Do I Need Planning Permission for a Shed



Adding a shed to your property can be a practical and versatile solution for storage, workspace, or even as a charming garden feature. However, before you rush to install a shed, it’s essential to consider whether you need planning permission. The rules regarding sheds and planning permission vary depending on your location, the size of the shed, and its intended use. In this article, we’ll explore the factors that determine whether you need planning permission for a shed and provide some guidelines to help you navigate the process.

Understanding Planning Permission

Planning permission, also known as planning approval or planning consent, is a formal authorization from your local planning authority that allows you to carry out specific construction or development projects on your property. The purpose of planning permission is to ensure that new structures and developments are in line with local zoning regulations, safety standards, and the overall character of the area.

Factors That Influence Planning Permission for a Shed

Whether or not you need planning permission for a shed depends on several factors, including:

Location: Planning regulations can vary significantly from one location to another. What is permitted in a rural area may not be allowed in an urban or suburban setting.

Size: The size of the shed plays a crucial role in determining whether planning permission is required. Many countries have specific size limits for outbuildings like sheds, typically measured in square meters or square feet.

Height: The height of the shed, including any potential additions like a pitched roof, can also affect whether planning permission is needed. Some areas have maximum height restrictions for outbuildings.

Distance from Boundaries: Regulations often dictate how close a shed can be placed to the property boundaries, neighboring buildings, or other structures. This distance can vary, but it’s typically several meters or feet.

Use: The intended use of the shed matters. If you plan to use it for storage or as a workspace, it may have different requirements compared to using it as an additional dwelling or living space.

Conservation Areas: If your property is located in a conservation area, it may be subject to stricter planning regulations, and obtaining permission for any new construction, including sheds, can be more challenging.

Listed Buildings: If your property is a listed building or located near one, the regulations regarding outbuildings can be more stringent to preserve the historical character of the area.

Guidelines for Determining Planning Permission

To determine whether you need planning permission for a shed, follow these guidelines:

Check Local Regulations: Start by contacting your local planning authority or visiting their website to review the specific planning regulations for your area. Look for any guidelines related to outbuildings or garden structures.

Size and Height Limits: Find out the maximum size and height limits for outbuildings in your locality. Measure your proposed shed against these limits.

Distance from Boundaries: Determine the required distance your shed must be from property boundaries, neighboring structures, and your own home. Ensure your shed complies with these rules.

Intended Use: Consider how you plan to use the shed. If it’s solely for storage or as a workspace, it may have fewer restrictions than if you intend to use it as a living space.

Conservation and Listed Areas: If your property is in a conservation area or near a listed building, consult with the local planning authority about additional requirements and restrictions.

Consult with an Expert: If you’re unsure about the regulations or how they apply to your specific situation, consider consulting with a professional, such as a local architect or a planning consultant.

Pre-Application Inquiry: In some cases, you can submit a pre-application inquiry to the planning authority to get their guidance on whether planning permission is needed for your shed.

Common Shed Planning Permission Scenarios

To provide a clearer understanding, here are some common scenarios related to sheds and planning permission:

Small Garden Sheds: In many areas, small garden sheds that fall within size and height limits and are not located close to boundaries may not require planning permission.

Large or Tall Sheds: Larger or taller sheds may require planning permission, especially if they exceed the size or height limits set by local regulations.

Sheds as Living Spaces: If you plan to use the shed as an additional dwelling, office, or living space, it is more likely to require planning permission and building regulation approval.

Conservation Areas or Listed Buildings: Properties in conservation areas or near listed buildings often have stricter regulations, making it more challenging to obtain planning permission for a shed.


The need for planning permission for a shed depends on various factors, including your location, the size of the shed, its use, and proximity to boundaries or other structures. To ensure you comply with local regulations and avoid potential legal issues, it’s crucial to research and consult with your local planning authority if you have any doubts. By following the guidelines and being aware of your local regulations, you can make an informed decision about your shed project and enjoy the additional space and functionality it brings to your property.