Installing A Garden Building In A Conservation Area

cabin master garden building

Many Cabin Master owners tell us that their cabin is the finishing touch that completes their outdoor space. 

We even hear this from homeowners in conservation areas! 

Cabin Master owners living in chocolate-box settings, with gardens landscaped and matured over decades, even centuries, tell us their Cabin Master garden room is the final jigsaw piece to their picture-perfect garden. 

For many, it’s the feeling that they’ve finally found a way to put a personal stamp on their home and garden. The ‘trouble’ with landscaped gardens that have matured over many years is that you don’t want to go digging them up (actually, in the case of trees and bushes in some conservation areas, even pruning is subject to approval!). 


cabin master garden building

When you have a perfect garden – why would you take a spade to it? 

You do want to make it yours though, you want to feel like you are the owner of the space rather than just a steward maintaining it for future inhabitants, and a garden room tailored to your exact specification can be a spectacular way to achieve this.   

Can You Always Build A Garden Room In A Conservation Area?

Happily, the majority of small-scale projects do not normally need planning permission

Installing a Cabin Master garden room in your rear garden, for instance, usually has an instant green light – give us a call – let’s get designing!

Each council has its own guidelines though, the planning portal is a great resource for peace of mind and your local council’s list of current planning applications will allow you to get a feel for similar projects that have been accepted in your area.

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You may find that your property has restrictions that, perhaps, you hadn’t considered when you bought it – we’ve met owners of homes in conservation areas that have been so taken by the beautiful surroundings that they didn’t stop to consider the small print. 

Fortunately, planning permission normally only relates to the main house, but very occasionally, auxiliary garden buildings can attract the need for local authority approval. We’ve even heard of a garden shed and a greenhouse requiring consent! This is rare though and we can work with you to create a design that makes the case that your summerhouse, garden office or outdoor family room is perfectly in keeping with its surroundings.   

cabin master garden building

Conservation-Area-Specific Considerations

There are some instances where there may be planning permission consent requirements that are conservation-area-specific, for instance, in relation to areas of your property or land where you are planning to have a garden building. If it will be visible from the road, a public pathway, or even a waterfront or canal, for example, it will probably be necessary to seek planning permission before installing a garden building!

Also, if your plans involve the demolition of an existing garden outbuilding in a Conservation area, contacting your council may be wise if you are unsure about permissions. Although permission is not usually needed if the existing outbuilding is less than 115 cubic metres in volume. It may also be worth checking your permissions when uprooting trees as conservation area consent may be needed, but then, if you’re building a garden room to enjoy your garden – why would you start pulling up trees?!

Garden rooms are not always permitted in front or side gardens in conservation areas. Often, a garden room, situated in a rear garden, clearly removed from the house, standing sufficiently far away from the boundary and within a certain size range (*) can be installed without going through the palaver of conservation area consent or planning permission (*worth noting here though those sizing policies can also vary depending on the council!). 

Remember, a conservation area could cover a single building to an entire street, a whole village or a suburb of a town, so regulations differ from one authority to another.

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How Cabin Master Can Help You Build Your Conservatory Area Garden Room

When you contact Cabin Master for help and advice, you’ll find our years of experience and customer-centred approach sets us apart from most of our competitors. We won’t ever just try to sell you a cabin - we want to help you buy an experience, moments with the family and memories that will last a lifetime. For everyone, this will be different, just as every home in a conservation area will have different requirements.

At Cabin Master, we can help you by supplying appropriate ‘scaled’ drawings of your garden room to submit with your planning permission application, should it be needed. For example, if your conservation area is subject to an Article 4 direction, where you must apply to your local council to make any changes which they deem to alter the character or nature of the building or area. What’s more, this is a FREE service! As mentioned, conservation rules very often refer just to the main building, but there are councils that raise an eyebrow at any development within their protected area.

cabin master garden building

At A Glance – 6 Instances When You May Need Planning Permission 

  1. You live in an area defined as ‘designated land’. This could include a conservation area, happily though, these are subject to a lighter touch approach than, say, a national park. Your local council can help but generally, if the garden room or building is not visible from the road you should not have an issue!
  2. Your garden building is at the front of your house. The term used is “Principal Elevation” - most houses are built so that the 'front' of the house faces a road, that’s the “principal elevation”. A good rule of thumb is this: if your garden room is to be built forward of your front door – you will most likely need to get permission.
  3. You live in a listed property (Cabin Master has a blog all about this!)
  4. Your planned garden building exceeds permitted development regulation height (i.e., for a flat-roofed building the allowance is 2.5m tall within 2m of a boundary and 3m tall if further from the boundary. For pitched rooves, it’s 4m tall if further than 2m away from a boundary).
  5. Someone is going to live in the garden building.
  6. The garden building will take the total area of built-on land to over half of the overall land, so if the area of existing outbuildings and the planned garden room represent more than 50% of your outdoor space then you will need planning consent.

cabin master garden building

The Cabin Master Difference – Eliminate If, Buts And Maybes

In conclusion, chances are you won’t need planning permission but if you do there are ways to tip the judgement in your favour. Cabin Master can help design a building that will be sympathetic or complementary to its surroundings, usually, if you can show that your garden room will match the character of the conservation area, the local authority will not raise an objection.

As you read at the start, Cabin Master owners tell us that their garden building achieves the goal of both adding to, and fitting with, the character of their property and area. The planning team of your local council share these goals. Cabin Master can help you accomplish them.

At Cabin Master, fewer things make our hearts burst with pride more than installing a garden office, bar, or family den, then stepping back and seeing the positive difference it has made and, most of all, the happy faces of its new owners – let’s make this happen, wherever you live!

Open Cabin Master BrochureSources:

Planning Portal

Permitted development rights for householders: technical guidance - GOV.UK (