Do I Need Planning Permission to Build a Conservatory or Shed?

The erection of a conservatory or shed is usually defined as development under the Town and Country planning Acts and would require planning permission if it were not for certain permitted development rights available to many ordinary properties.


There are a variety of rights available to many homeowners and one relates to the right to extend your home by way of a single-storey extension subject to the following caveats;

  • The extension does not sit forward of the principal elevation
  • Materials used in the extension should be similar to those used in the original property
  • The eaves cannot be higher than 3m, where the property is within 2 metres of a boundary (or 4 metres in height otherwise) ie single storey
  • Rear extensions — no more than 4m in depth (detached house) or 3m in depth (semi-detached or terrace)
  • Side extensions — the width of the extension must not be greater than half the width of the original dwelling.

Permitted development rights can be withdrawn in certain areas such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Conservation Areas or when a building is Listed, so always check with your local planning authority.


Under permitted development rights there may be opportunities to build multiple outbuildings or sheds under under permitted development rights providing that;

  • The total area covered by such buildings/enclosures does not exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage. This 50% should take into account any extensions, but not the area covered by the main house
  • Outbuildings cannot sit forward of the principal elevation, and
  • There are height restrictions depending on the type of roof (4m for dual pitch roofs, 3m for other roofs, and 2.5m when the building is within 2m of the boundary).
  • Outbuildings may only be single storey, with the maximum eaves height remaining at 2.5m.

The definition of an outbuilding is that the use should be ‘incidental’ to that of the main dwelling (for example a garage or store). Outbuildings in these circumstances may not be used for residential accommodation.

In all circumstances we strongly recommend taking case-by-case professional advice before committing to new works.

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