Design and Planning Permission advice for Garden Structures of all types / UK Specialist for Granny Annexes.

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Do I Need Planning Permission to build a Granny Annexe, Sleepover Building, Garden Studio, Garden Room, Outdoor Kitchen, or any Self Contained Accommodation Building (or any new building in your garden for accommodation or working at home). Information and advice is here. The most comprehensive and up to date information available in the UK

Will planning permission be required to build my project in the garden and which building regulations are applicable?

Welcome. You can find ALL the information on or from this page. If you need a quick response to any questions on this subject. I can usually reply by email the same day.  Quick Response email

Now -"Something has happened" - I retired a couple of years ago and started "pratting around with Pinterest" Who would have thought this - "I am now become dominant on Pinterest UK with ASTOUNDING figures" currently I am working 15 hours per day looking after my Pinterest boards and followers. These are by far the most significant people - and there is something there for me every few minutes "all day and into the night" (my first hour every morning is MANIC). Within Pinterest I have developed a completely new idea in that "all sorts" of problems can be resolved quickly and permanently. I just love it but for sure I would like some help. In particular my control of translate button is good but moving on I simply can't find any more resource to keep this under control - SO - if anyone can help - send me an email on this subject to

Garden Studios and Garden Offices are accepted everywhere in the UK. Accommodation buildings in particular annexes in gardens are in big demand now for quite a few reasons (all addressed here).

Buildings at home for many "Garden Offices / Studios" for business purposes are common but sometimes need "careful" consideration. We are specialist in planning, design and build for ALL domestic garden building projects. The legislation is subject to some local interpretation by your local planning department. We advise on both Planning Permission and Building Regulation compliance should either or both be required.

Answers to the both domestic "planning permission" and "building regulations" questions regarding garden structures are addressed here in both overview and detail. These are two totally separate subjects controlled by different departments of your council.

To create "comfortable" extra living space, complete project costs are typically £1200 - £1800 per sq. metre. Garden buildings for other purposes can cost much less. i.e. Sheds for self assembly can cost as little as £200 per sq. metre.

Without plumbing the costs are always less - a typical plumbing installation with a shower, WC and kitchenette needs water on tap and hygienic waste disposal. We have "developed "tried and tested" low cost solutions for even the most difficult sites. The third photo here leads to a case study of an accommodation building that meets all "permitted development rules" and provides comfortable / attractive living space of 30 square metres.

Photos click through to real case studies:

Granny Annexe

Here are the answers you are looking for to answer this question.

"Do I need planning permission for a granny annex or other garden building project e.g. garden office and what do I need to know about Building Regulations" ?

Step 1: Quick Answers

Most UK households have "Permitted Development" rights. Outside these rules planning permission must be obtained. Permitted Development is not available in certain designated areas.

IMPORTANT - I am repeating myself here but this is important.

"It is VITAL to understand that Building Regulations and Planning Permission are two completely separate subjects". I cannot emphasise this enough so here it is again - Don't confuse planning permission and building regulations.

If you build a garden structure with a footprint of 30 square metres or under, the only mandatory building regulation that applies is electrical safety "Part P of the building regulations". This applies to all electrical services in your home and your garden.

A qualified electrician MUST sign off for electrical safety (that's all). I have the required qualification and often do this sign off myself. If all is installed correctly, test and verification is quick and easy. You get a certificate which is sometimes necessary for insurance purposes + "peace of mind" of course.

Domestic electrical systems are simple but in every case MUST be certified safe. Usually the main electrical connection to a garden building is provided via SWA (steel wired armoured cable) which is totally safe on surface, underground or cleated to a fence. (see my electrical safety blog post).

Size makes a difference to building regulation requirements. Any garden structure over 30 sq. metres (footprint) requires FULL compliance with all applicable rules. This adds to the cost per sq. metre as detailed structural calculations, form submissions and site visits by building control before and during construction are required by law.

Step 2 the quick but essential detail - Both Planning Permission and Building Regulations

For the "Do I Need Planning Permission?" question you will need to understand some detail about the restrictions associated with "Permitted Development" (height, positioning and proximity to your boundary etc.) All the detail you need is here.

My first and standard advice is "always make sure that your proposed project is neighbour friendly". If it is not you will find the whole process stressful. We have two experienced Project Managers North & South, if you should need a free - no obligation site visit for advice.

       Annexe 1     Curved roof garden studio

Above - two buildings which meet permitted development rules - a low pitch roof full living annex-a garden studio/office with curved roof. Both the are high spec... (the curved roof building meets pd without flat roof as does the low pich example) - neither of these required formal Building Regulation or Planning applications). We have installed many Granny Annexes of 30 sq. metres including converting and extending existing garages - again within PD rules. All of the information is below (there is a lot of it).

A few more notes - then ALL the detailed rules covering both planning permission and building regulations specifically for garden buildings: (maybe 8 minutes read or more)

This document, applies to detached garden structures and outbuildings including sheds, studios, offices, gymnasiums, annexes, "ancillary" accommodation buildings, outdoor kitchens and leisure buildings of all types. We have used all construction methods. Note: mobile home legislation is not covered here however, by comparison this is very simple.

Here is the link to the official government document, that applies to the above section (this is a 1-2 hour read at very least so don't leave this page yet!). (The General Permitted Development Order 2015) >

Definition of an Annex

An annex is defined in the planning guidance notes as: "Accommodation which is ancillary to the main residential dwelling" and which is used for living / sleeping purposes.

This document, is updated regularly (last updated 03/01/2019). We provide consultancy and advice during your research and design phase or full design and or build services. Our services include any formal document, submissions - plans, drawings, specifications etc. that may be required.

If you are using local builders we can supply detailed design and working documentation with full specifications + material schedules agreed directly with yourself.

Recent news and changes:

From news - 1/4/16 (in the last parliament) there was an attempt by George Osbourne to change the tax rules relating to garden accommodation buildings and council tax. This was "almost" immediately withdrawn thanks to the Telegraph newspaper and further intervention by Eric Pickles. You can see this Telegraph article of 18/02/17 web address here. (This change was withdrawn totally and almost immediately) see> Telegraph Post

If you are considering building something a bit more than a shed in your garden you will need to know about this subject. I must have been involved in answering most if not all of your questions. These questions come from everywhere in the UK daily. In the last 12 months alone there have been 58,142 visitors to this page spending on average more than 3.6 minutes. You are not alone! Oct 2018 looks like it is to be another record month!

For sample plans or more information about how to negotiate this minefield "yourself". email me with a brief overview of your proposed project / idea. Or you can use these forms with pre-listed requirements (2 checklists designed to help are here>)
Your next step is here

Our Planning Application Service

Our formal planning application service (if required) includes - site survey, application management (including full set of drawings and all necessary specifications).

Charges for this planning permission service through to issue of formal permissions are typically £1300.00. If Building Regulation compliance is also required we can manage this process including any constructional specifications, drawings and structural calculations to sign off and certification - the total cost for this package is typically an additional £2-3K.

Council Tax and Granny Annex Planning (recent history)

Sir Eric Pickles announced (in 2013) help for families wishing to provide Granny Annex accommodation. This help was in the form of re-imbursing councils for loss of council tax on new ancillary dwelling units. This has "somewhat" helped clear up objections councils had for this type of accommodation. You can see the official government announcement (still valid today) the link is here : Statement - Granny Annexes 2013

The PD (Permitted Development) newest changes (see below) are governed by law. This information is up to date. For info about house extensions see: "Planning portal latest update - (class E applies) - pdf free download is here :
Updated Technical Guidance The most relevant changes further streamlining the planning process came into force on 25/6/2016.

My comments on these most recent changes:

These changes have reinforced a softening in the approach to allowing accommodation for elderly relatives or teenagers. It does however, make it clear that additional accommodation for RENTAL - "beds in sheds" is NOT included. (the key here is that this type of new development should be "ancillary to the main property" i.e. if your proposal is family related and to provide more living space for family occupation, that is fine - renting for income is completely different.

Some councils mainly around London say kitchens and bedrooms are not allowed - however, this is not correct.

See the reason here -(this is important if you are unsure - but it comes with a warning "I have been graphic" in my explanation!).

Accommodation Buildings Anomaly

On this page you can see my offer to handle "annex" planning applications which meet my criteria on a "no win no fee basis".

Be careful - this can happen:

On 06/02/2017 an individual who rented an annex now in his 5th year of occupation contacted me - he received a retrospective council tax bill for £5,500. This point is not easy to find and now landlord and/or tenant have had to pay the unexpected bill + the ongoing costs. The law is simply not clear enough. Put simply, you cannot build ancillary accommodation for rental income without paying council tax - this makes sense.

Changes to the rules - current situation

Keeping in touch with ALL changes my conclusion remains that our governments continue to recognise that families need to extend without having to move home. This is good news for those wishing to develop their existing home and of course for specialist garden structure builders.

The introduction of a "neighbour consultation scheme" makes a lot of sense but still needs to be updated regularly as things do change. The key issue is that a garden building development for residential use MUST be "ancillary" to the main property and certainly so if it is to be used as additional living accommodation.

More news on Annexes (ancillary accommodation)

Sir Eric Pickles (during his period as communities secretary) originally made his statement about making it easier to obtain permissions to develop living annexes as part of your own home. This was driven by the economic need to provide more housing. The proposals represented a whole lot of common sense and were aimed at benefitting families considering options for offspring and for elderly care. It is now quite normal and has somewhat filtered down to the planning regime which traditionally catches up slowly.

In any case the debate is where it is. All recent changes reflect the trend confirmed by our own and our competitors enquiries and for sure questions received from readers of this page.

Here is an IMPORTANT statement which may be helpful:

Clarification regarding granny annexes in particular. I understand there may be some confusion, but so long as projects are within the size constraints of the garden out-buildings (set out in Class E of the GPDO), the use of the outbuilding as a granny-annex is not relevant.

The test is whether the use of the proposed outbuilding is "incidental" to the use of the main property. So long as it is an annex ( i.e. essentially another part of your home), and not a separate dwelling (or other use that might create a separate planning unit), it is usually permitted development.

Permitted development rights are reduced by being in Conservation Areas only (i.e. article 1(5) land); location within green belt. Any reference to kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms is irrelevant.

Permitted development is not designed to cover new buildings for rental purposes / generation of additional income. (this makes sense).

Our government continues to want planning to be easier as part of their economic strategy. The councils are keen to generate revenue from additional council tax.

Both issues here are easy to understand and this creates a conflict in certain areas of the country, unfortunately in different ways.

More on the detailed rules.

This section concentrates only on planning and building regulations for detached back garden buildings of all types, including garden studios for living / sleeping over "ancillary" buildings. Our own business is consulting, designing and project management for full installations.

We can provide planning application services and advice to clients in the research phase of their project + prepare all the documentation (designs, plans and constructional specifications for your own builders).

Trends - Garden Studios, Granny Annexes and Garden Accommodation Buildings

As enquiries about accommodation buildings in particular annexes for elderly relatives and students returning from university are growing fastest. We have prepared example, plans for buildings of which provide full accommodation facilities at project cost between £28,000 and £60,000 (depending on spec / size).

If you would like to receive specific info about design and process - send an email to me at
richardgrace1@gmailcom Including a brief description of your project (purpose and envisaged facilities or use the forms (links) at the bottom of this page).

Editable sample plans, drawings and documents are available for £150 each. (saves time and cost in starting from scratch) - Please send house number and postcode + brief description for sample editable plans (scalable for application purposes). To see the government paper and mini-guide without our comments + other sources please follow more links in the side bar.

To read about running a business from home in a garden building - legislation, taxation change of use etc. see our Running-a-Business-at-Home link.

About the "Permitted Development" rules 2008

Planning rules remain somewhat ambiguous / subject to some local Interpretation, particularly in relation to size, eaves height and proximity to your boundary. For buildings up to 30 sq. m permission is not normally required.

In some cases, it is better to apply for permission or obtain a "letter of conformity" - rather than take a risk or accept a design simply to comply with an interpretation, of the "permitted development" rules. If you wish to make a planning application or seek a letter of conformity we are able to assist.

This whole process has been made somewhat easier as all authorities accept on-line applications through the planning portal which works well (and recently passed more than 1.8 million applications). "Well done guys this has saved an enormous amount of paper" (in their words):

"if stacked up would be more than four times higher than the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, or the same height as seven Empire State Buildings with Canary Wharf on top"

Regarding the planning portal (online application process) we can confirm it works well and helps.

Important / Vital Check your proposal with neighbours:

By far the most important planning issue remains - "how your project will effect your neighbour's". You simply need to ask yourself "is the proposed new building and its intended use reasonable" and furthermore "does it affect your neighbour's enjoyment of their own property".

You should consider carefully - any change to traffic patterns, noise and blockage of light (ask yourself these questions) and talk with your neighbour's.

If you have a problem with planning permission it is usually a neighbour related issue. In every formal application neighbour's are consulted and it is the duty of planners to take this into account. This makes sense! You have these rights to develop in your garden and the planners are there to ensure development is controlled and compliant with the rules. The photo here leads to a case study, illustrating of what can be achieved within "permitted development" rules.

Granny Annexe

All the current rules are below (the project shown here is fully compliant) this photo takes you to the case-study

Here are ALL the 2008 Permitted Development rules (up to date) with my explanation of how they apply to buildings in your garden - Government statements in grey my own comments in black.

Planning Permission and Permitted Development Rules in FULL + necessary Building Regulations

The comments are written by (myself), and qualified by communications with planners and building engineers.
The current planning guidelines relating to Garden Buildings issued by central government are shown in grey colour like this!

Nearly everyone is concerned about planning issues. We are in a good position to advise having discussed these issues in relation to more than 2500 garden building projects of our own.

Note / Disclaimer:

We cannot take responsibility for any dispute that may arise. If in doubt you should check yourself with your local planning authority and if necessary seek a letter of compliance for your project. In any case we would always advise against going ahead without planning permission if your project was either in contravention of the rules or clearly detrimental to your neighbour's enjoyment of their property. There is a retrospective route but this is complex and can be quite stressful.

The current rules with my comments:

I am "re-stating" first:

"Planning Permission" and "Building Regulation Compliance" are completely separate issues" Both are dealt with by different government departments. Planning covers positioning, design, boundary proximity, height etc. Building Regulations cover safety, structural strength and energy use. Both are dealt with here.

First the applicable planning permission rules and second the building regulation rules.
Government Statement (shown in grey like this) - Rules governing outbuildings apply to sheds, greenhouses and garages as well as other ancillary garden buildings such as swimming pools, ponds, sauna cabins, kennels, enclosures (including tennis courts) and many other kinds of structure for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house.

We are interpreting this to include Garden Offices, Garden Studios, Garden Rooms, Leisure Buildings, and "ancillary annexes". Our thoughts on the reason for the official statement not being so specific are that the government has to leave space in the general guidelines for some local interpretation.
Government Statement - Other rules relate to the installation of a satellite dish, the erection of a new dwelling or the erection or provision of fuel storage tanks.

This seems to be clear you cannot erect a new dwelling for separate sale in your garden without planning permission. This certainly prevents the division of your property and the sale of part of it with dwelling house rights and without full planning permission. We do know that Granny annexes and lodges (sleepover buildings) are treated in a different way by the planners in different parts of our country. The key word is "ancillary" so if you make contact yourself always make it clear that your development is "ancillary" to the use of the main property.
Government Statement - Under new regulations that came into effect on 1st October 2008 outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions: No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.

Quite clear, if you take into account these guidelines you can build in your side or back garden without applying for planning permission. however,,, you cannot build in your front garden without planning consent. The definition in the guidelines here could be expanded to mean closer to the highway at the front of your property. Reason The local authority may need to change the highway. Further to this Interpretation, our advice is that you should always take into account the effect on your immediate neighbour's of any development.
Government Statement - Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.

This is very confusing but here is my attempt to make sense of it. You cannot build a two storey garden building without planning permission. In the case of a conventional gabled roof the eaves height should not be higher than 2.5m. The planning portal mini guide shows the eaves height and final roof height are different by the thickness of the roof e.g. it is ok to start the "barge boards" at 2.5m and reasonably go over this to the total height say 2.7m to accommodate insulation (makes sense). A hipped roof can have different pitches on the ends and sides but the eaves should not exceed 2.5m. The highest part of the roof should not exceed 4 metres in any case.

Note: In a sloping garden the maximum height measurements are measured from the highest point of the land on which the building stands. We have met situations where local planners interpret this in a different manner however,,, our experience and written communications with government confirm our Interpretation, to be correct.

In 2013 we designed a new roof system which complies and is not flat. A curved roof developed by ourselves in conjunction with Tata-Steel this new roof offers a real alternative to flat roof garden building with a span up to 5.6m and height of 2.5m centre with 2190mm head height internal. This is a warm roof system 139mm thick including 100mm urethane (kingspan type insulation) with 30 year no leak guarantee. installation and photo detail available from The same Tata material works well on all pitched roofs and operates effectively at low pitches down to 3 degrees.

Government Statement - Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwelling house.

Any confusion now cleared up with newest explanation on portal see (mini-guide link below) (examine point 8) If you build an outbuilding closer than 2 metres to your boundary no part of it must be higher than 2.5m. Planning permission will be necessary if so, however,,, where a taller building closer than 2 metres seems reasonable to neighboring properties there should be no reason for refusal. There are many sites where it is better to apply for permission.
Government Statement - No verandas,, balconies or raised platforms.

Seems clear and makes sense in relation to balconies and raised platforms. The building should not include balconies or raised platforms because in many cases neighbor's privacy would be threatened by such structures. Where neighbor privacy would not be threatened then we see no reason why planning permission or letter of consent should not be given but it is best to check. With regard to verandas, the word, of course, can be used to describe a balcony or raised platform it certainly does not mean you cannot have a roof over a seating area at ground level.

Government Statement - No more than half the area of land around the "original house"* would be covered by additions or other buildings.

Very clear and makes sense. Taking into account all of the land except the footprint of the house you cannot cover more than 50% with outbuildings. We have come across situations where this applies but only in very small gardens.
Government Statement - To be permitted development, any new building must not itself be separate, self-contained, living accommodation and must not have a microwave antenna.

Very clear regarding the microwave antenna and makes sense. Regarding self-contained living accommodation not clear at all. Our Interpretation, is that this is to prevent properties being used in a way which would allow the bending of taxation rules. We are asked on many occasions if it is ok to build an outbuilding in the garden where our son, daughter, granny or other family member can live. From a technical standpoint the answer is yes of course. It would not however,,, be fair on existing neighbor's to exploit this by building multiple structures taking the property beyond the use "family dwelling" for which planning permission was granted in the first instance. So our view is that common sense must prevail.
Government Statement - In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from house to be limited to 10 square metres.

Very clear and makes sense. You can't put up large structures using permitted development rights in these designated areas if they are more than 20 metres from the house.

Government Statement - On designated land* buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.

Very clear and makes sense. You can't put up structures using permitted development rights at the side of your property in these designated areas.

Government Statement - Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.

Totally clear if you live in a listed building then you have no permitted development rights.

Government Statement - *The term "original house" means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.
*Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.

This means that in a conservation area you have no permitted development rights. Please note: the permitted development allowances described here apply to houses not flats, maisonettes or other buildings. Seems to be clear.

Building Regulations

As previously stated Building Regulations are totally separate from Planning issues however,,, when considering Garden Buildings the following Building regulations need to be taken into account. (Key * = sometimes, ** always
  • Part A Structure *
  • Part B Fire Safety * (my own view is that this should be always)
  • Part C Site preparation and resistance to moisture
  • Part D Toxic substances
  • Part E Resistance to the passage of sound *
  • Part F Ventilation
  • Part G Hygiene *
  • Part H Drainage and waste disposal *
  • Part J Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems * (as above)
  • Part K Protection from falling, collision and impact, opening and cleaning
  • Part L Conservation of fuel and power*
  • Part M Access to and use of buildings *
  • Part N Glazing
  • Part P Electrical safety **
    Here are my comments on the most important issues relating to Garden Buildings and Structures: (Same format as planning section)
    Government Statement (this statement has changed recently) - If you want to put up small detached buildings such as a garden shed or summerhouse in your garden, building regulations will not normally apply if the floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres.

    If the floor area of the building is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations approval providing that the building, contains NO sleeping accommodation and is either at least one metre from any boundary or it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.

    Still not that clear but here goes: This is almost certainly a volume related statement and brings into play two things:

    1. The Building Regulations in relation to the spread of fire "which dates back to the fire of London in 1666". i.e. more volume = more risk involving spread of fire to neighbouring properties. For example, you may wish to conserve garden space by building close to your boundary, your neighbour may also do the same in which case there would not be a sufficient gap between the two buildings. The statement is not that clear but does make sense in that if the building footprint is more than 15 square metres then the building which has significant volume (over 15 square metres) must be at least one metre from your boundary. Or - you must be able to demonstrate it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.


    1. This is not a planning issue as we are already aware (see above) the planning restriction in relation to boundary proximity is that the height of the structure if nearer than two metres to the boundary is restricted to 2.5 metres roof height - presumably to ensure there will not be neighbour issues about restricting light.

    2. The regulations exemption table see:
    Exemption Table seems to be aiming towards energy conservation in that buildings over 15 sqm but not more than 30 sq. m could require energy saving measures (Part L) if the building is intended for regular use. This seems to take some account of the fact that many Garden Buildings are used as a Studio or office / place of work / accommodation. In all of these cases it makes sense to provide energy saving insulation.

    3.Regarding the statement "contains NO sleeping accommodation": This is just not clear - here is my Interpretation,:

    4. This was originally the subject of Housing Minister Grant Shapps so-called "Beds in Sheds" review that the Government don't want householders to rent out sheds as accommodation. (Announced on the Planning Portal 3/05/2012 and still no change). This seems perfectly understandable.

    5. If the building has a "bedroom" then it must be safe to protect against fire and anything which is life threatening for people whilst asleep (this is common sense). No legislation of any type can exist to stop anyone sleeping in your garden, in a tent, your garage, a shed, garage, annex or "deckchair".

    however,,, -- it does make sense to ensure that any regularly used accommodation building is safe for people whilst asleep. So my view is that is particularly bad wording - there is no such thing as a clear definition of what is sleeping accommodation. I have researched this and neither are there any rules laws or guidelines regarding where a human being may fall asleep.

    Let common sense prevail. We have noticed over recent years a massive increase in enquiries for outbuildings with sleeping accommodation, this is driven by economics - I guess this is no surprise!

    Throughout this document, I have stressed and re-stated the importance of not upsetting neighbour's. Martin Goodall a specialist-planning lawyer has written an interesting article this subject. He talks about the current statements regarding the use of outbuildings as a legal anomaly.

    You can read his contribution here
    Legal anomaly over the use of outbuildings (the eleventh commandment)

    Other Important Issues about safety

    Outside of this specific statement here are the most important issues to consider regarding garden buildings and building regulations in general:

    1. Any electrical system in a garden or garden building must comply with building regulations Part P and must be installed by a competent / qualified person. See my blog post at
    Garden Office and Studio Electrical Safety (a review of all involved written in a non-technical way)

    2. Any plumbing (toilets kitchenettes showers etc.) should be correctly installed so as to operate hygienically in relation to waste disposal. see my blog post at
    Garden Studio and Office Plumbing article Alternative low cost drainage solutions are detailed here also.

    3. Any Gas appliance must be installed by a competent / qualified person.

    4. Any wood burning stove, fire or heater installation must comply with building regulations and must be installed by a competent person.
    Local knowledge

    We have built Garden Buildings, Garden Offices, Garden Studios, Garden, Rooms and Garden Accommodation Buildings all over the UK. Here is a list:

    Bedfordshire, Luton Berkshire Reading, Bracknell, Maidenhead, Newbury, Wokingham, Buckinghamshire Aylesbury, High Wycombe Cambridgeshire Cambridge, Wisbech, Cheshire Chester x 9, Stockport, Sale, Ellesmere Port, Birkenhead, Wallasey, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Crewe Cornwall None yet Cumberland Penrith, Keswick Derbyshire Derby, Chesterfield, Buxton, Ashbourne Devon Barnstaple Dorset not yet Durham not yet Essex Chelmsford x 2, Basildon, and 5 times in Buckhurst Hill Gloucestershire Gloucester, Bristol, Cheltenham Hampshire Winchester Hertfordshire Watford, St. Albans x3, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, Huntingdonshire St. Ives, St. Neots, Kent Maidstone, Canterbury, Bromley, Greenwich Merseyside Liverpool, Lancashire Southport X 3 Manchester, Preston, Bolton, Warrington Leicestershire Leicester, Lincolnshire Lincoln, Grimsby, Louth Middlesex, London, x 11, Enfield x3, Staines, Ealing Norfolk Norwich, Cromer, Hunstanton Northamptonshire Northampton, Kettering, Wellingborough Northumberland None yet Nottinghamshire Mansfield, Worksop, Newark, Oxfordshire Oxford, Banbury, Witney, Henley-on-Thames, Thame Rutland one in the sticks Shropshire Shrewsbury, Somerset Bath, Staffordshire Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Suffolk Ipswich, Bury St. Edmunds Surrey Guildford x 6 Croydon, Woking, Sutton, Kingston-on-Thames, Wandsworth, Wimbledon x4 Sussex Crawley, Warwickshire Warwick, Birmingham, Coventry,Rugby, Stratford-upon-Avon Westmorland Windermere, Wiltshire Devizes Worcestershire Evesham Yorkshire Beverley, Halifax, Harrogate,York North Wales x 8, Wrexham Scotland x 1, South Wales x 4, Cardiff. Pembroke

    This document, "Planning Permission and Permitted Development" is researched and written By Richard Grace Director Garden Structures Bracken House CH4 6LB email webmaster links - please use text (Garden Building Planning and Building Regulations)

    Consultancy and pre-planning advice services available from us

    Services including planning advice, architectural drawings and specifications, structural engineering / thermal efficiency calculations, supplier selection and project management. If busy we can recommend alternative sources.

    You can ask your local authority for Pre-Planning-Advice directly and speak to a planning officer, to get the best out of this. My advice is to be completely prepared with drawings and proposals having talked firstly with your neighbour's. For a visit most authorities make a charge of around £200 - £300. They cannot at the pre-planning stage tell you if your project will succeed.

    You can read "My amazing 3 hour visit to a London Planning Office" Check out this blog post - see photo below maybe (10 minute read but helpful if things become a bit of a battle) This is a blow by blow account of a very difficult situation. If you have comments please send direct to me at

    In any case I hope this has helped to clarify a few things.
    There is - recent news on this topic here with my comments @ <---"Lady in the lodge debate" regarding planning permission for accommodation buildings in gardens. Debatestarted Feb 2017.

    The Lady in the Lodge: soaring property prices drive rise in ‘posh’ lodges at the bottom of gardens, experts say

    I have read this article + commented on-line of course. For years I have studied this market / spoken to more than 2000 people looking for a solution to family situations. + Designed and built hundreds of projects.
    Our laws needs to be clarified with regards to permanent additional detached living accommodation in gardens: (living annexes / ancillary accommodation buildings).
    • The permitted development rules need to be revised, clarified and simplified in respect of additional accommodation buildings in gardens. As any new legislation always takes time an interim guidance statement is needed urgently. (Simply because the demand rises and the current law remains NOT clear enough)
    • The taxation rules need to be made totally clear now and of course following any new legislation. This is much easier of course.
    • The installation of temporary structures is far clearer and requires no comment from myself.
    • The Building Regulations rules are separate and totally clear i.e. no problems at all here. If a detached garden building is over 30 sq. metres in footprint then all the regulations apply.
    • Further to all this – a new neighbor consultation scheme should be introduced. Noise and traffic are always a concern and it should be clear that such development is not for rental and generation of income, unless of course the building is specifically approved for this purpose.

      email questions to:

      For additional clarification on "ancillary" accommodation buildings only - download pdf below: This is currently not operated in a uniform way by all local authorities.

      Granny Annexe
      Read about how difficult obtaining planning permission for an annex is (sometimes) my epic battle for planning permission click on this picture: It is an epic but true! Guess who won? (5 minute read)

      More downloads here:

      Download - Note: on ancillary buildings.pdf

      Download - This complete document, in.pdf

      Your next step is to make a check list with action points here is a "straw man" template / online form your link is here:

      Use this on line forms to get going -
      (on-line help form) it offers a more detailed 2nd form if you are ready.

      Thanks for visiting (your comment / feedback is always welcome and appreciated)

      Additional links (free .pdf downloads) "printable check lists" to help with garden building projects: Links below:

      Starter checklist 1 (download basic check list of essential items)

      More detailed checklist 2 (download 2nd check list for further details)

      Thanks for visiting - "Do I Need Planning Permission"

  • Our 15th Year - Design, Garden Planning Permission and Project Management Specialists for Granny Annexes + All Garden Buildings and Outdoor-Kitchens. Now is not the time for building in gardens .

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