Do Garden Improvements Require Permission?

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Many of us will be considering adding improvements to our gardens in the coming months with the onset of nice weather we have been forecast, but what are the potential implications of doing so?

What is permitted development?

The law does allow you to carry out certain types of home and garden work under Permitted Development Rights, which means that you will not be required to obtain planning permission, subject to compliance with any restrictions and conditions imposed. Permitted Development has very strict requirements for each type of development, including factors such as height, size, and whether it may impact your neighbours.  Additional restrictions also apply in National Parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, and conservation areas. You should also note local councils can alter what falls under permitted development.

Do I need planning permission to put up a fence?

Permitted Development will allow you to build, improve, maintain or alter a fence/wall. However, the work must comply with the below:

  • The height of the wall or fence must not exceed one metre if it is adjacent to a highway
  • The height of any other wall, fence, gate or other enclosure must not exceed two metres
  • You cannot carry out such work under Permitted Development if you live in a listed building
  • You will also need to consider whether you own the fence/wall if it is shared with a neighbour

Do I need planning permission to build a shed or garden office?

If you want to add a shed for storage or a garden office, which have become popular in the last couple of years this may fall under Permitted Development. In order to fall under Permitted Development the total area of outbuildings must not exceed 50% of your total area of ‘curtilage,’ i.e. your garden space. The 50% limit covers all buildings and will therefore include any existing or proposed new extensions to the original house and outbuildings.   It is also worth checking that any previous planning permission granted did not remove the permitted development rights afforded to householders.  In such a case the building would require planning permission from the local planning authority.

Do I need planning permission for decking?

You do not need planning permission for garden decking subject to the following requirements. The main concern for many is that the decking platforms cannot be more than 30cm from the ground and they must not exceed 50% of the curtilage. Verandas, balconies and raised platforms are not Permitted Development and will require planning permission.

Do I need planning permission for landscaping?

Garden design such as re-turfing a lawn area or creating flower beds will not require planning permission. Adding garden paving to the front of your property may require permission if a non-permeable material is used. Another factor to consider is certain types of trees are protected under Tree Preservation Orders, so you may wish to check with your local council before cutting down or significantly pruning a tree.

If you need help or advice with planning permission at either a residential or commercial property, our experienced team are here to help.

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