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Log Cabin & Planning Permission

With the much publicised housing shortage in Ireland, both in rental and residential sales property availability, it’s no surprise that people have begun to look at alternatives to “normal” housing. Log cabins are structures that are built of wood. Generally they would be smaller in size than detached standalone homes in Ireland but today, log cabins are available in a variety of sizes and configurations. Furthermore, the log cabins available on the market in Ireland today are sophisticated and engineered in such a way to promote comfortable habitable spaces. Another reason for their rise in popularity is that they are also used by people who need extra space for example for a work from home situation. Others utilise the space for a home gym or “games” room or similar.

Do you need planning permission for log cabins?

Under Class 3 of the General Exempted Development provisions of the planning regulations you don’t require planning permission for a log cabin / garden room once you stay within the following exemption guidelines:

  • Maximum size of 25 square metres

You can have a garden room / log cabin structure on your property once it does not exceed 25 square metres. By adding the garden room, you will also need to have 25 square metres of remaining space in the garden at the side or the rear combined.

  • Garden Room Height

The garden room can be a maximum height of three metres or up to four metres high for a pitched (tiled) roof.

  • Window Position

You have to be conscious of neighbouring properties in that a window on the garden room cannot be within one metre of a neighbour’s boundary.

  • Usage

Garden rooms / log cabins are exempt from planning when under 25 square metres but also they cannot be used for living / sleeping accommodation. Post-pandemic, many homeowners are using them for work-from-home situations or home gyms and many others use them as a hangout area for growing teenagers.

  • Location of the Garden Room

The log cabin or garden room can be situated to the side or at the rear of your property. If you choose to locate it at the side of your home, you need to ensure that it is blended in well with the rest of the property - basically that it is not an eyesore. You may need to screen it off or put up a side gate to tick this box in order to stay within the exemption.

How much does a garden room cost?

If you want to have a garden room with plumbing, electricity, broadband,insulation and a concrete foundation, the cost would be approximately starting at €17,000. For smaller units, they would take a day or so to “install” on site; for larger units, it could be up to five days but you will get an insight of that from your chosen supplier. With the popularity of garden rooms since the pandemic, lead times have stretched beyond that so always ask that question when getting quotations from different suppliers. Depending on the finish, the cost would be upwards of that €17k figure. There are cheaper, self-build options but it would be advisable to get the assistance of the professional in erecting a garden room.

How long does planning permission take for a log cabin?

Engage the services of an experienced building surveyor who can assist you with your queries before making an application for planning permission. They can advise you on orientation and finish for the garden room so you get the most from it and help you with your planning permission application. They will need to certify the finish of the log cabin in detail as part of the process and indicate that it complies with current building regulations.

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