A brick shed in the garden creates a solid structure that’s ideal for storing furniture and equipment. Before starting construction, be sure to understand if planning permission is required.
Space at home is becoming a premium and a garden shed can be the perfect solution for additional storage needs. A separate outbuilding in the garden is great for storing garden furniture during the winter, as well as tools and gardening equipment.
Most garden sheds are made from timber and purchased from a local garden building supplier. While timber is great, there are numerous benefits to a brick built construction that can make it better value for money, despite the additional costs.
While timber sheds require yearly maintenance with a wood preserver, a brick construction can be left untreated and still look the same years into the future. Bricks also provide increased durability and robustness, making a good solution for keeping the building secure and contents inside protected.
Building a shed can turn into a complex process and the costs can soon begin to add up, especially when installing extra features such as an electricity supply or insulation. The shed base can also be expensive, and an area many new shed owners don’t account for.
The first step to building a brick shed in a garden is to check whether planning permission is required. Falling on the wrong side of planning regulations could result in being ordered to take the outbuilding down in the future. Once you’ve decided the size and location of the brick shed, it’s time to see whether a planning application is needed.
Note: This information is provided as a guide, If in any doubt you should contact your local planning authority.
Can I build a brick shed in my garden and is planning permission required?
To cut a long story short, yes you generally can build a brick shed in a garden. Planning permission may be required if the building is particularly large for a shed or in certain designated areas.
Sheds usually fall under the category of outbuildings when it comes to planning permission. Permitted Development allows for outbuildings to be built for the incidental enjoyment of the main house, provided they fall within scope, without a planning application. For most shed owners, this means you can build a shed and there’s no requirement to follow the lengthy planning permission process.
Permitted Development is general rules for England, but you should always check with your Local Planning Authority for any additional regulations in place. If you live in a listed building, conservation area, national park, area of outstanding national beauty or world heritage site there is often additional criteria that will need to be met.
Permitted Development allowances are for houses only and do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other converted houses.
Building within the scope of Permitted Development
Once it has been established that Permitted Development applies in your local area, it’s time to understand whether the brick shed you plan to build falls within scope. Certain limits around size, location and usage apply.
- Single story building with a maximum eaves height of 2.5m & maximum height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres with any other roof – The total height of the brick shed from the surrounding ground should not exceed these heights. Only a single-story construction is permitted, which is perfectly suited to a shed.
- Maximum height of 2.5m within two metres of a boundary – When an outbuilding, such as a shed, is placed near a neighbour’s boundary, the maximum height is 2.5m. This prevents the outbuilding from blocking light into the neighbouring property.
- Not built on land forward of the wall forming the principal elevation – Building the concrete shed without coming forward of the front wall of the property means the shed must be positioned in the side or rear garden. Construction in the front garden is not suitable for permitted development.
- No balconies, verandas or raised platforms – Though uncommon for a shed, it’s not possible to integrate a veranda or balcony as part of the construction. Where a platform is required, it must not have a height of more than 30cm.
- Outbuildings not to exceed 50% of the land around the original house – The majority of space on land around a property should not be taken up by outbuildings such as a shed. The total amount of outbuildings are not to exceed 50% of the land around the house. In this scenario, the original house is how it stood on 1st July 1948. Even if the previous owners added other outbuildings, they still contribute towards the land used.
- In specific locations the maximum area covered by outbuildings more than 20 metres from the house is limited to 10 square metres – In locations including the boards, Areas of outstanding national beauty, national parks, and world heritage sites, buildings more than 20 metres from the house cannot exceed 10 square metres in size.
- On designated land, an outbuilding at the side of a property requires planning permission – If the side of the house, instead of a rear garden is going to be used in a designated area, planning permission is needed. Designated areas include conservation areas, world heritage sites, the broads, national parks and areas of outstanding national beauty.
- In the property of listed buildings, planning permission is required – Any outbuilding, including a brick shed, in the curtilage of a listed building will require planning permission.
If planning permission is required
When the brick shed construction falls out of scope for Permitted Development due to size, usage or location, then planning permission is required. To kickstart the process, a planning application needs to be submitted to the Local Planning Authority and will be decided in line with their development plan.
It’s a good idea to first contact the LPA for advice to understand whether the application is likely to be approved. The application can be submitted online, along with supporting documents and payment of the appropriate fees. The waiting period then begins while the application is considered by a planning officer.
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Does a brick shed need building regulations approval?
Whereas planning permission covers where a brick shed is positioned, building regulations cover whether the shed is safe to use. The regulations ensure the building is up to a high standard and safe to use. Examples include fire safety, waterproofing and access requirements. Most buildings in the UK require building regulations approval.
Fortunately, most garden buildings, including brick sheds, are excluded from building regulations. Instead, the shed will fall under the category of a small detached outbuilding so long as:
- The building does not contain sleeping accommodation
- Total floor area is less than 15 square metres
If you plan on building a brick shed greater than 15 square metres, additional requirements will apply. This is to ensure the building is safe and meets fire safety requirements. If the building is going to be used for sleeping accommodation, even once, then building regulations apply.
How to build a brick shed in the garden
Constructing a garden building can be a complex process that often becomes longer and more expensive than initially planned. Once you’ve understood the regulations around planning permission and whether an application will be required, it’s time to plan your building. With a large-sized concrete shed comes increased costs, but also the opportunity for additional uses. A large garden shed can be used as an occasional workshop.
You may choose to build the shed yourself or pay a builder to complete the work on your behalf. Construction experience is required before building a concrete shed in the garden, as the building needs to be secure and watertight. A damp-proof membrane is often used to prevent moisture from penetrating from the ground below and causing mould issues for the contents stored inside.
We recommend plenty of windows on a garden building to let in lots of natural light. This makes it easy to find items inside quickly and creates the appearance of a larger interior. Depending on what the shed will be used for, the walls can be lined and boarded with insulation installed in-between.
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In summary, it’s possible to build a brick shed in the garden. The main factor will be down to whether the shed your planning falls within the scope of Permitted Development. If it does, the process is streamlined and no planning permission is required. If the shed is going to be out of scope due to the size, usage or location requirements, a planning application is required.
When constructing a brick shed, be sure to account for all of the costs that will be involved. Garden building projects can often come with more complexity costs than planned for originally.
I’m a bricklayer based in Fulham and my team have built many brick outbuildings without planning permission as long as they kept within required 15 square metres