Planning Permission for Garden Buildings - Quick Guide

Planning Permission for Garden Buildings - Quick Guide

In most cases our log cabins & garden offices will not require planning permission although you should alweays check - for example, there will be stricter rules in conservation areas.

If a log cabin is 2.5m or less in height, it is exempt from planning conditions and is therefore permitted development, even if it is close to a neighbours fence!

If a cabin is over 2.5m (8.25ft) in height and less than 2m (6.6ft) away from any boundary, you will most likely need permission although this is likely to be granted as the law says you are entitled to go up to 4m in height.

A cabin 4m high against a neighbours fence might "adversely affect the neighbour’s use of his/her garden, block their sun or even intimidates them in any way" so permission might be declined although lowering the height or moving 2m or more from the boundary would most likely lead to the permission being approved.

There are a few cabins on our site which are just over 2.5m in height and can be lowered at not further cost if you had concerns over permitted development.

Quick Planning Guide

Please use the following guide to help decide if your new garden building will be considered 'Permitted Development':

  1. Is your garden building to the rear or side of your house?
    Yes - See Q2
    No - You may need planning permission if it is towards the front of your property - contact your local planning office and they will help you with the process.
  2. Are you in a designated area?
    Yes - You may need planning permission*
    No - See Q3
  3. Will your new building go in the grounds of a listed building?
    Yes - You may need planning permission*
    No - Note that a single pitched roof must have an eaves height under 2.5m and be no higher than 3m. See Q4
  4. Will your building be closer than 2m to a fence, hedge or boundary?
    Yes - You may need planning permission*
    No - Outbuildings (or extensions, greenhouses etc) cannot exceed 50% of the land around the original house as it was first built. See Q5
  5. Will the base of your garden building be above 30cm?
    Yes - You may need planning permission*
    No - See Q6
  6. Will people be permanently sleeping in your building?
    Yes - You may need planning permission*
    No - See Q7
  7. Will your garden building have a TV aerial or similar?
    Yes - You may need planning permission*
    No - Good news! Your new garden building will be a permitted development

* Contact your local planning office and they will help you with the process.

We would recommend you also check the Government's Planning Portal website for more details on planning and building regulations -

This entry was posted in Build on 13th March 2016.

What you need for a Log Cabin Base

What you need for a Log Cabin Base

The most important thing about a log cabin base is that it needs to be level and able to take the weight placed on it over a prolonged period of time. Most log cabins, unlike a typical shed, will have the majority of their weight taken at their perimeter. Generally the base should have a footprint slightly larger than the cabin going on it.

There are four main designs of cabin bases: concrete, gravel foundations, paving slabs and timber frame supported by stilts.


The simplest way to do this is to use timber edges and fill the base to a depth of 8 10cm. For a large cabin you might want to have steel reinforcing. The critical issue with the timber perimeter is that it is level so that you can fill the excavation to the level of the top of the timbers.
This is not a job to do the day before the cabin arrives as the concrete may take several days to cure. The surface doesnt have to be level to the exact millimetre but the more you keep working the surface with a blank across the timber perimeters the better it will be assuming the edges were completely flat.
See our simple guide to making a base - concrete-base guide (PDF)

Gravel foundations

Better suited to small cabins, you can find a explanation of this technique here

Paving slabs

A quick and cost-effective method of making a base just requires a sand/cement mix (1 part cement to 8 parts sand) or gravel base to a depth (depending on weight) of 510 cm and is relatively simple to get level. Recommend to use a plain concrete slab approx 4cm thickness

Timber frame supported by stilts

The timber frame that you use can simply be supported by paving slabs positioned at intervals which has the advantage that you can move it around. It is a good solution for areas where the ground is sloping or very uneven (because it is relatively easy to adjust the height of the stilts) or where access is poor making pouring concrete a difficult option.

The main criteria for a long lasting and stable base is therefore:

  • It should be just over the footprint size of the cabin
  • It should cope with the majority of weight being at the edges
  • The depth of the based relative to the weight it will have to take
  • Completely level in all directions
  • Use of a good damp proof membrane (if it is not supported by stilts)

Finally, remember not to place the base too close to any walls or fences as the log cabin may have a slight overhang on the roof. Also, placing the base next to trees or large plants could also cause problems with root damage or branch overhang. Fast growing trees like sycamore, pines, leylandi etc could become a headache in 5 to 10 years time.

This entry was posted in Build on 5th December 2015.