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  • Writer's picturelaurenb

Do I need planning permission for a shed or summerhouse in the UK?

drawing of timber shed with windows and doors

In most cases planning permission is not required for a shed or summerhouse. However, there are some key points to consider to ensure your garden building is a permitted development.

Ready to dive into the labyrinth of height restrictions, coverage limits, and the whims of planning permission for your shed or summerhouse? Fear not, brave homeowner – we've got your back!


1. Coverage Chronicles – What's the Percentage Game?

Imagine your garden as a canvas, and your shed as the masterpiece. Now, planning permission wants that masterpiece to cover no more than 50% of the total land around the original house. Think of it as the perfect balance between nature and your newfound shed sanctuary. Exceeding this limit might cause your canvas to be red-stamped by the planning art critics.


2. Shed Size vs. Garden Bliss:

Yes, we're back to size – but this time, it's about the overall size of structures on your land. If your shed joins a cluttered garden party with other buildings, and this includes house extensions, make sure they don’t hog more than 50% of the total land around the house. Harmony is key in the symphony of planning permission.


3. The Tale of Two Heights:

If your shed is within 2 metres of the property boundary – stick to 2.5 metres in overall height. As many of our gardens are not a flat level surface throughout, it is worth noting that usually this height restriction is from the highest ground point around the shed/summerhouse only. If in doubt, contact your local council.

While we've covered the 2.5 metres height rule, there's another height saga to consider. If it's a duel pitched roof (apex or hipex) further than 2 metres from your boundary, you get a little more headroom at 4 metres overall - but the eaves (lowest roof point) cannot exceed 2.5 metres. But if the roof is a single pitch (pent) the height restriction is 3.5 metres overall with a 2.5 metre eave. Break these rules, and you might find your shed in a height-related drama.

4. The Plot Thickens – Square Metre Shuffle:

For detached structures like sheds or summerhouses, keep it below 15 square metres if your build is within 1 metre of your boundary & below 30 square metres if it is further an 1 metre. Exceed that, and you might need to comply with building regulations - even if the build is a permitted development!

summerhouse with insulation and rubber roof


Armed with this knowledge, you're now equipped to waltz through the maze of square metres and coverage restrictions. May your shed rise within legal limits, and your garden become the envy of the planning permission ball! Shed on, wise landowner!

For more information on planning permission & building regulations for outbuilding visit the planning portal website here - Planning Permission - Outbuildings - Planning Portal

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