Garages, annexes, and outbuildings
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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 dwellinghouse.
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.
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.
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.
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 dwellinghouse.
No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
No more than half the area of land around the "original house"* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
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.
On designated land* buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.
Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.
*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.
Please note: The permitted development allowances described here apply to houses and not to:
Flats and maisonettes (view our guidance on flats and maisonettes)
Converted houses or houses created through the permitted development rights to change use (as detailed in our change of use section)
Areas where there may be a planning condition, Article 4 Direction or other restriction that limits permitted development rights.
Permitted Development for householders – Technical Guidance
You are strongly advised to read a technical guidance document produced by the Government to help understand how permitted development rules might apply to your circumstances.
Is building regulations approval needed for an outbuilding?
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 and contains NO sleeping accommodation.
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 substantially of non-combustible materials.
This section provides you with general information to help you comply with the Building Regulations when constructing a new outbuilding within the boundaries of an existing property, such as:
garage or carport
summerhouse or shed
Building a new garage attached to an existing home would normally need building regulations approval.
Building a new attached carport (open on at least two sides) would not normally require building regulations approval if it is less than 30 square metres in floor area.
Building a detached garage of less than 30 square metres floor area would not normally need building regulations approval if:
the floor area of the detached garage is less than 15 square metres.
the floor area of the garage is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, provided the garage is at least one metre from any boundary, or it is constructed substantially of non-combustible materials.
If you want to convert an integral or attached garage into habitable use, building regulations will normally apply, view specific information for garage conversions.
In many cases, these structures will be exempt from requiring approval under the Building Regulations if they meet certain exemption criteria.
If the Regulations do apply to the building then it must be built to reasonable standards.
The following pages give an indication of some of the elements normally required to satisfy the requirements of the Regulations for outbuildings.