Planning permission for greenhouses

When is planning permission required to construct a greenhouse?

Normally it will not be necessary to obtain planning permission for the construction of a greenhouse as the construction of a greenhouse will normally be classed as a “permitted development” for which planning permission is not needed.

However, planning permission will be required in the following circumstances:

  • where the greenhouse is to be constructed in a front garden; or

  • where the overall height of the greenhouse would exceed 4 metres, in the case of a building with a ridged roof, or 3 metres, in any other case; or

  • where the greenhouse is to have a cubic content greater than 10 cubic metres and where any part of it will be situated within 5 metres of any part of the dwelling house;

  • where more than half of the area of land around the “original house” (the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 if it was built before that date) would be covered by the greenhouse or other buildings; or

  • where the greenhouse is to be built in a National Park, the Broads, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or a World Heritage Site and it is to be more than 20 metres away from the house and over 10 cubic metres in volume; or

  • where the greenhouse is to be constructed on “designated land” (designated land includes National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Areas and World Heritage Sites); or

  • where the greenhouse is to be constructed within the curtilage of a listed building planning permission may also be required.

The same rules apply to other garden structures such as sheds, garages, swimming pools, ponds, saunas, kennels and tennis courts.

If you are unsure whether planning permission is required you should check with your Local Planning Authority as if you carry out unauthorised work you will be breaking the law and may be required to demolish the greenhouse.

Is planning permission required to increase the height or size of an existing greenhouse?

Planning permission will be required to increase the height or size of an existing greenhouse if one or more of the situations set out above applies.

How do I apply for planning permission?

An application for planning permission can be made online via the Planning Portal website. Alternatively it can be made by completing and sending to the Local Planning Authority a paper application form.

Is there anything else I should consider before constructing a greenhouse?

Some times covenants are placed in title documents (deeds) preventing or restricting the construction of greenhouses and other types of outbuildings. You should, therefore, check that your deeds do not contain any such provisions before carrying out any work.

It will not normally be necessary to obtain building regulation approval to construct a greenhouse. If you are unsure whether building regulation approval is required you should check with your Local Authority Building Control.

Where building regulation approval is not required it is still, however, important to ensure that the greenhouse is built and maintained properly so as to ensure that there is no risk that it will damage the property of another or injure a person.