The construction of Timbertech decking in any garden is clearly a building job and can add and alter the exterior of a property quite dramatically. This is usually a very positive thing but does raise the question of whether or not it is legal to build decking without planning permission.
In the case of most decking projects, planning permission will not be necessary. There are, however, a number of issues to be considered before concluding with any certainty that planning permission for decking is not needed. These are basically about the type and age of the property the decking is going to be built on, the size of the decking, and where it is to be located. Another issue is the amount of building work that has been added already to the property.
The first thing to consider is where the decking is to be built. If the property that it is to be built near is a listed building, then Listed Building Consent will be needed. If the property is in a conservation area or in an area designated a national park then planning permission will need to be sought; the same applies if a highway is 20 metres away from the property.
Location of decking is what dictates whether planning permission is needed or not. Simply put, if the decking is going to be on a side of a property that faces a road, planning permission needs to be sought as it will be located on what is referred to as principal elevation.
The reason that most decking does not require planning permission is that the law allows for what is termed permitted development. This includes sheds, garden rooms, outhouses and decking. But permitted development only allows for fifty per cent of the propertys ground space to be developed; if a structure of decking is going to mean that fifty percent of area is exceeded, then planning permission will be required.
Regarding size, the decking cannot be more than 30cm above ground level before planning permission is needed. This may seem a simple requirement to meet, but if decking is over ground that slopes away the process of levelling the decking may result in the height at the furthest point exceeding 30cm. There are also restrictions concerning the height of any rails, panels or fencing you may want to put around your decking. Anything above a height of two metres will require planning permission.
In conclusion, planning permission is not required for decking provided that: it is not going on property that is listed, or in a national park or a conservation area; that it is not going to be built on a side of the property that fronts a road; that it does not exceed a height of 30cm and the rails, panels or fencing around it do not exceed two metres; and the property on which it is built is not within 20 metres of a highway.
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