Advice on Building a Garage

Modern living has resulted in a popular option among homeowners to extend their home, creating open-plan kitchen and living areas with a multifunctional purpose.
A common question our team at 2020 Architects receive is; “What is the Planning Policy determining house extensions, alterations, loft conversions or building a garage at an existing dwelling?

In some instances, it is possible to carry out a small extension or make alterations to your property without planning permission. But, as with everything, this must meet specific requirements which are set out under Permitted Development (PD) rights.

2020 Architects have compiled a list in order to assist anyone thinking of extending or building a detached garage.

In order to extend your property under PD rights (thus avoiding submitting a Planning application), your extension must meet certain criteria, including that;

  • The ground area covered by the extension is not more than half the total area of the property, excluding the original house.
  • The roof must not be higher than the highest part of the roof of existing house.
  • The extension must not exceed beyond the rear wall of the original house by 4m (if a single storey), or 3m if more than one storey.
  • The side extension must not exceed 4m in height or be wider than half the width of the original house.

PD rights can also be exercised for building a detached garage or car port, therefore avoiding Planning permission provided that:

  • The garage is used for domestic purposes only.
  • The ground area covered by the garage/car port is not more than half the total area of the property, excluding the original house.
  • No part of the garage is in front of the principal or side elevation of the original house that faces onto a road.
  • The maximum height of the garage/car port is 4m.
  • The maximum eaves height of the garage/car port is 2.5m if it is within 2m of the property boundary.
    No part of the garage is within 3.5m of the boundary with a road.

If you fail to meet this criteria and formal Planning Permission is required, the relevant Planning Policy for your proposed extension or garage addition is set out in Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 7.
Lucky for us in Country Antrim, we have the shortest planning application processing time of any other council area in Northern Ireland, with an average processing time of just 28 weeks (compared to over 70 weeks in County Tyrone), according to NISRA Planning statistics for 2015/16.
It must be remembered that the penalties for unsanctioned development are sever and it is ill- advised for anyone to begin any development without all the statutory approvals.

2020 Chartered Architects are specialists in rural planning and environmentally conscious design. If you require specific advice on any planning issue, please do not hesitate to contact our team on 028 276 67999.