This is one of the first questions you should ask when buying a garden office. The answer depends on where you live, the shape of garden office you are building and how close to the boundaries of your garden you want to site it, and the type of work you will undertake in it.
Luckily though in many cases a garden office can be built without Planning Permission as long as the building complies with the Permitted Development rules. These rules are clearly stated on the Planning Portal and your garden office supplier will be able to advise you.
Where you live will dictate whether you need Planning Permission to build a garden office
If you live in a Listed Building in a National Park, the Broads, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Area or World Heritage Site you will need to apply for Planning Permission whatever size or shape garden office you are planning to build.
Where you site your garden office and its dimensions are important if you are building under Permitted Development rules
As we mentioned earlier you can often build a garden office under Permitted Development rules. To do so you must comply with the strict rules on the height of the building and how close it is to any of the boundaries in your garden. Here is an overview of the Permitted Development rules for garden offices – you will find the definitive guide here
- You need to apply for Planning Permission to build a garden office if you want to site it in your front garden.
- If you want to site your garden office within 2 meters of any boundary it must be under 2.5 meters high – in many cases this dictates a flat roofed garden office.
- If you want to build a mono pitched garden office then it must be sited at least 2 meters from each boundary. It must also be no more than 2.5 meters high at the eaves and 3 meters at the highest point of the roof.
- If you are thinking of a dual pitch roofed building then it must be sited at least 2 meters from each boundary. It must also be no more than 2.5 meters high at the eaves and 4 meters at the ridge – the highest point of the roof.
- Any veranda or deck outside your office must be no higher than 300mm from the ground.
The Permitted Development rules also say that outbuildings such as the garden office and any sheds you have plus any extensions to your house must not cover more than 50% of your garden.
Your garden office supplier will be able to advise you on these rules when they visit you to undertake a survey.
The type of work you’ll do in your office may mean you’ll need to apply for Planning Permission
When building under Permitted Development the new building should be incidental to enjoyment of the main house. Not all types of work undertaken in a garden office comply with this. The Planning Portal has a section dedicated to working from home and the need to apply for Planning Permission – please check it out.
What if you do need Planning Permission to build a garden office
Don’t be put off if your project does require you to apply for Planning Permission. Many suppliers tell us that they have a 100% success rate for Planning applications. In many cases your garden office supplier will handle the whole process for you – you will have to pay the application fee which in our area (Wiltshire) is currently £174.
If your supplier does not handle the Planning process for you then they should supply you with the relevant drawings and details for you to make the application yourself. It’s actually quite a straightforward process and application forms normally have detailed guidance notes.
The process can take up to 12 weeks for a decision to be made. Your local Planning Department will contact your neighbours to ask their opinion on your proposed development. We always think it’s a good idea to talk to your neighbours before you submit your application. Show them the plans and tell them the type of work you will be doing in the new building and the hours you might keep. Experience tells us that an informed neighbour is a happy neighbour.