With more and more people making the most of their outside space, we take a look at whether planning consent is needed to make changes to a garden.
At Lockings Solicitors, we advise homeowners in respect of planning consents and building regulations approval, as well as ensuring that all of the necessary permissions are in place when our clients buy a new home.
Many minor works in the garden can be carried out without planning consent and will be classed as permitted development. The rules are quite strict however, and it is important not to stray outside of what is allowed. To ensure you stay on the right side of the law, you need to be aware of the permitted sizes, materials and distances that are allowed within permitted development and whether consent is required for a major change to your garden.
Below are some of the criteria that apply to common garden structures and alterations.
To meet the permitted development rules so that planning consent is not required, if you build in your garden outbuildings such as an office, shed or summerhouse, you need to comply with the following:
If you live in a listed building, the rules are far more strict and you will need planning consent and listed building consent for any garden building.
If you live in a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the Broads or in a World Heritage Site area, there are also additional restrictions, meaning planning consent is needed for any additions at the side of your property. If a proposed outbuilding will be more than 10 square metres and is further than 20 metres from your home, you will need planning consent.
If use of your garden office is classed as ‘incidental’ by the local authority, ie. it is only sometimes used for work and is not your main base with clients visiting, then you may not need planning consent.
However, if you will regularly be having clients or customers to your home office, then you will usually need to apply for planning permission. If you do not, then you risk having a visit from planning officers, who could require you to take down the structure. The 4 year rule means that if no-one has complained within 4 years, then the local authority will not generally take action after this time, however you run the risk in the meantime of neighbours objecting.
You are generally allowed to build, maintain or alter a garden fence or wall, provided it does not exceed the size allowed under permitted development rules, as follows:
If you live in a listed building, you cannot erect a wall or fence without listed building consent.
You can add lawn, small areas of paving and borders to your garden without the need for consent.
If you are adding a patio or paving back garden of more than 5 metres square, you need to take into account where water run-off will go. The large amount of paved garden now in existence in England has created a flash flooding problem as well as reducing wildlife habitat and the rules require that water from new paved areas must be able to drain into the ground and not go into the drainage system or onto the pavement or road.
This means that permeable paving should be used or the run-off directed into a border or area laid with chippings or sufficient space left between paving stones so that no run-off accumulates.
Planning permission for decking is not required, provided that:
In some cases, planning consent is required before you pave a driveway. This is the case if you want to cover more than 5 metres square with non-permeable paving.
If you plan to access your property in a vehicle across a pavement or footpath you will also need to obtain consent from the local authority. This includes consent for dropping the kerb and also strengthening the pavement if necessary.
A conservatory or extension may not need planning permission, provided that the following applies:
A conservatory at the side of the house needs planning consent if it is:
A conservatory at the rear of the property needs planning consent if it:
You will require building regulations approval.
If you live in a listed building or conservation area, different rules apply and you should ask your local authority what consents are needed.
Contact our planning solicitors in Beverley, Hull and York.
At Lockings Solicitors, we have a strong understanding of the local planning requirements in East Yorkshire and will be happy to discuss your options with you. We can assist with planning issues, to include applications for retrospective planning consent, appeals if you have been refused permission and resubmissions of planning applications.
If you would have any planning questions or you would like to discuss your case with one of our East Yorkshire legal team, ring us on 01482 300 200, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our contact form and we will call you back promptly for a FREE initial chat.
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