Do You Require Planning Permission For A Garden Shed


Planning permission for a garden shed is not always easy to determine as it requires an understanding of the local planning rules and regulations. The simplest way to know if you require planning permission is to contact your local authority and ask them. They will be able to advise you on what you need to do next.

Building a garden shed may be illegal, and it depends on your city code. Some cities have strict guidelines for building sheds, while others do not have limitations on how big or small they are. Generally, it is an issue with how the property is zoned and if you will use the shed for residential purposes or not.

Building a shed in your backyard can be an excellent way to free up space in your house and make your property useful. In some cases, however, it may not be clear whether or not you are allowed to build a shed on your property in the first place. Many cities have laws about what types of buildings the local authority permits on private property within city limits.

What is a garden shed – the lowdown

First of all, let us cover just what a garden shed is.

A garden shed is usually a one-story building separated from the main house for storage and workshop purposes.

They usually contain more essential and dangerous gardening tools like shears, the lawnmower, and such. They are separate from your home to ensure the safety of your family members from being exposed to them.

What Is Planning Permission for a Garden Shed?

Creating separate buildings and structures apart from your main home often requires planning permission. It is a legal requirement to construct an outbuilding, including a garden shed, and often, the council does not automatically permit such planning.

In most jurisdictions, permission is required for an individual to install a garden shed.

Under zoning ordinances, garden sheds are similar in size and function to what they consider a structure. If there is not enough space for an outbuilding, the homeowner may need permission from their city government to install one on their property.

These structures typically require building permits and inspections. Look into your city or state’s website to know their specified garden shed requirements, exemptions, and needs, and it may look similar to the one Seattle City has up (source).

General sizing and information with regards to your garden shed allowed by the law

Planning permission is a requirement to build any structures on your property. They can grant it if it is for housing or ancillary buildings such as sheds and detached garages having a floor area of less than 50 square meters.

You can define a shed as 200 cm high at its highest point, but sheds can be taller than this, up to a maximum height of 5 meters. However, said shed should not extend beyond the existing garden boundaries.

Reasons Why You Need Planning Permission for your garden shed

There is a reason why you still need to ask for planning permissions for something as simple as a garden shed, and they will be listed below.

Habitat Protection Legislation Applies to Garden Sheds

The legislation that protects the habitats of endangered species can also apply to a garden shed.

One of these amendments states that “a person who constructs or installs a building or carries out associated work shall not do so in such a way as to endanger any protected species.”

So if you want to construct or install a garden shed, it should be carried out in a way as not to endanger any protected animals.

It’s the Law – You Could be Prosecuted if You Build a Garden Shed Without Planning Consent

Planning permission is a legal requirement for any development that affects the external appearance, character, or use of buildings.

This is because buildings are defined as anything outside your property line, including fences, walls, and sheds. As such, even a simple garden shed will still call for asking planning permission.

The Neighbors may have a say with regards to your garden shed

If you are considering building a garden shed, your neighbors might have an opinion on it. This is mainly because they worry about how possible noise, lights, or factors from the shed will affect them in the future.

How to appease your neighbors into making their garden shed worries go away

If your neighbors are not happy about the noise from the shed, you can offer to get rid of your lawn and plant that area with flowers or shrubs instead.

If they worry about light coming from the shed, they install motion-sensing lights around the property to dim at night.

The Police Can Get Involved if you do not properly follow protocol and planning for building garden sheds

It is illegal for homeowners to install a garden shed without proper approval because it violates local building codes. If they do, the police can get involved and make them take it down.

Many homeowners are not aware that there are strict guidelines for installing a garden shed and that they can be penalized if they don’t abide by the regulations.

However, some authorities will permit garden sheds of a certain size without planning permission. It is important to contact your local authority and ask if planning is required.

Where can you Apply for Garden Shed Planning Permission?

Garden shed planning permission is granted by your local council. The council will require a site plan and a sketch of the proposed garden shed with dimensions to assess whether it will be an issue.

Garden sheds are only allowed with permission from your local city hall.

To apply for a permit, you will have to visit the office and request one. If granted permission, you will have to contact your building inspector to request permission as well.

Usually, the building inspector will need some basic information, like the size of the shed and what kind of construction materials you want to use. They may also ask for an architectural drawing or plan before issuing a permit.

Key Factors To Consider When Planning for Garden Shed and its Planning Permission

Before thinking about applying for planning permission, it is best to sit and think about the shed placement, building logistics, and such about your garden shed.

  • It is best to put your shed in land that is not a flood zone.
  • You need to ensure that there are no power lines nearby.
  • Make sure that the probable shed area will not be too close to a property line, or else your neighbor will not be happy.

You should also check if your municipality has restrictions on sheds. Some municipals forbid sheds because they take up too much space. You should check with the local authorities about these restrictions before spending time and money building one for yourself.

Factors to know and consider before applying for the planning permission

There are many other things to consider when building a shed, like what kind of roofing material you want, how big it will be, what material will go on the inside walls, etc. These will be factors that will be asked when obtaining a license, so it is best to think and know them beforehand. They are listed out in the table below.

The size of the garden shedThe height of your garden shed
How do you plan to use the shedThe construction materials used for building the shed

In some countries, you may be granted planning consent on a case-by-case basis, and many factors influence planning decisions. Some of these factors include the location of the property, history, and use. When an application for planning consent is submitted for consideration by the council, they will decide if it should be granted or refused.

How To Apply for Planning Permission for a Garden Shed

Planning permission for a garden shed can be a tedious and complex process. However, if you follow these steps, you will find the process much easier.

Step One: Find Out If Your Shed Will Need Planning Permission

You might not need planning permission if the shed is 10 square meters or less. You might also not need it if your material is pre-fabricated. If the shed is over 10 square meters, then you will need to apply for planning permission.

Again, this depends on the zoning and jurisdiction of your area, so it would be best to ask authorities for clearer procedures in case of confusion.

You might also have to apply for a certificate of lawfulness before formally applying for planning permission.

Step Two: Apply for Planning Permission

Please make an appointment at your local authority town hall to visit their Planning Section.

You will have to fill in a form and also process for the completion and submit your application with any relevant information needed by said office.

Be sure to complete your whole application process by the given deadline of the office. Doing so will give you enough time to address any issues that arise before the building begins.

Step Three: Know if there Is a Payment To Get Planning Permission

The fee for applying will depend on whether or not you are submitting a detailed application or outline application.

Factors That May Influence Approval

You may not need planning permission for a garden shed if it is within certain size limits. Some of the factors that might influence this decision include the location you want to build the shed, whether it is visible from the street and other properties, whether it is in a conservation area or on a site with special status, and how close it is to other buildings.

Certain situations may not make planning permission necessary:

  • If the shed will have an impact on landscape character or visual amenity.
  • If there are space constraints (e.g., if it is too close to other buildings).
  • If there are significant environmental issues (e.g., if it will affect water drainage).
  • If there is insufficient storage capacity on-site for all your tools and equipment,

If you have reached the stalemate that is the possible refusal of your planning permission, here are some tips that may help you out.

Tips on What To Do if Refused Planning Permission

If the council has not granted your request, it is worth checking with them whether any other sites will be suitable for your requirements.

You can also ask for the reasons why they rejected your application. It will give you a clearer idea of what needs to be done for your next application to succeed.

The council only want what’s best for you and your general vicinity with regards to the garden shed

The council will consider all of these aspects before making their final decision on whether to grant permission or not. They will assess if this proposal impacts the surrounding area in terms of traffic flow, noise levels, and so on.

If they identify any negative impacts, then permission may not be granted. The factor applying for planning permission is to ensure that your proposal does not negatively impact the local environment, as it would likely lead to a refusal of being granted permission.

Conclusion on requiring planning permission for a garden shed

With everything in your life, you most likely need to come in with a plan, and the same can be said for garden sheds. It is necessary to have no environmental and habitual problems in the long run, especially if the area you live in has endangered species, and respect your neighbor’s wishes should it also affect their lives.

You can also at least do this so that you won’t waste precious resources and time if your council and city decide not to allow you to build your shed, even if it has already just been created or is halfway done. If you really don’t want to acquire planning permission, then stick by the exemptions made by your area on garden sheds, and you should be good.

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Tony O'Neill

I am Tony O'Neill, A full-time firefighter, and professional gardener. I have spent most of my life gardening. From the age of 7 until the present day at 46. My goal is to use my love and knowledge of gardening to support you and to simplify the gardening process so you are more productive

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