I am building a small studio in my garden. It's a wooden construction about 3m by 3m in plan. My neighbour seems to be annoyed by the works and she says I need planning permission. Is she right?

The rule of thumb is that garden buildings, including studios, do not generally require planning permission, as they are deemed to fall into 'permitted development' but there are a few provisos that do apply. Your studio must not be placed less than 2 metres from the boundary of the property and the maximum overall height cannot be more than 2.5 metres from the existing ground level. It must also not provide sleeping accommodation and must be a single storey. A further proviso, which many people don't remember, is that your studio cannot be larger than half your garden, without having to obtain planning permission.

As your studio is 3 metres by 3 metres, and you did not specify the height, if the height does not exceed 2.5 metres you may not need planning permission. The position of your studio in relation to your boundary must also be considered. In my experience several studio providers can lower or raise the roof of the studio to be sure the height does not exceed 2.5 metres. You should check this out.

You did not mention if your property is listed or in a conservation area. If it is then you will need listing building consent and planning permission for your studio. This also includes if your studio is positioned within the curtilage of a listed building.

If in doubt it is best to liaise with the local authority to be sure you don't fall foul of the planning requirements and also to keep the peace with your neighbour.

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