The following is for guidance only and is for England only.

Rules for planning permission and guidance may vary in Scotland and Wales.

Garden outbuildings

  • No outbuilding, garage or swimming pool forward of the principal elevation
  • Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height 2.5m and maximum overall height of 4m with a dual pitched roof (3m with mono-pitched roof)
  • Maximum height 2.5m (8.25ft) within 2m(6.6ft) of boundary
  • Maximum coverage of garages and outbuildings 30 sq m if garden covers more than 100 sq m or 20 sq m if the garden is less than 100 sq m

You can have a log cabin in your garden up to 4m (13.4ft) in height.

If a cabin is over 2.5m (8.25ft) in height and less than 2m (6.6ft) away from any boundary, you will most likely need permission.

Permission however is very is likely to be granted as the law says you are entitled to go up to 4m in height.

A grey area exists because planning officers need to check each person’s circumstances before granting application permission.

For example, you want to put a 4m high log cabin very close to your neighbour’s fence.

One of the principle concerns a planning officer has to consider is will the building adversely affect the neighbour’s use of his/her garden, for example block natural light /sun or even be considered to intimidate them in any way. If they decide it would, permission will possibly be declined.

Lowering the height of the cabin to a level where the neighbour is not affected would most likely lead to the permission being approved.

If the log cabin is 2.5m or less in height, it is exempt from planning conditions and is therefore a permitted development, even if it is close to the boundary.

In general terms you are exempt from needing planning permission for your log cabin if :-

It is to be sited in the garden of a detached or semi detached property.


  • The property is Not in an area of conservation or outstanding natural beauty or similar
  • The property is Not a listed building.
  • The cabin will Not be between the house and a highway (or if it is there is a 20m distance from the highway).
  • The cabin will Not exceed 4m in height. Total area covered by buildings will not exceed half of the total area of the garden.
  • The cabin is not to be used commercially (home offices are usually acceptable ).
  • The cabin is not to be used as a dwelling.
  • There are no other covenants upon your property that prevent you from exercising your permitted developments rights.


The Rules governing outbuildings apply to sheds, greenhouses and garages as well as other ancillary garden buildings such as swimming pools and sauna cabins and many other kinds of structure for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse.



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