Your ques­tions an­swered…

Style at Home (UK) - - Buy It Teapots -

QWill I need plan­ning per­mis­sion? This will all de­pend on what you want to use the building for. Con­struct­ing a room in your out­door space won’t re­quire plan­ning per­mis­sion as long as its use is ‘in­ci­den­tal to the en­joy­ment of the dwelling house’. For ex­am­ple, if it’s an added ex­tra and not used as a main res­i­dence. A new house needs plan­ning per­mis­sion in the usual way – visit plan­ning­por­tal.gov.uk.

QBut if I’m building in my gar­den, can’t I just do what I want? Plan­ners are all about think­ing ahead (the clue is in their job ti­tle). While it might seem un­fair to you, few peo­ple would want to see their neigh­bour­hoods di­vided and sub-di­vided into smaller and even smaller sep­a­rate plots, pos­si­bly with un­sym­pa­thet­i­cally de­signed build­ings.

Qso what am I al­lowed to build with­out plan­ning per­mis­sion? james Will­mott, founder of Har­ri­son james, who de­signs and builds mod­ern gar­den rooms, says: ‘If the building takes up less than 50 per cent of the out­door space and is un­der 2.5m in height, you’ll be al­lowed to build it against the prop­erty bound­ary. Al­ter­na­tively, if you’re able to build 2m away from the bound­ary, it can be up to 4m high with a pitched roof.’ This counts as ‘per­mit­ted devel­op­ment’ in much the same way as adding a loft ex­ten­sion.

QDo I need to ask my neigh­bours? It’s def­i­nitely good prac­tice to let them know and see if they have any ob­jec­tions, but you’re not obliged to if it’s a gar­den room that falls within per­mit­ted devel­op­ment. Bear in mind that your new building may need to com­ply with building reg­u­la­tions, de­pend­ing on fac­tors such as its size, how close it is to your home and how it will be used. Talk to your de­signer or builder for ad­vice be­fore you be­gin.

Qcan we have a bed­room in it? A gar­den room within per­mit­ted devel­op­ment can be used as an ex­tra liv­ing space, a home office or study, a gym or a teenage Tv hang­out. How­ever, it should not be in­tended for use as per­ma­nent sleep­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Qare there any other re­stric­tions that I should be aware of? If your home is listed, a new-build or is in an area of out­stand­ing nat­u­ral beauty, check with your lo­cal plan­ning of­fi­cer. Plan­ning per­mis­sion for prop­er­ties such as these can vary from area to area and also change as time goes on, so what a neigh­bour might have done in the past is not al­ways a guide to what you can do. start your re­search at plan­ning­por­tal.gov.uk to find your lo­cal plan­ning au­thor­ity. And bear in mind, rules may vary be­tween eng­land, scot­land, Wales and North­ern Ire­land.

QDo I need an ar­chi­tect? For a building that will be in­hab­ited, al­most cer­tainly you do. For a gar­den room, you may not nec­es­sar­ily re­quire one, as many com­pa­nies spe­cialise in this. seek out an ar­chi­tect with a track record of sim­i­lar projects in your area. Per­sonal rec­om­men­da­tions are al­ways good, but make sure you check the coun­cil’s plan­ning records for ones with suc­cess­ful out­comes and have a look at their re­cent projects and feed­back.

QHow long will the av­er­age build take? The process will in­volve a site sur­vey, prepa­ra­tion of the area, and the build it­self. The stan­dard time to con­struct a gar­den room is be­tween 8-10 work­ing days.

QWill it add value to my house? james Will­mott says: ‘A de­sign that costs around £20,000 to build will add an av­er­age of about £30,000 to the value of a prop­erty.’ But do take into con­sid­er­a­tion that this could be more – or in­deed less – de­pend­ing on your lo­ca­tion, de­sign and prop­erty.

Plant pretty bor­ders so you’ll have a nice view from the inside

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