Do I need planning permission for my deck?

Do I need planning permission for my deck?

So, you’ve got an empty bit of garden that’s just calling out for a deck? Maybe you’ve even got a friendly local timber merchant just waiting to whip up a decking kit?

All that’s standing in between you and lazy summer evenings on your deck is a couple rolls of red tape!

While we’d love to advise you to crack on and build the deck of your dreams, we have to advise caution.

For basic decking, you can usually get away without planning permission but the permitted development criteria (basically the stuff you’re allowed to do without planning permission) is super tight.


Planning permission requirements for decking

Planning permission is NOT required for decking as long as it meets the following criteria.

  • Your deck is no more than 50cm from ground level
  • Your deck is wholly behind the principal elevation or the side elevation if it’s road-facing
  • Your home is not in a conservation area unless your deck is under four square metres
  • Your home is not a listed building

Limbo under those requirements and you avoid the hassle of planning permission and can start building your deck right now.

However, we get that not everyone can build to these requirements.

If you want to build a taller deck or a deck wrapping around the front of your home or a deck in the garden of an old Victorian manse, you’ll have to submit a planning application.


How do I submit a planning application for decking?

Applying for planning permission is always a bit of a hassle and decking is no different. It’s a fair whack, too, costing about £200.

A standard planning application for a timber deck should contain:

  • A description of the proposed decking
  • Details of the applicant and owners
  • The required fee
  • Ordnance survey based location plan
  • Block/site plan
  • Existing external plans and elevations
  • Proposed external plans and elevations
  • Additional information as required for your project

More information on planning applications can be found on We strongly recommend you talk to a specialist (architect, architectural technician, planner, etc) before submitting your application.

Applications can take a long time to work their way through and it’s incredibly annoying to wait all that time just to have it bumped back.


What next?

So, that’s that! As long as you stay on the right side of the regulations, your deck will weather nasty neighbours as easily as a Scottish summer storm!

Now you know everything about building a deck to the letter of the law, it’s time to get designing! If you’re ever short on inspiration or need some expert advice, come down to Stewart Timber! We’ve got everything you need to turn a spare bit of garden into your dream deck in no time at all.

Jump over to our decking page or visit our timber yard today.

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