What is the Maximum Size of a Shed Without Planning Permission?

Building a shed can be a fantastic way to add extra storage space or create a workshop in your garden. But navigating the rules and regulations around shed building in the UK can be tricky. How big can your shed be? Where can you place it? Let's dive into these questions and more to ensure your garden project runs smoothly.

Can I Build a Shed Next to My Neighbour's Fence?

Understanding Boundary Regulations

Building a shed close to your neighbour's fence might seem like the most convenient option, but it's essential to understand the rules to avoid any disputes. In the UK, you can generally place a shed near your boundary, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Key Considerations:

  • Party Wall Act: If the shed is close to a shared boundary or involves excavations near it, you may need to notify your neighbour under the Party Wall Act. Learn more about the Party Wall Act
  • Local Council Guidelines: Always check with your local council for specific regulations that might apply to your area. Find your local council
  • Respecting Privacy: Ensuring that your shed does not impede on your neighbour's privacy can help maintain good relations.

How Close to the Boundary Can I Build a Shed?

Distance Requirements

According to UK building regulations, a shed should typically be at least 2 metres away from the boundary if it is over a certain height. This is to prevent any potential issues with neighbouring properties and to comply with fire safety regulations.

Specific Measurements:

  • Height Restrictions: If the shed is taller than 2.5 metres, it must be at least 2 metres from the boundary. Read more about height restrictions
  • Boundary Proximity: For sheds shorter than 2.5 metres, there is no minimum distance specified, but good practice recommends keeping some distance to allow for maintenance and to prevent damp issues.

What's the Biggest Shed You Can Have in Your Garden in the UK?

Size Limitations Without Planning Permission

The size of the shed you can build without needing planning permission depends on several factors, including the size of your property and the shed's purpose.

General Guidelines:

  • Maximum Height: The shed should not exceed 4 metres in height for a dual-pitched roof or 3 metres for other types of roofs.
  • Overall Size: The total area covered by sheds and other outbuildings must not exceed 50% of the garden's total area.
  • Location Restrictions: The shed must not be located forward of the principal elevation of your house. Check detailed planning guidelines

What Sheds Do Not Need Planning Permission?

Permitted Development Rights

In many cases, sheds fall under permitted development rights, meaning you won't need to apply for planning permission. However, there are conditions to this:

Conditions Include:

  • Purpose: The shed must be used for domestic purposes only.
  • Coverage: As mentioned, the shed, along with other outbuildings, must not cover more than half the area of your garden.
  • Listed Buildings: If your property is a listed building or within a conservation area, stricter rules may apply, and you might need permission. Discover more about permitted development rights

How Close Can I Build to My Neighbour's Fence in the UK?

Practical and Legal Considerations

While there is no strict law that specifies an exact distance for sheds shorter than 2.5 metres, placing your shed too close to your neighbour's fence can lead to potential issues.

Best Practices:

  • Leave Space for Maintenance: Ensure there's enough room to maintain the shed and the fence.
  • Avoid Disputes: Keeping some distance helps prevent disputes over boundary lines and maintenance responsibilities.
  • Consultation: It's a good idea to discuss your plans with your neighbour beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings. Get advice on neighbour disputes


Recap and Benefits

Understanding the regulations around building a shed in the UK can save you a lot of time and hassle. To summarise:

  • You can build a shed near your neighbour's fence, but it's best to leave some space.
  • For sheds over 2.5 metres tall, maintain a 2-metre distance from the boundary.
  • You can generally have a shed up to 4 metres tall without planning permission, provided it doesn't cover more than 50% of your garden.
  • Permitted development rights often cover sheds, but always check local guidelines.