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Garden Buildings - An easy way to add value and space to your home

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

September 2020 - Rebel Design Studio

Planning Your Garden Building

Garden rooms offer a unique solution compared to the traditional home extension alternatives, such as:

  • A cost-effective way to add space at home compared to traditional alternatives

  • An easy way to add space

  • A versatile space that can be used for any purpose - perfect for work or leisure.

  • Detached from the home for total privacy, relaxation or focus.

  • When used as a home office solution, a garden office helps create a great work/life balance - keeping the two completely separate.

  • Modern and stylish solution compared to some traditional alternatives.

Where do I start?

The first place to start is finding out whether you will be required to obtain planning consent for your garden building. Here, at Rebel Design Studio, we can advise you of what is possible in terms of planning restrictions, building regulations requirements, etc. and obtain any required consents for you.

It may be possible to achieve what you're looking for under a normal Householder planning application to your Local Planning Authority (LPA). This is useful if you are looking to construct something larger than what is possible under Permitted Development however it is certainly a more difficult process. We would advise you on the best route to take depending on the size you require and would always advise that early consultation with your Local Planning Authority (LPA) is carried out to assess the chances of success or whether PD would be a better option.

Technically, you are permitted to construct a garden building on your land without permission from the LPA but we would always advise that it is prudent to do so as different Councils have different interpretations of PD guidelines and what they mean.

Permitted Development

Class E of the General Permitted Development Order provides permitted development rights within the curtilage of a house for the construction of any building or enclosure, swimming or other pool required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such, or the maintenance, improvement or other alteration of such a building or enclosure.

Buildings under Class E should be built for purposes incidental to the enjoyment of the house and include, subject to conditions and limitations, a large range of buildings such as garden sheds, other storage buildings, garages, and garden decking as long as they can be properly be described as having a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the house. This does not however, include normal residential uses, such as separate self-contained accommodation or the use of an outbuilding for primary living accommodation such as a bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen so no AirB'n'B rooms I'm afraid.........under PD anyway.

Under Class E, the following limits and conditions apply:

  • buildings, etc. are not permitted where the house was created under the permitted development rights to change use, set out in Classes M, N, P, PA, and Q of Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the Order

  • the total area of ground around the house covered by buildings, enclosures and containers must not exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage, excluding the original house. The 50% limit covers all buildings, so will include any existing or proposed new extensions to the original house under Class A of the permitted development rules or that have been granted planning permission, as well as existing and proposed outbuildings. It will exclude the area covered by the original house, but will include any separate detached buildings even where they were built prior to 1948 or if the house was built after that date, built when the house itself was built (for example a detached garage).

  • development is not permitted under Class E in any area in front of the principal elevation of a house. It also prevents permitted development anywhere in front of a hypothetical line drawn through the principal elevation to the side boundary of the land surrounding the house.

  • any buildings within the curtilage can only have one storey. Buildings with more than one storey are not permitted development and will require an application for planning permission.

  • the height of the building, enclosure or container must not exceed - (a) 4 metres in the case of a building with a dual-pitched roof, (b) 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within 2 metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse, or (c) 3 metres in any other case

  • the height of the eaves of the building must not exceed 2.5 metres The eaves of a building will be the point where the lowest point of a roof slope, or a flat roof, meets the outside wall of the building

  • the building, enclosure, pool or container must not be situated within the curtilage of a listed building

  • Verandas, balconies and raised platforms are not permitted development under Class E. A raised platform is defined as any platform that has a height of more than 0.3 metres. Garden decking will therefore be permitted development under Class E subject to it not exceeding this 0.3m height limit and subject to the other limits and conditions under Class E

  • If your property is situated in a World Heritage Site, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Broads, development is not permitted by Class E if the total area of ground covered by buildings, enclosures, pools and containers situated more than 20 metres from any wall of the dwellinghouse would exceed 10 square metres

  • In the case of any land within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse which is article 2(3) land, development is not permitted by Class E if any part of the building, enclosure, pool or container would be situated on land between a wall forming a side elevation of the dwellinghouse and the boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse This additional restriction applies for land surrounding a house in National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty, conservation areas, and within World Heritage Sites. In these areas, buildings, enclosures, pools or containers sited on land between a side wall and the boundary of the land surrounding the house are not permitted development.

Now that I know what I can build, what do i do next?

Once the planning consent route has been agreed and you have an idea of what size the garden building will be, we can design the building for you and apply for planning consent. We primarily work in 3D which helps both us and clients to visualise what the building will look like in it's own setting, potentially in tandem with other design elements such as a proposed rear extension or loft conversion.

Building Regulations

Once planning consent has been obtained we can then assess whether you require to comply with Building Regulations. Generally this will not apply if the proposed floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres and is not a habitable space i.e. no lodgers or sleepovers!

If your building is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres then the above also applies with the added restriction that the building not be sited within one metre of any boundary unless it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.

If compliance with Building Regulations is required we can help navigate through the process and obtain conditional approval for your building even before it starts.

Who do I get to construct my garden building?

We have partnered up with Green Retreats, who since opening in 2005, have designed and installed over 12,000 garden rooms for our customers.

In this time, they have become the UK’s leading and most trusted garden room company. They strive to offer the most superior product available on the market, with great customer service and after-care throughout. Click on their logo below for more information.

Alongside Green Retreats, they also have the brands: The Garden Office, Garden Studio & The Annex. Rest assured, whilst each company offers its own unique garden room product to suit their wide range of customers; each garden room is manufactured by the same specially trained staff. They will manufacture your garden room at their Buckinghamshire factory using the highest quality materials and is ultimately delivered to you at the best possible price.

The factory is also home to their unique indoor showroom, the largest of its kind, showcasing 17 fully furnished garden room products from within the Green Retreats Family. The showroom is something they are immensely proud of, something else about Green Retreats that sets them apart. They also have a new outdoor show space featuring a fully landscaped area as well as four buildings from the Green Retreats Group range, which allow you to experience their garden rooms in a natural surrounding. Now, they also have a Twickenham Showroom that showcases three of their most popular buildings on offer.

Recently we sat down with Alex Gwilliam who is the Sales Manager for Green Retreats for a brief chat about their company and garden buildings in general.

Can I use my garden room all year round?

Absolutely! Garden rooms from Green Retreats have been expertly crafted using premium-grade materials to be weatherproof, dry and comfortable to use in any weather. Heating is included as standard with the optional upgrade of air-conditioning available for full climate control.

What can a garden room be used for?

Garden rooms are so versatile, being detached from the home with ample natural light and ventilation, that they make for a great extra space for anything you have in mind. Our buildings are provided as a 'blank canvas' of sorts for you to fit with whatever furnishings or equipment you need. Some popular uses are home gyms, garden offices, art studios, garden bars, music studios, home business suites, commercial units, beauty salons... we've done it all!

What's included in the price of a garden room?

Each supplier is different, but at Green Retreats we like to keep things simple and include all of the essentials in the price as much as we can to help remove any hidden costs. Our prices include VAT, base/foundations, professional installation, 2.3 square metres French or sliding door, heating, lighting, stylish oak laminate flooring and much much more...

Do you have any top tips for starting your garden building project?

  • consider not only what you need from your garden room at the moment, but how you might want to use it in the future. That way you can factor this into your design to give your garden room greater longevity to suit your growing needs.

  • creating a dual-purpose space is easily created to help you make the most of your new garden room. Partition walls can be built inside with either internal or external doors for access. Clever use of interior design and furnishing can also create distinct areas and uses in one space without the need for extra walls.

  • many customers start off thinking that they need a much larger garden building than they actually do. Our experienced design consultants will help advise on the ideal size for your garden room to suit your needs and available space - there's generally no need to take up as much space as you might first think. A visit to one of our showrooms really helps to see what can be achieved in even some of the smallest garden room buildings.

So if you have a garden building project in mind, get in touch with Rebel Design Studio or Green Retreats.

If you found this blog helpful please share it with your friends and stay tuned for further blogs on all things design and architecture.



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