Do garages need planning consent?

Not sure if you need planning consent for a wooden garage or timber outbuilding? We explore the potential answers.
Do garages need planning consent?

Do I need planning permission to build a garage, carport, or carriage house?

Garages, carports, and carriage houses are considered outbuildings. They are categorised as class E buildings, which include any structure or enclosure or pool, built for the purpose of the enjoyment of the dwelling house. Luckily, these can be constructed without planning permission, in some cases.

How do I build an outbuilding without planning permission?

There are a number of conditions, which you need to meet, in order to build a garage, carport, or carriage house without planning permission, as per the “permitted development rights”.

We have listed the conditions pertaining to these types of buildings below. This information is drawn from national guidance but as a word of caution local planning and listed building stipulations can and do differ, for this reason you should always seek local clarification.

  • Your outbuilding should not be on “designated land”. This includes Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, national parks and the Broads, conservation areas, and World Heritage Sites.
  • Your structure should not be on the grounds of a listed building. These are properties considered of special architectural or historical interest.
  • The outbuilding cannot be higher than the original house, as it stood on 1st July 1948.
  • The building should not exceed 50% of the total area of land around the original house. If there are any other outbuildings on the property, these account for the 50% limit.
  • The garage, carport, or carriage house must not be a separate, self-contained living accommodation and should not have a microwave antenna.
  • The outbuilding must be single storey with a maximum height of 4 meters, including a double-pitched roof, or 3 meters for any other roof.
  • If the outbuilding is within 2 meters of the property boundary, the whole building must be no higher than 2.5 meters.
  • The building should not exceed the principal elevation of the original house, as it stood on 1st July 1948.
  • In Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, national parks and the Broads, conservation areas, and World Heritage Sites, the outbuilding needs to be built more than 20 meters from any wall of the house and must not exceed 10 square meters in size.

Our garages, carriage houses, and carports can often be built in conformity with these rules, so there is a chance you won’t have to apply for planning permission, if you buy one. The best option is to confirm the planning rules for your particular location and then we can work with you to design a building to meet you criteria.

If your property does not meet some of the conditions (for example, it stands on a national park), or is larger than local restrictions allow, you will need to apply for planning permission.

Before scheduling any construction work or placing an order with us, make sure to consult the Government’s Planning Portal. The section concerning outbuildings will shed light on any doubts you may have.

You may also want to read the technical guidance on Permitted development rights for householders, published by the Government.

It’s also wise to contact your local planning authority to check that you can definitely go ahead with the works, especially if you live outside England.

Failing to apply for planning permission at the correct time can lead to receiving an enforcement notice for the reversal of the works. Ignoring the notice is a criminal offence, but you can appeal against it. A quick confirmatory phone call or meeting with the relevant authorities is always worth the effort.

I own a listed building - What do I need to do?

If you happen to live in a listed building, you will need to obtain a listed building consent from your local planning authority. This is either the local district authority in regions with county and district councils, or the unitary authority, or the relevant London Borough. You can apply online, via the Planning Portal.

The criteria that are used to make such decisions are outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework in England. The importance of the listed building and the impact of your proposal will determine the decision, as well as how in favour of sustainable development the plan is.

I need planning permission - What’s next?

If you don’t meet all the requirements for “permitted development rights”, you will need to apply for planning permission. In order to kick off the process, find your Local Planning Authority. On their website, find out how they process planning permissions.

You can usually apply online, or via post. There will be a long list of documents you need to read or fill out. Guidance is provided to complete the whole process.

The relevant Local Planning Authority will make a decision based on:

  • The number of buildings you want to build;
  • The size, layout, location, and appearance of the buildings;
  • Any landscaping requirements;
  • The purpose of the building;
  • The infrastructure at disposal, such as roads and water supply;
  • How the development would affect the surrounding area.

Generally, applications are processed within 8 weeks. If your application is refused, you can launch an appeal within 3 months. If the officer’s statement recommends the approval, but the planning committee refused it, you have a good chance of succeeding at an appeal.

This guide is not official planning advice, you should speak with your local authority to confirm the exact rules in your location as they can an do vary.

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