Garden play equipment, tree houses, trampolines and permitted development.
Garden structures for various forms of play equipment has mushroomed over the last
decade with more choice and variety for young families. Most seem to involve the formation of a small hut on stilts
many are in excess of 4M high.
If you look at the Permitted Development criteria, no play equipment is even mentioned - this was a real
short-site and missed opportunity given that the revised PD wording only can out in late 2008.
If you were to try and categorise what part of the PD classifications children’s play equipment may come under,
it is clear that Class E is the nearest that would encompass such items.
Looking at the wording black and white, most children’s play equipment an especially tree houses would fall foul
of the dimensions for eaves and ridge heights. However, fortunately most Planning Departments are reluctant to
pursue such structures with regard to enforcement action as most fail on the Planners test of expediency.
Most are only brought to the Planners attention by neighbours so you may want to think about where you place the
play house and right on the boundary overlooking your neighbours patio may not be the most neighbourly of moves if
you want an easy life.
One way to ensure that your play equipment or children’s tree house is exempt from planning permission is to
ensure that it is movable and classed as a temporary structure. Therefore concreting all the posts and framework
into the ground may not be the wisest of moves.
Some manufactures do removable anchoring kits for their children’s play equipment and tree houses so provided
you can demonstrate that you are able to relocate the structure to another part of the garden with ease by no more
than two men within 1 hour then I would say that the test of a temporary structure has been well and truly
For a diagram of the restrictions affecting detached garden
rooms click here.