Planning and Regulation

Garden Planning Permission – What's required?

Planning permission can be a confusing and tricky subject to get right, however we've put together a guide for you to cover most of the points.

Please do talk to your planning officer if you are unsure of the rules.

The main rules below that govern outbuildings cover log cabins, summer houses, sheds, garages and greenhouses, as well as other kinds of buildings like kennels, ponds, swimming pools and enclosures:

Do you need Planning Permission?

Below is a link to a government guide. There is also a 'mini' guide which is very useful.


Though outbuildings can be built without planning permission, they need to adhere to strict rules governing their existence to be built without planning permission. Garden buildings (gazebos, sheds, log cabins etc.) need to:

  • Have only one storey;
  • Have eaves (the bottom part of the roof) no higher than 2.5 metres, with the overall maximum height being 4 metres for a dual pitched roof (two sides to the roof) or 3 metres for any other building roof;
  • Not have a veranda or balcony (this applies to the house as well);
  • Not be on a raised platform higher than 300 millimetres;
  • Not have a microwave antenna;
  • Not be a separate, self-contained living area


The rules around where you can place a log cabin are also strict. The building must:

  • Be at least 2 metres from any boundary if more than 2.5 metres tall (total) or 1 metre from any boundary if lower than 2.5 metres;
  • Not be forward of the principal elevation (front wall) of the original house (original house is defined as the house as it was first built or, as it stood on 1st July 1948 if it was built after)
  • The building must not take up over 50% of all land around the original house, nor is it aloud to combine with any other outside buildings to take up over 50% of all land around the original house – For example, if there is a shed taking up 30% of the surrounding area of the property and a kennel taking up 15%, planning permission would be required to build a proposed greenhouse taking up 20% of the land around the property. Extensions and conservatories are not considered part of the original house, and so are classed as taking up a portion of the surrounding area as well

Additional placement rules

Though most people won't need to consider these, there are specific rules governing the placement of log cabins on designated land, national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty or near listed buildings. These are:

  • If the garden building is on designated land, it must not be at the side of your house;
  • If you live in a national parks protected land, the building must not be more than 10 square metres in size if placed more than 20 metres from any wall of your house;
  • It must not be within the boundary of a listed building

Planning Permission and working from home

If you plan on working from home in a spare room, extension, log cabin or shed, you don't usually need planning permission to do so; however there are some rules you need to abide by. Your home needs to:

  • Still be primarily used as a private residence;
  • Not cause a marked increase in people visiting the house or increase in traffic from visitors;
  • Not have deliveries which would disturb neighbours
  • Not create excessive noise or smells, particularly during unreasonable hours;
  • Not involve things that aren't usual for a house

The main issue when considering using your home or garden building as your place of work is whether it will alter the purpose of the home. Having one room of your house or a garden building devoted to work is fine, however if the business causes excessive disruption to neighbours or changes the purpose of the house (i.e. from a home to a shop) then planning permission will be required.

There are some businesses that can be run from home but will require a permit from the local council/government - child minding, for example. These permits are different to planning permission.