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Planning Permission & Building Regulations Approval 

In many cases, our cartlodges and timber framed structures will be exempt from requiring Building Regulations approval as they often meet certain exemption criteria.


But where approval may be required, our team of experts at Stour Valley Oak can submit your application for you. We pride ourselves on taking as much administration away from you as possible.


Our knowledgeable team are well versed in working with various local planning departments and will navigate the process for you, ensuring your project runs smoothly from start to finish. 

Exemption Criteria 

Your cartlodge will be exempt from Building Regulations approval if: 

  • the internal floor area of the building is less than 30m². 

  • the building contains no sleeping accommodation. 

  • the building is at least one meter from any legal boundary. (If it is closer than one meter, the works can still proceed, as long as some additional fire-protection measures are undertaken, but in turn, this will require Buildings Regulation approval). 

Do I Need Planning Permission? 

Outbuildings such as garden rooms and enclosed lodges are considered to be permitted development (therefore not requiring an application for planning permission) provided all of the following conditions are met: 

1. On designated land, outbuildings to the side of the house are not permitted development. Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites. 

2. Outbuildings are not permitted development within the grounds of a listed building. 

3. In national parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites, the total area to be covered by any outbuildings more than 20 metres from any wall of the house must not exceed 10 square metres to be permitted development. 

4. Outbuildings are not permitted development forward of the principal elevation of the original house. 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). 

5. Outbuildings and other additions must not exceed 50% of the total area of land around the original house. Sheds and all other outbuildings and extensions to the original house must be included when calculating this 50% limit. 

6. To be permitted development, any new building must not itself be separate, self-contained, living accommodation and must not have a microwave antenna. 

7. Outbuildings must be single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of 4 metres with a dual pitched roof, or 3 metres in any other case. 

8. If the outbuilding is within 2 metres of the property boundary, the whole building should not exceed 2.5 metres in height. 

9. Balconies and verandas are not permitted development. Raised platforms such as decking are permitted development provided they are no higher than 300mm. 

10. Containers, such as those used for domestic heating purposes, must not exceed 3,500 litres capacity to be permitted development. The other permitted development conditions which apply to outbuildings listed above also apply to containers. 

Please note: The permitted development allowances described above apply to houses and not to:  

  • Flats and maisonettes 

  • Converted houses or houses created through the permitted development rights to change use 

  • Other buildings 

  • Areas where there may be a planning condition, Article 4 Direction or other restriction that limits permitted development rights 

If you’d like further guidance, give our team and call (link), and we’ll be happy to advise you. Alternatively you can find more information on the website.

We’re Here To Help 

If your structure doesn’t meet the criteria for permitted development, then Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval will be required, without which you will not have the certificates of compliance you may need when you want to sell your home.


Buildings Regulations approval can be undertaken by either the Local Authority or by a Private Approved Inspector. A Building Notice is the typical route for achieving compliance on smaller projects, such as a cartlodge. 

At Stour Valley Oak, we can submit the required application form to the chosen Building Control Body, to obtain a fee quotation for this service. For a two-bay, single-storey cartlodge, this fee is typically around £500. 

If the Local Authority are the selected Building Control Body, they require a minimum of 48 hours notice, prior to the commencement of any site works, whereas if a Private Approved Inspector is the selected Building Control Body, they are required to give the Local Authority seven days notice prior to the commencement of any site works. 

Planning Permission Service 

Modern garden rooms do not usually require a planning application as they fall within the Permitted Development rules detailed above. The most important factors are: 


1.  That the garden room is no higher than 2.5 meters from the bottom of the building to the top of the roof (if within 2 meters of boundary) 

2. That you do not take up more than 50% of your garden area with this or any other buildings 

3. It is not to be used for living or sleeping accommodation 


However, if Planning Permission is required, we  offer a planning permission/listed building consent service. The basic fee for this service is £750 (excluding VAT) and includes: 

  • Site visit 

  • Topographical survey and production of Block Plan 

  • Site specific cartlodge Plans and Elevations. 

  • Site Location Plan 

  • Design & Access Statement 

  • Completion of online Householder Planning Application, including associated Local Authority Fees 


(The above fee excludes any Ecological Survey, Tree Report, Heritage Statement, Flood Risk Assessment or other supplementary information that may also be requested by the Local Authority in support of the application.) Typically, the whole planning process takes between 10 and 12 weeks. 

Please note that all information supplied on this page is a guide and not a definitive source of legal information. Our planning experts will assess each project individually on request. 

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