Planning Guide

For Garages, Carports and Room Above Garages

The best advice when planning a new building is to check with your local planning authority whether you need permission. This is usually your local council. Many will have an online portal with information about the type of work permitted without the need to apply for planning permission.

This is called “permitted development” and generally relates to small projects. However, it is always worth double checking with your local planning authority before you go ahead as there will be different rules depending on where you live and what you want to build.

For example, if you live in areas of the UK which have been designated as conservation areas, world heritage sites, national parks or areas of outstanding natural beauty there will be restrictions on these permitted development rights i.e. what you can build.


3 Bay Hipped Garage

Providing your proposals meet certain size and location requirements (see your local council’s planning portal for details), and a drive or parking space already exists, you will most likely have “permitted development” rights. This means you won’t need to apply for planning permission for a garage unless you live in one of the areas mentioned above or a listed building order affects your property.

The maximum height of the eaves of the building is 2.5 metres if it is within two metres of the property boundary. However, you should still check to ensure the garage meets the permitted development rules.


2 Bay Carport

Car ports are considered to be temporary structures which means they don’t usually require planning approval.

Most can be installed without planning permission. But do be aware there may be other rules such as building regulations you need to take into account.

For example, you can’t build a car port (or any structure) which is further forward than the main front wall of your house without permission. Again, if in doubt, do contact your local planning authority who will give you the best advice.

Room above a garage:

3 Bay Garage with Room Above

This is one area where you may well need planning permission and building regulations approval depending on how to intend to use the room. It makes sense when you think how important it is to ensure this extra space is fit for purpose for you, your family and any visitors.

From an aesthetic point of view your planners will want to ensure the room above a garage is in keeping with your home and surrounding properties. From a building regulations point of view the local inspector will want to make sure the footings are correct and appropriate for having an additional storey.


Planning permission generally not required in the following cases:

  • You are going to place the building behind the house.
  • It will be more than two metres from a boundary.
  • The ridge height is below four metres.
  • It will be for non- business use.

Planning permission likely to be required in the following cases:

  • Your property is a ‘listed’ building and your proposals affect this or are to be built in its grounds.
  • Your project lies inside an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ (AONB), a Conservation Area, a National Park, or equivalent.
  • Your proposed ridge height will be higher than four metres.
  • Your project lies within an area where planning permission is required for an agricultural building.
  • You are going to be placing the building close to a boundary.
  • The building will be in front of the building line of your house (when viewed from the road).

If you require help with gaining planning permission, we can provide you will full-scale drawings for submission with your application. Contact us for further information.

The planning process typically takes up to eight to ten weeks from the date the application is registered. However, don’t forget to leave time for public holidays which will depend on where you live.

Still have questions?

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