Garden Rooms: Friends of Lewes Planning Advice Note, March 2017

The Friends of Lewes has noticed that the number of planning applications for garden rooms, to be used as home offices or to provide additional accommodation for members of the extended family, has increased year on year.

The natural features and spaciousness of gardens make an important contribution to the Lewes townscape as well as supporting climate change mitigation through surface water management and urban cooling. Thus a garden room can have a significant impact on local character, amenity and flood risk.

Planning law is clear that a garden room should be ancillary to the main building, and its use is limited to meeting the need for which it was originally intended. However, we are concerned that, in time, when the immediate need has gone, there could be a change from ancillary to permanent commercial or residential use, with a detrimental impact on neighbours and support infrastructure.

In July 2015, the Friends of Lewes drafted its Guiding Principles for the Design of Garden Rooms, which has now been developed further, setting out the key principles regarding the design of garden rooms that the Society encourages local planning authorities, property owners, developers and architects to follow.

Garden Rooms: Friends of Lewes Planning Advice Note, March 2017 [pdf 300kb]

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Friends of Lewes Planning Guiding Principles