Jun 10, 2021

Garden gym room with weights, a bench, a punching bag and a large clock

As with any building work taking place in or around your property, you might be concerned whether or not you’ll have to apply for planning permission before construction can start. A garden gym room is no exception. You might think that, since it’s a whole new building, you will always have to apply for planning. Happily, that isn’t the case. It all comes down to what you use your garden gym room for, and what you have in it. Keep reading this guide to find out if you need planning permission for a garden gym.

What is Planning Permission For?

In a nutshell, planning permission is intended to help protect your neighbours and the surrounding area from the potentially negative effects of a new development. It’s really important to recognise the necessity of planning permission. If not, your building might even be taken down. You’ll be glad to hear that, here at Habin, we can help you figure out whether or not your new garden gym room will need planning permission.

Common considerations of planning permission officers are how the new development will affect privacy, loss of light/overshadowing, and the surrounding area. They’ll also want to examine the proposed building for accessibility as well as the different materials it uses. These all fall under the umbrella of ‘material considerations’, and the full list includes many of these considerations, most of which might not be applicable in the case of a proposed garden gym room.

Even though a standard Habin garden room will usually fall outside the need for planning permission (unless your building is listed or you live in a conservation area/AONB, but we’ll help you identify whether this applies to you), it’s still polite to let your immediate neighbours know about your new garden room. Early warning and keeping your neighbours in the loop might prevent or lessen later issues.

Planning Permission for a Garden Gym

In planning terms, a garden gym room is classed as an outbuilding, which means it’s what’s known as a permitted development. This means you will not have to obtain planning permission, so long as the following permitted development requirements are met:

  • Eaves should be no more than 2.5m in height
  • Pitched roof no higher than 4m
  • Roofs in other styles no higher than 3m
  • If plumbing is necessary then planning permission must be obtained

Our Habins have been specifically designed to meet the requirements of permitted development. This should mean you don’t need to apply for planning permission to build a garden gym room of your own. In the case of listed properties, areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), national parks, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites, however, it’s very likely that planning permission will need to be acquired before construction of your garden gym room can go ahead.

Can You Have a Shower in a Garden Gym Room?

Adding a shower to your garden gym room will create a completely self-contained, private workout space. You’ll be able to freshen up after a good workout session without making a sweaty dash up the garden. However, plumbing in your garden gym room will change the picture slightly. Adding plumbing means you will have to conform to Building Regulations for a ‘material change of use’, as running water changes a garden room’s status from an outbuilding to a habitable space. This means all plumbing, heating, and electrics must be installed by professionals, your walls must be thoroughly insulated and your windows double glazed. Luckily, those last two will already be ticked off when you work with Habin.

You will probably also have to satisfy planning permission if you install plumbing in your garden room, but we’ll be able to advise you of this. This would just require all of the plumbing work to be completed by a certified professional. Also remember that, depending on the size of the gym section compared to the shower area, you might have to opt for a medium- or larger-sized garden room to fit it all in. Or, you might decide you don’t mind a post-workout short trip back to the house instead of adding extra plumbing.

Garden Gym for a Personal Trainer

If you plan to use your garden gym for private use, then it is considered ‘incidental’, i.e. it will not affect the primary use of the main building (your house), meaning planning permission shouldn’t be a factor. However, if you have your own personal training business, your very own garden gym room is the perfect location to receive and train clients.

If you think your garden gym would be a great place to base your business, you’ll probably have to apply for planning permission. This is because basing your business at home from your garden room changes its status. Registering your home address as your business address will not be considered ‘incidental’ in the eyes of your local council. It may also increase traffic, footfall, and noise levels in the local area, which are all things that a planning officer would consider when reviewing your application.

Nevertheless, a garden gym room is still a great option if you do think a home-based personal training business is right for you and your clients. Let your Habin Consultant know if you’re considering this avenue and we can provide you with all the advice and information you’ll need for smooth sailing through the planning process.

Summary - Can I Build A Gym In My Garden?

There is no problem with building a gym in your garden. You just need to plan ahead to understand what you need in your gym so you can be aware of the planning implications. A garden gym is a great alternative to attending a gym. You’ll have convenience, privacy, and a workout space dedicated specifically to your needs, with no costly monthly memberships. Just make sure you do apply for Building Regulations and/or planning permission if your plot or garden room so demands – we can advise you on whether you need to do this.

Get in touch with our Habin Consultants today to build your own garden gym.