Purchasing a new garden building can be exciting, but staying within planning rules is crucial to avoid issues in the future. Unfortunately, a garden shed can only be installed on the front of your property with permission.
Garden sheds are found in nearly every garden up and down the country and we purchase huge volumes of them every year. With more of us spending time at home, the shed is moving from a place to just store tools to a practical extension of the space in our homes. In fact, some people now work part-time from their shed with jobs such as freelance writing. The trend of garden buildings is expected to grow further, with technology paving the way for us to work from anywhere.
Even if your shed is just for storage, it’s still important to understand the regulations around panning permission. Staying on the right side of the rules will give peace of mind and avoid changes needing to be made in the future. A common question we get asked is whether a shed requires planning approval before installing. For most of us, the good news is that planning permission is not usually required. However, we must stick within the scope of Permitted Development.
Note: This information is provided as a guide, If in any doubt you should contact your local planning authority.
Can I put a shed in my front garden?
Unfortunately, you cannot put a shed in a front garden without planning permission.
For planning purposes, a shed is classed as an outbuilding, just like a summerhouse or log cabin. Outbuildings are governed by Permitted Development rights. Permitted Development allows for certain building works to be completed without the need for planning permission. This way, homeowners can make simple improvements to their properties, without the need for complex planning processes. A common example of Permitted Development is installing a shed. To fall within the scope of Permitted Development rights, the work carried out must meet certain requirements. anything outside of the scope will require planning permission.
How does Permitted development affect my shed?
To fall within Permitted Development rights, an outbuilding must meet requirements in relation to the size, usage and positioning. If all of them are not met, the outbuilding cannot be considered as Permitted Development. These conditions include
- No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation – This stops a shed from being placed forward of the wall of the front of a house and therefore in a front garden. The shed can be positioned in the rear garden or to the side of the house, but no further forward than the front wall.
- On designated land, buildings at the side of the property require permission – In locations considered designated land including National Parks & the broads, planning permission is required to position a shed to the side of the property.
- A maximum height of 2.5 metres within two metres of a boundary – If a shed is positioned within two metres of any property boundary, it must not exceed 2.5 metres at its tallest point. This includes the base if it is higher than the rest of the surrounding area. Fortunately, garden building manufacturers know this and most fall well within the height limit. Permitted Development rights do not specify a distance that must be maintained from the boundary, as long as the height requirements are met.
- Maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres with any other roof – If the outbuilding is not positioned within two metres of a boundary, the height can be considerably larger. This includes up to a four-metre maximum height, as long as the eve’s height is up to 2.5 metres.
- No more than half the area of the original house – Only a maximum of 50% of the area surrounding the original house can be used for an outbuilding such as a shed. The original house is as it was originally built and will not include any extensions, even if they were constructed before you moved in.
- No verandas or raised platforms – Verandas are commonly used to increase the covered area in front of a garden building. Unfortunately under Permitted Development, a shed cannot include a veranda or raised platform. Any platforms must be less than 30cm.
- Within the area of any listed building, planning permission is required – Wherever a shed will be positioned in the property of a listed building, planning permission will be needed.
- In selected locations, the maximum area covered by outbuildings is limited to 10 square metres – Permitted Development rights are tighter in specific areas including the broads, national parks, areas of outstanding national beauty and world heritage sites. In these, the maximum space covered by outbuildings, enclosures, containers and pools located more than 20 metres from the property cannot be larger than 10 square metres.
Permitted Development applies to houses and does not apply to flats, converted houses or other buildings.
Guide: How close can a shed be to a fence
Can I put a shed in my front garden with planning permission?
If you still want to install a shed on your property and it falls out of the scope of Permitted Development, planning permission will need to be applied for. The Local Planning Authority can be contacted to begin the process and find out any further planning information.
The process for achieving planning permission can be long and expensive. Be sure to consider all the options for placement of your shed before applying.
How do I begin installing a shed?
Installing a shed in your garden can be a complicated process. Once planning rules have been checked to ensure your outbuilding falls under Permitted Development, it’s time to think about location. While a shed can be positioned up against a fence, we don’t recommend it. Leaving adequate space around the side will allow for easier installation and ongoing maintenance. Enough space allows for air to ventilate and access for painting exterior walls in the future.
A solid and reliable base is essential for any garden building. We recommend a concrete base as a robust and durable solution. Other options include metal ground screws and decking. Any base needs to be completely level as an uneven base may cause difficulties assembling the wood and put extra pressure on the structure.
Once a shed is installed, it’s important to treat the wood as soon as possible. A high-quality wood treatment will enhance the look of the shed and also provide long-lasting protection. Wood stains protect against the suns UV light to prevent the timber from turning grey over time. Waterproofing also keeps the moisture content at a consistent level.
Guide: Best wood treatment
The bottom line
Putting a shed in a front garden is not possible without planning permission. Outbuildings can be installed on a property due to Permitted Development rights which allow homeowners to make common improvements without complicated applications. Unfortunately, a requirement of Permitted Development is for the outbuilding to not be further forward than the wall forming the principal elevation. Therefore a front garden does not fall within scope and planning permission will be required.
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