Last edited 13 Mar 2018

Outbuildings definition

Outbuildings are separate structures used for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse (that is they are not attached to the dwellinghouse), and may include structures such as:

  • Sheds.
  • Greenhouses.
  • Garages.
  • Swimming pools.
  • Sauna cabins.
  • Kennels.
  • Tennis courts.
  • Containers used for domestic heating oil or petroleum gas.
  • The keeping of poultry, bees, pets, birds or other livestock for the domestic needs or personal enjoyment of the occupants of the dwellinghouse.

Outbuildings may be considered permitted developments, not requiring planning permission if:

  • They are not forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
  • They are single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 m and maximum overall height of 4 m with a dual pitched roof or 3 m for any other roof.
  • They have a maximum height of 2.5 m in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
  • They do not have verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • No more than half the area of land around the original dwellinghouse would be covered.

On designated land (National Parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites), outbuildings will generally require planning permission. And where they are within the curtilage of listed buildings, outbuildings will require planning permission.

Building Regulations approval will not normally be required if the floor area of an outbuilding is less than 15 sq. m and it does not contain any sleeping accommodation.

If the floor area of an outbuilding is between 15 sq. m and 30 sq. m, Building Regulations approval will not normally be required if it does not contain any sleeping accommodation and it is either at least 1 m from any boundary or it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.

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