The rules on planning permission for sheds
Usually, you do not need planning permission for a shed in your garden. Sheds are legally classified as outbuildings, alongside greenhouses, playhouses and garages. There are a few exceptions to this. For example, you will need planning permission for sheds over a certain height or sheds that are positioned in a certain way.
You will need planning permission for a shed in your garden if[i]:
- Your shed will be positioned forward of a wall that is part of the principal elevation of your property
- Your shed will be more than one storey
- The eaves height of your shed will be higher than 2.5 metres
- The overall height of your shed will be higher than 4 metres (for any other roof type, the max height of a shed is 3 metres)
- Your shed will stand within 2 metres of one or more boundaries of your property and the overall height will exceed 2.5 metres
- You are building on designated land or by a listed building
- You are building a shed that takes up more than 10 square metres and stands over 20 metres away from the house
Planning permission requirements differ depending on your local council, so you should seek advice from your local planning authority if you are unsure.
Getting planning permission
If you’ve concluded that you need planning permission for a shed, it’s vital that you get it. If you carry out your project without it, your local council may serve you an ‘enforcement notice’ that will order you to dismantle the entire structure.
- Get in touch with your local authority’s planning department. They will be able to help you understand how likely you are to get planning permission and any changes you may need to make.
- Apply to your local council for approval. Be prepared to include information about your project. Also, the planning application requires a fee, the price of which can vary.
- Finally, you will have to wait for the council to assess your application, which can take between 8 – 13 weeks. If they approve it, you can go ahead with your project.
How many sheds can I have in my garden?
Currently, there is no limit on the number of sheds you can have in your garden in the UK.
However, you have to ensure that the total square metre measurement of the bases of all your sheds, outhouses and extensions is below or equal to 50% of your garden’s size.
If the collective size of your sheds, outhouses and extensions is larger than the 50% figure, you will need planning permission.
Can I build a shed next to my neighbour’s fence?
Yes, you can build a shed next to your neighbour’s fence as long as your shed is no taller than 2.5 metres tall and is at least 2 metres from the boundary of the property.
What is the maximum size shed that I can have without planning permission?
Your shed must have a maximum eaves height no taller than 2.5 metres. The overall shed structure must be no taller than 3 meters. Generally, your shed should be smaller than 15sq/m – but you should check with your local planning authority.
There are plenty of garden storage alternatives that you can use instead of sheds should planning permission or space be an issue for you. Here are some fantastic shed alternatives to try no matter the size of your garden:
- Garden bench storage
- Storage boxes
- Garden shelving
- Wall-mounted storage
- Wooden pallets
- Old furniture pieces
- A plastic tarpaulin
Knowing when you will need planning permission is vital for a successful outdoor project; the last thing you want to have to do is tear down all your hard work because you didn’t know you needed it. But we hope this has cleared up all your questions about planning permission for sheds in your garden!
Do you have any more questions about getting planning permission for sheds or outhouses? Let us know.
Please note that the above is not legal advice – you should always check with your local council before building a garden structure if you are unsure whether you need planning permission.
Ryan Jenkins is a professional gardener and has been working in the gardening industry for over 25 years. This has allowed Ryan to accumulate a vast wealth of gardening knowledge which he shares on the Sefton Meadows blog.