Building Regs & Planning Permission

Building Regs & Planning Permission

Important - Please Read

Understanding Planning and Building Regs.

There are two separate issues when considering a new garden building – Planning Permission and Building Regulations. These rules and regs can often be put into the same bucket for consideration as if they were the same but this is not the case. Building Regs and Planning Permission MUST be considered as separate issues.

The vast majority of our cabins do not require planning permission however there a few exceptions and we advise that if you are unsure you must check with your local Planning office. Building Regulation is based on building size and use, so for most small garden buildings, you do not need a building to comply with building regulations.

Please read on for more information. The information is preliminary advice and is only Garden Adventures' interpretation of publicly available information. Please see for advice from the UK government or contact your local Planning office.

Building Regulations

Building regulations can be complicated as for the most part they are dealing with bricks and mortar construction but for most purposes that apply to our customers they are defined by: use, size of the building, and location of building; so providing you meet the criteria below which considers building size, it's usage and location.

Please be aware that in their standard specification, Garden Adventure buildings are not designed to meet building regulations. Nevertheless, your circumstances may be different so if you are buying one of our cabins then you should ensure that in your situation, you are not required to comply with building regulations.

Building regulations are of course meant to apply to larger, more heavily used buildings than your typical garden building anyway (such as houses, hospitals, factories etc.) so there is nothing wrong in ensuring that the way in which you use your garden building simply avoids the need to meet them.

Here is a precis of the rules that you need to consider :

  • The building will contain NO sleeping accommodation
  • If the building is over 15 square metres internal floor space then it must be at least 1.0m away from any boundary. Please ensure that you speak with your Local Authority Building Control prior to purchase with regards to potential appropriate fire proofing.
  • If the building is over 30 square metres in internal floor space then you are aware that this building does not comply with building regulations and you intend to use it for an exempted use such as: a building into which people do not normally go, or Agricultural purposes.
  1. Does the building have an internal floor space up to 15m²?
    • It is very unlikely that you’ll need any Building Regulations at all.
    • There is no requirement to meet Building Regulations regardless of what you’re using the building for, except for Sleeping Accommodation.
  2. Does the building have an internal floor space of between 15m² and 30m²
    • In order to meet Building Regulations you will need to place the building at least 1m away from any boundary.
    • Any side of the building within 1m of a boundary will need to be suitably treated so it is substantially non-combustible. We recommend that you contact your local building control office and talk through options with them. In our experience each local building control's rules slightly differ and there are other factors that may need to be considered which your local building control can discuss with you.
    • If you’re placing the building over 1m away from any Boundary then you won’t need this.
  3. Does the building have an internal floor space of over 30m²?
    • Whether or not Building Regulations is required depends upon what you will use the building for, some uses are exempt.
    • If your building is over 30 square metres in internal floor area you will need a building that complies with Building Regulations unless you are exempt from building regulations under one of the following exemptions:

Class of work is exempt from need to comply with these parts:

A to K, M, N & L


Class 1 (Building Controlled under Other Legislation)



Class 2 (Buildings Not Frequented by People)



Class 3 (Greenhouses and Agricultural Buildings)


Class 4 (Temporary Buildings)



Class 5 (Ancillary Buildings)



Class 6 (Small detached Buildings)


As a good rule of thumb we suggest that you ask yourself the same questions in order to avoid the need for building regulations.

The above information is intended as a guide only and not legal advice, you can make your own checks by reading further at Government Planning Portal

Planning Permission

The permitted development rules define a set of criteria which, if the development matches, planning permission is not required. This means there is an easy guide or checklist you can follow and if your plans for development match, you will not need planning permission.

The last major update to the Permitted Development rules was in 2008. The list is as follows:

  • 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 dwelling house.
  • 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.

(Source – – information taken 23/11/2015

Most of the issues are common sense, for example listed buildings, national parks and other areas where everything requires planning permission do not apply under Permitted Development, so people living here must seek permission.

The two key items here are about height. First, that the building must be under 4m in total height and 2.5m at the eaves. All Garden Adventure cabins in their standard designs are below these heights, so this will not be an issue.

The other issue is about height. If you wish to place your new garden building within 2.0m of a boundary, then the building must be under 2.5m at its highest point. Most Garden Adventure cabins are either under 2.5m high in their standard size or can be manufactured with a maximum height of 2.5m. If you require this height restriction applied and are in any doubt if your chosen building can be adjusted, please call the office for confirmation.

What if the permitted development rules do not apply to my plans ?

Just because your plans do not pass all the criteria, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to build. If your plans do not fulfil the permitted development criteria, it means that you will need to contact your local council and possibly apply for planning permission.

Remember that if you do need to apply for planning permission, often your neighbours will be given the opportunity to object, so talk to them first about your plans and consider how you can ensure your building or structure will cause as little inconvenience as possible to your surrounding neighbours.

© Copyright 2001 - 2024 Garden Adventure Ltd