out of luck. You will need a planning permission.

Also, your studio, however well equipped cannot function as an outbuilding of your dwelling to be used as a bedroom, kitchen or bathroom, and it cannot be an additional self-contained accommodation. For permitted development right to apply your studio’s purpose can only be ‘incidental to the enjoyment of the house’ – a clumsy term meaning to say that setting up a fossil dusting den in your garden is ok, using it as a house is not!

This is permitted developments in a nutshell.

I must stress that anything written above can only serve as a quick guide to ease your mind about this whole confusing business of planning permissions, and therefore should be taken with caution. To be sure you must always check with your local authority (which we can do for you at WOODDEN), or check out the official guide.

Official guide on permitted development rights:

If you are thinking on getting a garden studio for yourself, than what you will need to look for is the Class B Permitted Development.

I hope this was helpful, but feel free to ask us if something is not clear.