The question of planning permission and garden studios is a topic that comes up so often with our clients in the Kent & Sussex area. We are experienced in both permitted development and planning applications and the rules that surround garden studios. Below we have outlined the main rules that affect nearly all garden studio builds.
How big can my garden studio be?
In most scenarios your garden studio, garden office or garden gym will fall within permitted development rules. The main basis for these are that the overall height must be 2.5m. We can build studios to 3m tall falling to a 2.5m eaves if a 2m gap is maintained from the studios edge to the boundary or fence line. Additionally a pitched roof can be up to 4m tall falling each side to 2.5m if the 2m gap is left between the studio and boundary.
Size wise a studio can be up to 30 square meters internally without the need for a planning application. If your studio is over 15 square meters and close to a boundary then some additional fire precautions need to be in place, but these are all handled within the design and build of any Ark garden studio. There is often confusion that a 1m gap must be kept but this is not true if the studio is built correctly.
What happens if there is a dispute ?
Unfortunately in life disputes can always arise. Sometimes a neighbour may object to a studio you have had made. We do see this and in all cases any of our builds are always passed off as permitted development in those rare occasions where an enforcement officer is sent out to visit. One of the Directors of Ark Design Build will always meet the Enforcement Officer on site and alleviate the issue, always in a short time frame.
We are very well versed with the rules and all of the small details that affect permitted development and have worked along side many local authorities in areas like Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Crowborough and Maidstone.
What if I my garden is sloped or uneven?
A big misconception is that a sloped garden must be dug down to keep the 2.5m height in check. The reality is that the studio simply needs to be at (or reasonably close to) ground level at the ‘virgin earth’ part of the garden or placement. This means one part of the studio can be more than 2.5m high in an uneven plot as any other outcome would penalise any home owner with a garden on any kind of slope.
We have made many studios in Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge like this and in the very rare occasion they are checked they are always signed off.
Do conservation areas, listed buildings and areas of outstanding natural beauty allow garden studios without planning applications?
Conservation areas carry the least rules as only restrict a garden studio being to the side of a property, or (and this applies to any property) in any way in front of the original house.
If your property is on a National Park, World Heritage Sites, the Broads, or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty the size of your studio is limited to 10sqm IF you are more than 20m away from the main property. If you are within that 20m the regular rules still apply. We have handled many planning applications for clients that do fall into this category and have had a 100% success rate.
Another misconception is around listed buildings. These only require an application if you are looking to build something that is attached to an existing building. A standard outbuilding will therefore be allowed.
So the likelihood is you can almost certainly have a studio built to permitted development in your garden.
Some other rules do apply. For example you cannot use over 50% of your garden space, be closer to the road then the main house or cannot have an antenna or any living accommodation. Flats and maisonettes will always also require an application.
We can create studios with living accommodation but these will require planning permissions and different construction options.
So get in touch with us today about your project. We build studios as small as reading rooms all the way up to multi bedroom fully habitable annexes. Our expert planning team can walk you through your options and guide you to the perfect build.
We look forward to hearing from you