Garden Rooms and the requirements for Permitted development October 2008 - a comparison with the old PD
Detached Garden rooms have always been allowed under Class E of the GPDO for
permitted development - i.e. - Garden enclosures that did not require formal Planning Consent.
However, the requirements prior to the October 2008 revision to the PD rules contrived to control garden rooms
to a much greater extent.
Firstly, all home owner gardens that were within Article 1(5) land (AONB and a Conservation Area or National
Park) were denied such rights for a detached garden room under permitted development rights. No one knows why - it
was just a level of control that the legislators at the time thought that your could not have as a natural right.
That restriction has now been removed.
Secondly, for sites outside of the Article 15) classification, detached garden rooms still had to be located 5M
away from the existing dwelling house. Why the need to located a detached garden room 5M away is yet another
example of legislators begrudgingly allowing the homeowner a degree of building rights but with terms and
These distance controls for garden rooms have now been removed since October 2008 and it could be argued that
there has been a complete ‘U’ turn in the thinking. No longer must the garden room be located a good distance away,
but for controlled sites in Article 1(5) land, there is a requirement to locate it fairly close to the original
dwelling - within 20M in fact.
Another change to the PD rules for garden rooms was the requirement to site the building away from the highway.
The previous PD rules restricted the siting of the garden buildings towards a highway so if you had a site that had
a road or footpath running along its rear boundary your were prevented from installing it within the rear garden
unless the garden room’ distance was over 20M away from the highway. Again, this requirement has now been dispensed
The only controlling distance for the siting of a garden room outside of extra controls of Article 1(5) land is
that it cannot be located between the principal elevation of the main dwelling building and the highway. Some
properties on larger plots do not have a principal elevation that affronts a highway which means that the garden
room could be located within the traditional front garden.
For a diagram of the restrictions affecting detached garden
rooms click here.