Back garden log cabin needs permission says council

Log cabin planning query, Ely

Already built but log cabin games and hobby room in Ely will need retrospective planning permission, says East Cambs Council. - Credit: ECDC

A simple back garden log cabin can sometimes require planning permission – as an Ely home owner has just discovered.  

The cabin – intended for use as a games and hobby room – was erected behind a house in Mayfield Close, Ely.  

But the home owner has now been told he must apply for retrospective planning permission. 

He explains in his application to East Cambridgeshire District Council that permitted development rights were removed prior to their purchase of the home. 

"We therefore need to apply for planning permission even though the log cabin was chosen to fall within permitted development rights,” he’s told the council. 

Permitted development rights are where the Government – not the local authority – agrees what can be built within your home and grounds.  

However, a council can issue what is known as an Article 4 direction to protect the character of an area.  

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East Cambs Council website advises that “some minor alterations and extensions, particularly to houses, can often be carried out without the need for planning permission. 

“These rights are called ‘Permitted Development Rights’ (PD rights).” 

But he says that “in certain circumstances, your property may have had its PD rights removed”. 

This could be for the following reasons: 

An Article 4 Direction (most commonly found in conservation area) 

A condition when permission was originally granted that restricts certain types of alterations or extensions; 

The property is a commercial unit or a flat; 

The property is in a conservation area or is a listed building 

In this instance the City of Ely Council were asked to comment on the log cabin and has told district planners they have “no concerns with regards to this application”. 

The home owner, now awaiting the outcome, told East Cambs Council has the garden was on a slope he dug out a base for it.  

“The cabin is placed at ground level at the house end of the cabin, which is approximately 27cm below the highest point of the garden,” he explained. 

“The cabin is intended to be used as a games and hobby room with light, power and internet but no other services. There will be no sleeping accommodation in the cabin.” 

None of the neighbours contacted by East Cambs Council about the application have responded.