If you’ve got your heart set on a custom-made wooden outbuilding for your property, understanding the planning permission requirements involved can be tricky. Here are some tips on understanding what you can do without permission and what actions require planning permission:

In a nutshell, you can build a log cabin construction without planning permission if it is less than 2.5m high. If you want one that is higher than 2.5m, it must also sit within 4m of your property boundary and you will require planning permission. Most custom-made log buildings will be constructed within planning permission guidelines, leaving you free from unnecessary worry. If in doubt, always contact your local planning office.

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The government has a website dedicated to planning permission requirements, but it’s not the easiest to follow. Here are some of the more important parts:

Log cabins come under the category of ‘outbuilding’. Choosing a cabin that doesn’t require planning permission means you can install it straight away without any lengthy administrative processes. Why not consider your very own Log Cabins Northern Ireland?

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An outbuilding does not require planning permission as long as all the conditions are met, which include the following:

  • Where a property sits on designated land, a log cabin or other outbuilding must not be built to the side of your property. Designated land includes Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, World Heritage Sites and national parks. Any outbuilding in these areas must also not exceed 10 square metres if it’s to sit over 20m from a wall.
  • Outbuildings are normally expected to be placed to the rear of a property and outside of general view.
  • If you live in a listed building, you won’t be able to install an outbuilding unless you first contact the planning office for permission.
  • You won’t be permitted to construct an outbuilding forward of the original elevation of the property when it was first built. It must sit to the rear or side of your property.
  • Additions to the original property must not exceed 50% of the area of land surrounding the original house. This calculation must also include other existing outbuildings and sheds, for example.
  • To be permitted, the new outbuilding must not be a self-contained, separate living accommodation. Occasional overnight use is acceptable if you want a space for guests, so long as it isn’t a permanent residence for anyone.
  • The construction must be single storey.
  • Installing a veranda or balcony is not permitted without prior authorisation. An area of raised decking is acceptable, so long as it doesn’t exceed higher than 30cm.
  • Any containers used for domestic heating must not exceed 3.5l capacity or you will need planning permission. For a cabin you can build straight away, make sure any fuel tanks are less than 3.5l.