I’m a planning expert and here is how you turn your luxury shed into an extra bedroom – WITHOUT permission | The Sun

A PLANNING expert has revealed a "loophole" Brits can use to convert outbuildings into an extra bedroom – without permission.

The move, which is totally legal under British planning law, means homeowners can develop something as humble as a bike shed into a spare bedroom or living space and not get in trouble.

In a blow to neighbours fed up with garden monsters going up next door, planning expert Martin Gaine from Just Planning warned the conversion process is far easier than you may think.

Speaking to The Sun, the Chartered Town Planner of 14 years' experience explained: "An outbuilding can be built using 'permitted development rights', meaning it does not need planning permission.

"As long as you comply with the various restrictions and conditions."

One of these is that the outbuilding can only be used for something 'ancillary' to your main living accommodation – examples include storage, a gym or a pool room.


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The shed cannot be built as main living accommodation itself, meaning you can't put a living room, bedroom or kitchen in straight away.

But there is a loophole.

If the outbuilding is existing, converting it then into primary living accommodation IS allowed.

Martin explained: "This is because internal changes to an existing building are not considered to be development at all under the Town and Country Planning Act.

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"So, just as you can convert a dining room in your house into a bedroom without needing any kind of permission, you can convert an existing outbuilding into a bedroom."

This could be the perfect space to house an unruly teenager or an elderly parent – and you don't even need planning permission.

In practice, if you wanted an annexe to compliment your home, you could first build a posh storage shed or out building, and use it as such for a while.

Once it is constructed and in use, you could lawfully start using it as extra residential living accommodation for your house – throwing in a a living room or a bedroom.

But like anything, there is one catch.

The new living accommodation must still have some connection with your use of the main house.

For instance, if your gran is living out there, she must still come into the house to eat, the author of 'How to Get Planning Permission'said.

Problems arise when your outbuilding becomes independent of your main house, meaning the person inside doesn't need to use your home for any facilities.

Creating a whole new dwelling with a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom under one roof does require planning permission.

Avoiding this catch keeps you within the law and means you can happily turn a posh shed or outbuilding into a separate bedroom.

To find out more about how Martin Gaine can help you, visit Just Planning or pick up his book: 'How to Get Planning Permission', which is available on Amazon.

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