Do I need planning permission for my garden decking, and how do I get it ?
If you’ve decided to add a decked area to your home, it’s important to check whether there are planning restrictions in your area and if you require planning permission. If you go ahead without gaining permission – and you need it – you may find your new deck being dismantled by your local planning authority. It may also cause issues when it comes to selling your property in the future.
This blog explores what planning permission you may need for your new deck and how to go about gaining it.
What are planning permissions and building regulations?
Firstly, it’s important to understand the difference between planning permissions and building regulations, and which one applies to your project.
Planning permission is covered by your local planning authority and primarily relates to external works. It considers how your project will impact neighbouring properties and the general local environment.
Building regulations are defined by the English and Welsh Governments, and are a set of standards for the design and the construction, conversion or extension of buildings. They help ensure the buildings are safe and high performing in terms of fuel and power.
Do you need planning permission for decking?
We would always recommend gaining professional advice before embarking on any home or garden extension or renovation. However, many minor improvement works to our homes, such as laying composite decking, are covered by ‘permitted development’, meaning they do not require planning permission.
In general, you don’t need planning permission if the following principles are met:
- The deck does not extend past your property’s front wall
- The deck structure is no more than 30cm above the ground
- The deck, together with any other outbuildings or extensions, does not cover more than 50% of your garden
However, there are certain situations where planning permission must be gained before installing your decking. These include:
- If the decking affects the value or privacy of a neighbouring property
- If the decked area is attached to a listed building or is in a conversation area or national park
- If the decking is within 20m of a highway
It’s important to note that building regulations apply to every structure that requires planning permission. For example, if you decked area is over 30cm in height it will be subject to building regulations which may state that balustrading is needed.
How big can decking be without the need for planning permission?
As mentioned above, your decking – together with any other extensions, outbuildings, or existing platforms – must be not exceed 50% of your garden. If it extends beyond this, you must apply for planning permission. Consequently, the size of your deck will be dictated by the size of your garden.
How to apply for planning permission
Before you start your new decking project we recommend talking to your neighbours and making them aware of your plans. If you require planning permission, they will be consulted in time as a matter of process. But even without planning permission, they can still raise concerns to the council if they believe it’s of detriment to their property or garden.
If you do require planning permission, the appropriate forms can be found online or at your local planning authority office. More information can be found on the Government website.
When completing your planning permission request, the following information is often required:
- A location and site plan, and details of the decking with regards to its surrounding environment
- A full house address
- Full details of the project, including height, width, and length
- Details of how the new decked area will impact the local environment. This is particularly important if you live in a conservation area or a listed home.
So, in summary, if your decking is less than 30cm high and does not exceed more than 50% of your garden (and stays in your back garden), you shouldn’t require planning permission and are good to go! But we would still recommend talking to an expert to confirm either way!