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Do I need planning permission for a Wendy house?

John Conlin / 25 January 2017 ( 21 May 2018 )

Chartered surveyor John Conlin resolves planning permission issues surrounding Wendy houses.

A grandchild peeks through the window of a Wendy house in the back garden

Question: how big can a Wendy house be?

I want to build a Wendy house for our grandchildren and would like to make it big enough to become a den for them as they get older - but I don’t want problems with neighbours.  

What are the planning rules about size and materials?


For a building in a rear garden with a floor area of less than 15 square metres, a roof no more than 2.5 metres high and at least 1 metre from any boundary, planning permission is not currently required.  

If it is built of wood, building regulations require it to be at least 2 metres from any other building or combustible fence. 

For further details refer to                                                              

Explaining Building Control and Regulations

Question: the council say our playhouse needs planning permission

We bought a playhouse for our grandchildren when they visit. It is just over eight-feet high with an upstairs. Our neighbours complained that the children can see over the fence from the upstairs and the council says we need planning permission. Is it worth applying?


Don’t apply for planning permission. Instead, if you put the playhouse on wheels, it is no longer a ‘structure’ or ‘building’ within the meaning of the Planning Acts. So just as with a caravan or mobile field shelter, it will not be subject to planning control. Wheelbarrow wheels, readily available online, are ideal.

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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.