Do You Need Planning Permission for a Garden Shed? Find Out Now

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

Building a garden shed may be illegal, depending 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 whether you will use the shed for residential purposes.

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, lawnmowers, etc. 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 from your main home often requires planning permission. Constructing an outbuilding, including a garden shed, is a legal requirement, and usually, 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 about your garden shed are allowed by the law.

Planning permission is a requirement to build any structures on your property. They can grant it for housing or ancillary buildings such as sheds and detached garages with 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 not to endanger any protected animals.

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

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 ask for planning permission.

The Neighbors may have a say about your garden shed

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

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

If your neighbors are unhappy 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 it at night.

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

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 unaware of strict guidelines for installing a garden shed and can be penalized if they don’t abide by the regulations.

However, some authorities will permit garden sheds of a specific 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.

You must visit the office and request one to apply for a permit. You will also have to contact your building inspector to ask permission if granted permission.

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. Before issuing a permit, they may also ask for an architectural drawing or plan.

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 on land that is not a flood zone.
  • You need to ensure that there are no power lines nearby.
  • Ensure 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 cities 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. When obtaining a license, these factors will be asked, so it is best to think about and know them beforehand. They are listed 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 case-by-case basis, and many factors influence planning decisions. These factors include the property’s location, history, and use. When the council applies to planning consent, they decide whether 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. You must apply for planning permission if the shed is over 10 square meters.

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, 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 official deadline. Doing so will give you enough time to address issues 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 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 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.

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 must be done for your next application to succeed.

The council only wants what’s best for you and your general vicinity about 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, etc.

If they identify any negative impacts, then permission may not be granted. The factor in 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 chronic problems in the long run, especially if your area has endangered species. Respect your neighbor’s wishes should it also affect their lives.

You can also 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 been created or is halfway done. If you don’t want to acquire planning permission, stick by the exemptions made by your area on garden sheds, and you should be good.

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