Do I Need Planning Permission For My Garden Room?

Annexe to barn planning permission secured Sussex, Kent

March 1, 2021

Do I Need Planning Permission For My Garden Room? Your Questions Answered

Building a garden room is often a straightforward process that doesn’t involve the need for planning permission. But these garden rooms aren’t a one-size-fits-all matter, so it’s best to err on the side of caution to avoid any legal disputes.

Wouldn’t My Garden Room Fall Under Permitted Development?

Frequently, an outbuilding will fall under permitted development rights, but the scale and positioning of the building can affect this. But beware, here are some other things that could prevent your garden room from falling under permitted development:

  • You live in a conservation area, or an area of outstanding beauty
  • You live close to woodland that is classified as ancient
  • Your house falls within an area of archeological interest
  • 50% of your property’s curtilage has already been built on
  • The title deeds of your home contain restrictive covenants

While this isn’t an all-encompassing list of the potential pitfalls, it gives you an idea of just what needs to be considered. This is why it’s very advisable – if not totally essential – to run your designs by the planning office before making headway on a build.

Garden office and gym 3D view garden design Kent Sussex

What Happens If I Don’t Get Planning Permission?

We recently helped a client who was falsely led to believe that their outbuilding would fall under permitted development. The builder they had contracted to erect their garden gym believed that all of the criteria had been met to go ahead without planning permission. Sadly, they failed to realise that the outbuilding was outside of property’s official curtilage, next to a listed property, in an area of outstanding beauty. Ouch!

Several complaints later, the owner has the threat of an enforcement notice to demolish on their hands (all after paying a five-figure sum for the initial build). It goes without saying – no one wants to be landed with this sort of situation, and so engaging with the planning process is a surefire way of preventing it.

I’m Not Sure I Need to Apply For Planning Permission. What Should I Do?

Even if you’re doubtful that your build will require planning permission, we recommend you submit an application for a certificate of lawful development. If successful this gives you certainty that your scheme is permitted, it removes the doubt for you and for any future purchaser of your property. If however, something pops up needing full planning permission it will come up at that stage and can be addressed properly before you start the build.

Gazebo with woodburner and shower planning permission Sussex, Kent

Can I Assess Whether or Not I’ll Need Planning Myself?

This is where we come in!

We’ve been designing garden offices, gyms, and all sorts of other outbuildings for many years, so we know a thing or two when it comes to planning. Upon inspection, we’ll be able to assess whether or not your proposed build will need planning permission. We’ll also give you a good idea as to whether or not you’ll actually get it should you apply.

Our consultative approach with the planning authority allows us to design buildings that will win their support. Unlike less successful planning consultants, we’ve maintained a 100% success rate for both planning permission and for applications for lawful development certificates.


Take a look below at some of the projects we’ve recently designed and secured permissions for. Some of them have even been built already!

  • Driveway and Garage in East Grinstead (In Conservation Area Near Historic Heart of the Town)
  • Garden Room in Buxted (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
  • Garage and Studio Office in East Chailey (Outside of Main Curtilage of House)
  • Garden Studio in Forest Row (In Proximity of Ancient Woodland)
  • Garden Room and Store Haddenham (Permitted Development Rights Removed – Barn Conversion)
  • Annexe to Barn Conversion (2 Bedroom Annexe, in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
  • Garage Conversion East Grinstead (Home Office and Gym)
  • Agricultural Store Rotherfield (Agricultural Permitted Development, in Proximity to Ancient Woodland)
  • Conversion of Agricultural Barn to 3 Bedroom Dwelling Rotherfield (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, within the 7km Ashdown Forest Zone)
  • Conversion of Existing Garden Room to Office and Art Studio (Historical Building, Not Listed)

Designed for planning approval for rural planning permission on bespoke timber garage with garden studio and garden office design Sussex Kent Surrey

While we are extremely proud of our rate of success up until now, it does not act as a guarantee for future applications. Our approval rates are merely an indication of our thoroughness, knowledge and commitment to our clients.

Although we’re not planning consultants, our experience in surveying, detailing and project management should give you confidence in our ability to see your project to fruition.  So if you’re thinking about starting your very own garden build, get in touch!

Whatever you’ve always dreamed of having as a part of your home, we’ll make it a garden reality. We can’t wait to make the most of your garden!

Call 01892 577371 

or send us an email using our online form. 





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