Everything You Need to Know about Garden Planning Permission

In general, garden planning permission is relatively straight forwards and there is a lot you can do without having to seek planning permission. Many garden buildings fall under the category of permitted development which means as long as they meet the parameters, they don’t need planning permission. However, in some circumstances, planning permission may be required. In order to make it a little easier to understand when it comes to making changes to your own garden, we’ve broke it down for you.

Garden Buildings

Luckily for the most part, garden buildings come under permitted development. However, they do need to adhere to some rules and there are exceptions.

The following limits and conditions apply to outbuildings when it comes to permitted development:

  • A garden building or outbuilding cannot be placed on land which is forward of the wall which forms the principal elevation.
  • The building should be single storey and have a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and a maximum overall height of no more than four metres for a building with a dual pitched roof and 3 metres for other roof types. This includes both outbuildings and garages.
  • There should be no balconies, raised platforms or verandas. Platforms are allowed which do not exceed 0.3 metres in height.
  • Where the outbuilding is to be places within two metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the original house it cannot exceed a maximum height of 2.5 metres.
  • No more than half of the area of the land which surrounds the ‘original house’ should be covered by additions or other buildings such as garden buildings. The term ‘original house’ refers to the house as it was originally built, or as it stood on 1st July 1948 if it stood before that date. This therefore does not include extensions added after the house was built, or after the aforementioned date.
  • On designated land, which includes National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage sites, buildings at the side of properties will require planning permission. Where buildings are to be placed more than 20 metres from the house, the land to be covered by additional buildings should not exceed 10 m².
  • Planning permission is required for any outbuildings to be place within the curtilage of listed buildings.
    The above applies specifically to houses and not to flats, converted houses or other building types. It is important that if you’re unsure whether your outbuilding complies with permitted development guidelines that you contact your local council.


Under permitted development, you can put up decking and other raised platforms without applying for planning permission. However as with outbuildings, there are some guidelines relating to this.

  • The decking or raised platform should not exceed 30cm from ground level.
  • As with outbuildings, the decking along with other extensions and additions should not exceed 50% of the land surrounding the ‘original house’.

Gates, Walls and Fences

Permitted development guidelines allow you to erect, construct and maintain gates, walls and fences on your property provided they meet certain guidelines.

  • If your property is adjacent to a highway, the overall height should not exceed 1 metre.
  • Otherwise, the height should not exceed 2 metres.
  • As with other outbuildings and garden additions, development of gates, walls and fences is not part of permitted development around a listed building. Instead planning permission will be necessary.


It is a common misconception that only buildings require planning permission, in some cases the general landscaping jobs you may be undertaking in your garden may need planning permission.

  • Some trees and hedges are protected by tree preservation orders which therefore mean you cannot prune them without permission from the council. The same goes if you live in a conservation area or listed building. To plant a hedge in your own garden is allowed and there are no rules in terms of height however you are responsible for maintaining the plant.
  • You don’t need planning permission for things such as outdoor lights, but it may be worth a courtesy call to your neighbours if they are likely to impact them in anyway.
  • When it comes to landscaping for a listed building, you must seek permission to do anything which involves changing the appearance of a listed building or the land surrounding it.

How to Get Planning Permission

There are different types of planning applications when it comes to planning permission. The Government website has details of each; however, it is important that applicants who are unsure of the type of permission they need speak to their local planning authority. The application is also submitted to the relevant local planning authority; which you can find using the local authority finder.

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About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 6 years of experience at HSS. She brings product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.

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