More living space? Garden-shed bedrooms are legal now in Wandsworth.

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More living space? Garden-shed bedrooms are legal now in Wandsworth.

Postby ChocolateCakePlease » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:10 pm

Hi all, posting this as a bit of a frustrated post, but also as a "well if they did maybe this can help you" as I know a few people in our part of London that are struggling with room for au pairs/family and the like and the law should apply to us all equally!

Our neighbour (owner of the bottom floor of a two-apartment terrace - not the full freeholder) decided to add "another bedroom" by building a garden shed in the backyard. Without permission, a concrete slab was poured, builders in and the shed erected (knocked down our other neighbours fence and accessed through their backyard!!). Its nice enough. It has electricity, insulation, locks etc - everything but running water. Inside its been fitted out as a double bedroom with wardrobes and a desk and its rented out on AirBnB and for over a year now. Its now been included as a "studio/bedroom" on floorplans for a real-estate agent listing for the property.

The Council was notified by the top-floor owner of the shed construction and its use as a bedroom (and as a guest house) and they told the ground floor owner to apply for retrospective planning permission to keep the shed.

Despite objections from neighbours on three sides, as well as the top-floor property owner AND there already being permission for a side-and-back extension on the property (which if completed would meant the backyard is completely built over as the shed takes the remaining space), the planning permission/right to retain the shed was granted. Its use as a bedroom has been considered ‘incidental or ancillary use’ to the property, which although specifically says that should not include bedroom space, the Council says that this is reviewed on a "case-by-case basis" and provided an inspectors report to support their decision/ruling.

So - if you want an extra bedroom on your property and don't mind upsetting all the neighbours, it seems that you can go ahead and build it, get retrospective permission to keep it, then use it with the approval of the council. As one of the neighbours impacted by this, I don't recommend it as a nice thing to just go ahead and build it in the way my neighbour has, but perhaps in this example there is some information for someone who is struggling with space issues and have amenable neighbours or a whole property and it might help. I know of another neighbour who wanted to house their daughter and her fiancé in a similar conversion while they saved for a deposit but were told it wasn't possible, although they owned the entire house. They didn't have the report that the Council used to support 'ancillary use', maybe with these examples their case would've been considered differently? Anyways, putting this out there if anyone can find it of use to them. Message me if you'd like any specifics sent over.

Please be nice to your neighbours! We're all just trying to live here together!
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Re: More living space? Garden-shed bedrooms are legal now in Wandsworth.

Postby LP73 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:56 pm

This is just a joke! I still think people are being 'paid off' in the council.

We too have an issues with a neighbour who has built a horrendous building at the back of their garden. They needed no planning despite it being the size of a two bedroom flat. They have no communicated anything with neighbours and have managed to annoy many by this as well as having a huge amount of rubbish which is attracting vermin.

Why people are not kind to their neighbours I will never know.
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Re: More living space? Garden-shed bedrooms are legal now in Wandsworth.

Postby Sunshine_State » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:48 am

I can totally empathise with this. Our neighbours are in the process of building TWO enormous outbuildings (one of which has a shower room) in their garden, having ripped out a swathe of beautiful mature trees to make room for them, and building right up to boundary properties on each side - no neighbour consultation or consideration either.

If something is classed as permitted development, which is set nationally, councils can only approve/reject, not make any conditions/alterations as with standard planning permission, and there are some massive loopholes in the law around permitted development size and scope. I was told our planning team is extremely frustrated about this, but have no local power to override the national laws.

Check these out. Ridiculous... ... pholes.pdf