Do I Need Planning Permission for a Playhouse in my Garden?

If you’re considering going down the route of the Beckhams with a 16ft high playhouse complete with tower, drawbridge, slides and swings in your garden for your children then, yes, planning permission would be needed.

However, it’s pretty safe to say the vast majority of ‘regular’ playhouses do not need planning permission.

A playhouse is classed as an outbuilding on your property – please see Planning Portal summary for further information.

Outbuildings are considered permitted developments by the local planning authority and therefore do not require planning permission subject to the conditions listed below:

  • maximum eaves height of 2.5m (8.25ft)
  • maximum overall (ridge) height of 4m (13.1ft) with a dual pitched roof
  • maximum overall height of 3m (9.8ft) for a flat roof
  • if built within 2 metres (6.6ft) of the property boundary the whole building should not exceed 2.5m in height
  • the building must be single storey
  • there is no veranda or balcony
  • it is to be used for domestic purposes only
  • it is erected at your house’s side or rear
  • it is not at the front as regulations state it cannot extend ‘beyond the part of the original house nearest to the highway’
  • covers no more than 30m2 if the garden covers more than 100m2 or 20m2 if the garden is less than 100m2
  • is not to be used as a dwelling
  • is not built in the grounds of a listed building
  • is not built in an area of conservation or outstanding natural beauty or similar

If you are unsure if the playhouse falls into the category of ‘outbuildings’ or if you are unsure if planning permission is required, contact your local planning authority.

For more information and guidance, please visit the government Planning Portal

About the author

Jo is the face of Jack's Garden Store and has led our customer service for more than a decade. If you have a garden product question, she's got the answer! Unless she hasn't, in which case she'll call you back when she does...

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