Are you considering a garden studio for next year?
With more people now working from home, and with the recent extensions to permitted development rights, we are increasingly being asked about garden studios.
These can, of course, take many different forms, from standard off-the-shelf models to unique architect-designed structures.
They can be as simple as a basic room out in the garden or can be designed to incorporate high spec features such as underfloor heating, broadband and intelligent lighting.
Garden studios can make perfect workspaces: they can be separate and distinct from the main home, while also offering the convenience of being just a few steps away.
And they can have other uses too, from gyms, music rooms and teenage dens to art studios, hobby rooms and relaxation areas.
It is true that many of these garden rooms or studios do not require planning permission, but caution should still be exercised.
In order for these structures to fall within permitted development guidelines, they must be single storey only and be situated behind the main front wall of the house itself.
If the building is within two metres of a boundary wall; close to a protected tree (or trees); has an overall maximum height of 2.5m or contributes to more than half of the land associated with the house being built on (this includes previous extensions), full planning consent may be required.
Likewise, the building must not be used as living accommodation – and balconies or verandas are not permitted without full planning permission.
If you intend to use your new garden studio for work purposes, there will be other considerations too.
These might include the nature of your business activity; the number of visitors to the office and any impact on your neighbours.
If there is any doubt at all regarding permitted development rights, it could well be worth applying for a lawful development certificate.
This is not the same as planning consent but will prove the building work is lawful and will give you peace of mind before embarking upon your project.