Do I Need Planning Permission To Make Changes To My Garden?

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Do I Need Planning Permission To Make Changes To My Garden?

With summer just around the corner, many people are planning to make changes to their gardens. Some changes might be extensive, from redecorating their front garden to sprucing up their back garden space entirely with decking, a garden office, fences, or a total garden landscaping overhaul.

While you generally won’t need permission to plant your favourite flowers, bigger projects might require you to apply for planning permission.

When it comes to making drastic changes to your garden, it's important to follow planning rules and regulations. We'll be looking at different garden projects and whether or not you might need to think about getting permission before going ahead. For more information, continue reading.


What is Permitted Development?

The law allows you to carry out certain types of home and garden work under Permitted Development, which means that you won't be required to obtain planning permission or rely on building regulations approval.

Permitted Development has very strict requirements for each type of development, including vital factors such as height, size, neighbouring properties and whether you're near a main road.


Planning Permission to Make Changes to Your Garden

Knowing what changes you want to make to your garden that do and don't require planning permission can be confusing, especially if this is your first time making such changes.

Luckily, we're here to help. From putting up a new wall or fence structure to embarking on a full landscaping project, there's a wide range of options to consider when it comes to enhancing your existing garden space. Let's take a look at what changes require planning permission:


Putting Up a Wall or Fence

Under Permitted Development, you can build, improve, maintain or alter a fence, wall or other enclosure in either back or front gardens. However, the work must remain within the following limitations:

  • 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.


Building a Shed, Summerhouse or Garden Office

If you want to add a shed for storage, a garden office or a summer house, you might be able to do so under Permitted Development.

However, the total area of outbuildings must not exceed 50% of your total area of ‘curtilage', like your garden space. The 50% also includes any extension your home might have but doesn't include areas covered by the main building.


Installing Decking

You'll be glad to know that you don't need decking planning permission, so long as you meet certain criteria. The main concern for many is that the decking platforms cannot be more than 30cm from the ground. If you ensure that all set criteria are met, you should have no issues having to inform the local planning department.


Landscaping Your Garden

Generally, garden design, such as re-turfing your lawn area or creating flower beds, will not require planning permission. However, you should be mindful when pruning trees. Certain types of trees are protected under Tree Preservation Orders, so you might want to check with your local authority or local council before cutting down or significantly pruning a certain tree.


Installing Paving

Are you asking yourself, do I need planning permission for paving my back garden? Typically, the answer is no, but this depends on numerous factors. If you're using permeable block paving, you'll likely not need permission.

Permeable surfaces often include gravel or permeable concrete. Using an impermeable surface to pave your garden might result in you needing planning permission. This is because impermeable surfaces don't naturally absorb rain.

To drain naturally, you might need to use soak trays or a rain garden; both help water soak into the ground much better. Having some type of drainage system in your paved garden is key.

You might need planning permission to pave your garden if the area is over five metres squared, regardless of whether or not you use permeable or impermeable materials or not.

Although slightly different, if you also decide to install a new or replacement driveway, you'll need to find out if you need planning permission.

You might need planning permission if your property is a new build, you are changing the use of your garden to a driveway, you're surfacing an area over five metres, removing the grass strip from the front of your property, or the access point passes over land that is registered as common land, to name a few.


Planning Ahead

If you've yet to own a property, you can still enjoy planning for your future home projects. Perhaps you're unhappy with your current garden space and want to move properties due to this; if so, we can help.

Our professional and hard-working conveyancing team have helped clients across the country by providing expert services. When working with Bell Lamb & Joynson, you can expect clear communication at all times and the highest standard of work.

We're here to make your property dreams come true. To find out more about our services, please contact a member of the team today. We look forward to hearing from you shortly.

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