Placing a shed on a driveway can allow additional space to store items such as tools or even a small vehicle. Before installation, it’s important to check if planning permission is required to avoid taking it back down again in the future.
A garden shed is a valuable location to increase storage space at a property. Up and down the country, nearly all homes with an outdoor garden have a shed to store everything from lawnmowers to power tools. It’s estimated there are over 11 million sheds in the UK, a higher concentration than any other country.
The last few years have seen the popularity of garden buildings increase more than ever before; with many owners looking at new uses to take advantage of them. As well as storage, a shed can be used as a small workshop or even as a garage to keep vehicles such as a motorbike.
While most sheds are placed in the rear garden of a property, occasionally they are required elsewhere such as a driveway. When a shed is placed anywhere else but a rear garden, some additional planning requirements apply. Before ordering a new shed, let’s take a look at whether they can be installed on a driveway.
Note: This information is provided as a guide, you should contact your local planning authority if in doubt or before beginning any construction.
Can I put a shed on my front driveway?
Sadly, a shed cannot be put on a front driveway without seeking planning permission in advance.
Unlike in a rear garden, it’s not possible to just install a shed on a front driveway and could lead to the structure needing to be removed. The local planning authority or council could see the installation as a breach of planning permissions.
When it comes to planning permission, a shed (just like a garage or summerhouse) is classified as an outbuilding, which applies certain exclusions from requiring a planning application. To be considered as an outbuilding, it must be installed for the incidental enjoyment of the dwelling house.
Outbuildings fall under Permitted Development, meaning a planning application is not required, but there are certain limits and conditions. The idea behind Permitted Development is to allow homeowners to make improvements to their properties without a lengthy planning application. Other examples of Permitted Development include certain porches and fences.
Unfortunately, installation on a front driveway falls outside of the conditions of Permitted Development due to the location being forward from the house. Therefore, it will not be possible to install a shed without seeking planning permission. To avoid a planning application the shed should be installed within the conditions of Permitted Development which can be found below.
Which planning permission requirements for a shed?
As long as the shed falls within the conditions and limitations of Permitted Development, no planning permission is required. Fortunately, most shed installations easily fall within the limitations, which are mostly focused on the size and location of the outbuilding.
- No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation – A shed cannot be placed on land any further forward than the front wall of the house. This condition prevents the shed from being installed on a front driveway as it would be further forward than the property. Installing the shed in a rear garden is recommended as there are no restrictions. It may be possible to install the shed on a side driveway but this is uncommon and may look out of place. For a side installation, we recommend contacting the local council or planning authority for clarity on any local restrictions.
- No more than half the land around the original house – The total area taken up by additions or buildings cannot exceed more than 50% of the area around the original house. This prevents the majority of garden space from being consumed by additional buildings. The original house is how it was originally built or stood in 1948, so any extension, even if built before you moved in will count as an addition and not forming the original house.
- No verandas, balconies or raised platforms – The exterior design of the outbuilding cannot contain any verandas or side features such as balconies or raised platforms. Where a raised platform is required, it cannot exceed 30cm. This requirement mainly affects log cabin owners who may wish to use a veranda to extend the usable space in front of their garden building.
- In some areas, the maximum area is limited to 10 square metres – At world heritage sites, areas of outstanding national beauty, national parks & the broads the maximum area covered by outbuildings placed more than 20 metres from the house is limited to 10 square metres. This prevents large amounts of land from being ruined where there is currently space from any other building.
- On designated land, buildings require planning permission – Designated land includes areas of outstanding national beauty, world heritage sites, conservation areas national parks and the broads. If you live on designated land, to place a shed anywhere on your property, even the rear garden, planning permission is needed.
- Within the area of a listed building, planning permission is required – Unfortunately, installing a shed within the curtilage of a listed building will need planning permission.
- Maximum height of 2.5 metres within two metres of a boundary – Where the shed will be installed within two metres of a neighbouring property boundary, the height must not exceed 2.5 metres. Garden building manufacturers know this and most garden buildings, including sheds, are shorter than 2.5 metres.
- Single story & maximum height of 4 metres with a dual pitched roof – If the shed is not near a boundary the size can be up to 4 metres if a dual pitched roof is used. For any other roof, the maximum eaves height is 2.5m.
The Permitted Development rights apply to houses only. Other types of accommodation such as flats do not have Permitted Development and will always need planning permission.
Can I put a shed on my driveway with planning permission?
If you want a shed on your driveway and don’t mind waiting for a lengthy planning application, you can apply for permission with the local planning authority (LPA). There’s no guarantee your application will be approved, and if it’s not an alternative location will need to be found.
The decision-making process begins by contacting the planning authority for advice. They may be able to supply enough advice for you to decide whether the application is likely to be accepted or rejected before going ahead with the application. If you decide to go ahead with the application, all of the appropriate documents will be required to be submitted and the valid application will be acknowledged. After this, the wait begins to see if the application is accepted or any changes need to be made.
Shed installation process
Once you’re ready to move past the planning permission stage, it’s time to begin the construction of a shed. A great shed starts with a base that is both level and solid. We recommend using a concrete base where possible to prevent any unevenness underneath or movement in the future. A concrete shed base can be completed as a DIY task during a weekend or by a local tradesman. Once the concrete base is installed, it can take several weeks to dry out before a shed can be placed on top.
With the base ready, it’s time to find a shed. Many great shed suppliers are available online or offline at local garden building suppliers. If you can’t check out the shed yourself, be sure to read the reviews from past purchasers to ensure the quality is good. A timber shed is most popular, but metal and plastic sheds are sometimes used for smaller requirements. Timber sheds typically have the biggest choice of customisation options and will be easiest to find a suitable building. Be sure to consider windows that let plenty of light inside.
Most shed suppliers will also offer installation and we recommend using the supplier’s installation option over building it yourself. The shed can be constructed within a few hours as the panels attach together. Once the shed is installed, we recommend applying a wood treatment as soon as possible. A high-quality wood preserver will provide long-lasting protection against mould and keep water out. Once the protection is applied, the shed may need a maintenance coat of preserver every few years to keep it in the best condition. An upgraded shed lock or alarm is a good idea if expensive tools are going to be kept inside.
Guide: Best shed locks
Constructing a shed in a front garden is not possible without planning permission. Outbuildings such as sheds fall under Permitted development which allows for installation without planning approval under certain conditions & limitations. Unfortunately, one of the limitations is that an outbuilding cannot be placed forward of a wall forming the property. A shed on a front driveway would be forward of the principal elevation and therefore be out of the scope of Permitted Development.
Installing a shed is still a great idea to increase space for storage and protecting garden equipment during the winter. We recommend using a rear garden where it’s much easier to meet the Permitted Development conditions.
Source: Planning Portal