While working from home is the perfect option for some, others need a little more help with managing a healthy work-life balance. Following the events of COVID-19, garden offices grew in popularity with people across the world in need of space away from distractions without actually leaving their homes.

But, is a garden office as easy to create as people say? In this article, we take a look at the rules and regulations in place when it comes to building a garden office.

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What is a Garden Office?

Simply put, a garden office is an office in your garden. They’re typically a stand-alone structure built on your property to function as an office space rather than taking up space inside of your house.

The garden office is a modern and unique way to expand your working from home space without having to actually extend your home. Built with premium materials and plenty of insulation, a quality garden office can be used year-round without sacrificing comfort!

You can learn more about the particulars of how to build your own garden office in our blog below.

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Do You Need Planning Permission for a Garden Office?

Now to get into the nitty-gritty.

In most cases, you will not need planning permission to build a garden office. This is because a garden office (although a relatively new idea) is considered an ‘incidental building’ and falls under the specifications of your Permitted Development Rights, much like a garden shed.

If your garden office is being used primarily for leisure and occasionally working from home, then it will probably be classed as incidental. However, if you’re planning to work from home five days a week or intend for the structure to be plumbed for utilities such as a washing machine, it may not be seen as incidental. Here, you will need to seek planning permission.

If you’re unsure whether your garden office is classed as Permitted Development, contact your local authority.

Other cases where you may require planning permission for building your garden office include, but are not limited to:

  • If you are in a designated area (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a Conservation Area, etc.)
  • If you live in a listed building.

A man looking out of the window from his office Do You Need Planning Permission for a Garden Office?

Permitted Development Conditions for Your Garden Office

While it’s unlikely you’ll need planning permission for your garden office, there are still conditions that need to be followed. In order for your garden office to be built without planning permission, you must ensure:

  • The building is a single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5m and a maximum overall height of 4m for a dual pitched height roof or 3m for any other roof type.
  • The building is 2m from the boundary.
  • There are no verandas or balconies exceeding 0.3m.
  • No more than half of the surrounding area of the original house is covered by the new build.

So long as your garden office is classed as an incidental building and you adhere to all the conditions of Permitted Development, then there’s no reason you can’t get underway with this lovely addition to your home.

If you’re looking to start a new building project or you need structural engineer services in Cornwall and the South West, get in touch and speak to an experienced member of our team today.

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