Garden Rooms Planning Permission - Scotland

Permitted Development Scotland

Permitted Development rights were introduced to simplify the planning process in relation to minor alterations/additions to a property.

The guidelines differ in Scotland, England and Wales, therefore it is vitally important that you adhere strictly to the relevant rules where you are. Failure to do so could result in costly changes down the line.

Provided that you don’t intend to use the garden room as living accommodation or to run a business which will see a lot of clients visiting (salon,physiotherapy etc), it is likely that you could build it without requiring a full planning application.

We've attempted to simplify some of the key permitted development points which apply to garden rooms below.

Where can I build?

Provided that your house is not a listed building or within a conservation area, a garden room can in theory be placed anywhere except for any part of the garden which is forward of any wall of the main house which forms an elevation fronting a road.

 (Fig 1.) shows a typical situation where the front elevation of the house faces the road. In this case the area in red cannot be built on without applying for full planning permission. This leaves the area behind the rear elevation and both side elevations valid for development.


In a situation where two elevations of the house are facing the road (fig.2), only the area to the rear elevation and one side elevation can be built upon. 



Fig. 2

Fig. 2

What size can I build?

The footprint of the proposed garden room added to the footprint of any existing extensions, sheds and outbuildings must not take up more than 50% of the area of garden it is within. For example, if the garden room is to be built within the rear garden in fig.1 & fig.2, 50% of the green area can be covered by the footprints of all additional developments.

In the case of a pitched roof building, the ridge is a maximum height of 4m and the eaves 3m. For flat or mono-pitched roofs, the maximum eaves height is 3m. Any part of the building which sits within 1m of the boundary must be below 2.5m.

Certificate of Lawful Development

When you don't require planning permission to build a garden room or outhouse etc, it can be a good idea to obtain a certificate of lawful development. Not only will this bring peace of mind, it can also be useful in the future if you decide to sell your property.

Have a look at the flowchart below for an initial indication as to whether planning permission is required for your next project.

Always remember that it is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure planning regulations are met, however your garden room supplier should be able to provide knowledge and guidance on the subject. Many will also carry out any necessary applications on your behalf.

For a more in depth guide relating to permitted development rights within Scotland, visit our Useful Links page.