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How big can I build my shed without planning permission?

Published: 25/11/2021

How big can I build my shed without planning permission?

If you're looking to increase your garden storage space or perhaps add a summerhouse to your outdoor area, you might well be wondering: how big can I build a shed without planning permission?

In the UK, planning permission is required whenever someone builds something new or makes a major change to a building. So, for example, if you were building an extension on your house or turning your home into a shop, you may need planning permission. Each circumstance is different and local authority guidelines may vary from place to place, so it is important to check the government's planning portal for relevant information on your project.

Also, there are building projects that generally don't require planning permission, and these fall under the category of what the government calls 'permitted development rights'.

Permitted development includes garden buildings, as long as they meet certain stipulations regarding size, placement and location. It is important that anyone embarking upon the construction of a new building consult with local planning regulations for full clarity on what is required in your area.

Planning permission regulations also vary depending on the size, position, type and location of your garden building. For example, planning permission is more sensitive to any building proposed in front of the main house or property, while fewer restrictions are placed on garden buildings towards the rear.

For a general guide to what is the maximum size shed without planning permission that you can build in your garden, read on.

How high can I build a shed?

Near your property boundary

Every project is different, and once again we advise anyone undertaking a construction project to consult with local regulations over planning permission.

However, in general the stipulations pertaining to the height of a garden shed or garden building that is being built without planning permission differ depending on the new structure's distance from the boundary of your property.

Let's first consider a scenario in which you want to build a shed that will be placed less than two metres from the boundary of your property. In this case, to ensure your shed is considered a permitted development without the need for planning permission, it must not exceed an overall height of 2.5 metres from the existing ground level of the location you intend to build it.

Away from your property boundary

Your new construction can be a bit taller if you intend to place it more than two metres away from your property's boundary. You can erect a single-storey shed with a maximum eave height of 2.5m and a maximum total height of 4.0m for a dual-pitched roof (maximum 3.0m for a pent-roofed shed) and it will be considered a permitted development.

To summarise, if you want a taller shed then it needs to be built away from your property boundary, and a dual-pitched roof allows you the maximum shed size without a permit in the UK, in terms of height.

If you are concerned about the height of your new building, bear in mind that many of our log cabin product ranges come with a lower roof option to ensure they meet regulations without the need for planning permission.

The Shere 44mm Log Cabin

We also offer a bespoke building service to help you design your garden building and ensure that it incorporates the size specifications and all the additional features you need.

How wide can I build a shed?

External building size

Once you have ensured your shed doesn't exceed the maximum height limitations for a build without planning permission, you need to think about the surface area it will cover and the size of its interior.

As a general rule, if the floor space of your shed is less than 15 square metres, you don't usually require planning permission – unless you're planning to sleep in it.

More specifically, building regulations stipulate that no more than 50 per cent of the land around your 'original house' can be occupied by sheds, garden rooms, summerhouses or other buildings. Here, 'original house' refers to the property as it was first constructed, or as it stood as of July 1st 1948 if it was built before then.

This stipulation affects the maximum building size without permit in the UK, and you will need to multiply the width of the outside of your shed by the length to calculate its total surface area, which must be no more than 50 per cent of the total surface area of the land around your house in order to avoid the need for planning permission.

Internal building size

The final measurement you need to consider is the internal size of your garden building. The maximum size without planning permission in terms of volume is 30 square metres – as long as it fulfils the other size parameters listed above.

The Delta 44mm Log Cabin

Summary and further considerations

To give yourself the best chance of avoiding the need for planning permission, your shed should not be forward of the principal elevation of your property, it should be single-storey, with eaves no higher than 2.5 metres and an overall height of no more than four metres for a dual pitch roof (three metres for other roof types). The shed should not exceed 2.5 metres in overall height if it's within two metres of a property boundary.

No two projects are the same and planning permission is a nuanced issue, so it is important to gather as much information and advice pertaining to your project as possible before taking the steps towards construction.

For example, if you happen to own some woodland and wish to build a shed within woodlands, you are likely to require planning permission for any permanent structure.

Planning permission is required for permanent structures on designated land or listed property, and if your property is in a national park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty then any shed over 20 metres from the house cannot take up more than 10 square metres.

Don't be afraid to ask for help

There are further rules to consider beyond the size of your shed when it comes to making sure you do not require planning permission, and these are covered on our planning permission page.

If you are in any doubt about whether or not one of our sheds will require planning permission, don't hesitate to contact us and one of our experienced team will offer advice to guide you on a path to creating your ideal garden building.

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