Log Cabin Planning Permission: What You Need to Know

There are plenty of good reasons a log cabin retreat deserves a spot in your garden. But your local authority may think otherwise if they issue no approval. Cue planning permission.

Gaining one means getting the council’s consent to proceed with the development. It helps to check whether any rules apply before committing to an investment. 

Avoid the risk of purchasing or building without adherence to requirements. In the worst-case scenario, this could potentially result in costly demolitions. This guide provides the basic information you need, so stick around for some answers!

What Are the Requirements for UK Planning Permissions?

Architectural blueprint of a garden log cabin, situated within a green backyard adjacent to a fence.

Planning permission in the UK typically falls under permitted development rights. They determine whether specific structures can be built on a given plot of land — in this case, a garden.

Obtaining one can be a complex process, but it is necessary for building projects. It can be either granted, sometimes with certain conditions attached, or refused outright. The Local Planning Authority (LPA) is responsible for issuing the formal documentation related.

LPAs are commonly the local county or city councils. It’s advisable to contact them to initiate the legal process. This helps determine whether planning permission is necessary for your project.

To ensure a smooth planning permission application process, prepare the following:

  • Certificate of land or property ownership
  • Site plans detailing the proposed development within its surroundings
  • Scale drawings encompassing floor plans and elevations
  • Standard application form
  • Application fee
  • Any additional documents or requirements specified by your local planning authority (LPA).

Tips: Authorities may require additional supporting documents. Check with your local planning department for their requirements before submitting your applications.

How long does planning permission take?

Most planning decisions are reached within eight weeks. This timeline might extend to 13 weeks for larger or more complex plans. Should your application be rejected or approved with certain modifications, you must:

  1. adjust it accordingly;
  2. resubmit for consideration.

Your LPA is there to provide guidance and discuss any changes or rejections. Again, it’s helpful to talk to them when in doubt or before planning.

Do I Need Planning Permission if Subject to the Conditions Below?

Planning permission is unnecessary if it meets the following criteria:

  • If your log cabin is built within 2m of a boundary, it cannot exceed a max height of 2.5m. Note: You’ll be subject to tighter restrictions if you build it within 2m of a boundary. You may also want to check if it’s okay with your neighbours.
  • It must be single-storey. Plus, it can’t have any verandas, balconies or raised platforms exceeding 0.3 metres in height.
  • The roof’s maximum eave height is 2.5 metres. For a dual-pitched roof, such as an apex log cabin, the overall height should be 4 metres; 3 metres for others.
  • The cabin structure can’t be bigger than 50% of your back garden. It can’t be built further forward than the front of the original house, to add.
  • Finding land already designated with planning permission can exempt you from this requirement.

What are the exemptions?

Planning permission is necessary for a garden cabin if it:

  • Is intended for self-contained accommodation (e.g., rental purposes) or commercial use
  • Is situated within conservation areas, heritage designations, or listed buildings
  • Exceeds specific size limits, like a floor area over 30 square metres
  • Involves significant alterations to existing structures, such as demolishing walls

In these instances, obtaining a permit and building regulations approval is necessary. Always ensure compliance to avoid any legal complications or project delays.


Knowing the rules about getting permission to build a log cabin is important. Even though many log cabins don’t need permission, some do if they’re too big, in special areas, or for certain uses. Ensure you understand these rules and talk to the local authorities before starting. That way, your project goes smoothly.

Explore Garden Buildings Direct today for a range of quality log cabin for sale. Next on your reading list: What is the Largest Log Cabin without Planning Permission?

If you have any further questions, contact us and don’t hesitate to give us a call at 01909 768840.