Shed attached to house

by Colin
(Essex, UK)

I am considering building a garden office on the land to the side of my house it is the old driveway before it was fenced off and a driveway put out the front of the house. The area is approx 6M long x 4M deep at the widest point and 2.5M deep at the narrowest (it is a wedge shaped plot of land)

I want to know if there are any regulations that say I cannot build on the land without planning permission and importantly can I make the house one wall of the shed?

The other side of the plot is my neighbours boundary and he has a similar plot on his side of the boundary.

The front of my plot is fenced off from the driveway and not visible from the road. The shed (office) will not be nearer the road than the existing house and will be under 2.5M tall

I am enquiring about the 5M rule (must be 5M away from the house)that I have seen on some sites but is not mentioned on the goverments interactive website for planning.

Comments for Shed attached to house

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Dec 16, 2011
attaching a shed
by: Anonymous

Wanted to know can sheds be attached to home with added foundation

Aug 12, 2011
by: Anonymous

I've just erected a summerhouse 6m x 4.2m x 2.5m high and the council are having a field day saying it as to be fire proofed,its 24 feet away from the house but only 300mm from the border, can anyone advise what I should do next as far as I was aware I did everything on the council web site.

Mar 21, 2010
permitted development
by: peter wadey

Permitted development -outbuildings.

There is now no 5 metre rule. If an 'exempt' outbuilding is for example attached or linked by a porch to the main dwelling and provided it is totally separate there does not appear to be any regulation which does not permit this.

This can beneficial in providing additional day room and similar accommodation.

Any comment from a planning officer to rebut this?

Dec 04, 2009
Lean to sheds and planning
by: John - Admin

The piece of legislation that you need to look at is the:
Statutory Instrument 2008 No. 2362.
The Town and Country Planning(General permitted Development)(Amendment)(No. 2)(England) Order 2008

This came in to force on 1st October 2008 and covers permitted development such as extensions and sheds. Greenboy is right in that there is no current mention of a 5m distance from the dwelling. However I have to be careful when giving advice like this as we have no idea of your exact situation. The document listed above covers several types of permitted development including house extensions and sheds.

If the proposed office is attached to the house it could be considered an extension and if you already have an extension up to the limits laid down in the above document it would not be permitted and could therefore limit any future plans that you have to extend.

If there is a question like this I think that it is always prudent to write in to the council to make sure that you are looking at things correctly.

In my day job as a structural engineer we often get calls from potential clients that had a cheap loft conversion several years ago without applying for building regs. They call because they are about to sell the house and a surveyor has spotted that they do not have the required building regs certificates. Because the job has been done on the cheap 95% of the time the work does not pass and they are faced with a stressful situation just at the time they are about to sell the house.

I don't go in to much detail on planning regulations as this site is read by visitors from all over the world and the rules vary so much from place to place. (for example the above legislation only applies to England, not Scotland Wales or Northern Ireland). However, wherever you are the same general rules apply, speak to the local council (however distasteful you may find it!). It is far better to find out now the true situation than be faced with an order to dismantle your shed when you have just finished it or at some future unspecified point that will always be very inconvenient.

Hope this helps.



Dec 04, 2009
Just call
by: GreenBoy

Ok - personally i hate calling the council - my local one doesnt like giving info over the phone and want you to write - and then they dont reply! but thats a different story

Any way i think the 5m rule was dropped in the last revision because most modern houses dont have gardens large anough for you to comply with this any more.

here are the planning regs - hope they help

Planning Permission

Under new regulations that came into effect on 1 October 2008 outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
No more than half the area of land around the "original house"* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from house to be limited to 10 square metres.
On designated land* buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.
Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.

*The term "original house" means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

*Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.

Please note: the permitted development allowances described here apply to houses not flats, maisonettes or other buildings. View guidance on flats and maisonettes here.

Common projects: Outbuildings
Building Regulations

If you want to put up small detached buildings such as a garden shed or summerhouse in your garden, building regulations will not normally apply if the floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres.

If the floor area of the building is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations approval providing that the building is either at least one metre from any boundary or it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.

In both cases, building regulations do not apply ONLY if the building does not contain any sleeping accommodation.

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