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Well the word from that silent Council planning officer mentioned in the previous post came through yesterday, permission was granted but not without another set of hoops to jump through first. “No development or other operation shall commence on site until an Arboricultural Method Statement and Scheme of Works in accordance with BS5837; 2012 has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority.”  What, it’s a big shed not a housing development?

I’m now hoping to be moving in by the end of September rather than August.

We have large oak trees that line the dirt lane at the back of our property, they are covered under a council Tree Protection order which we were well aware of. The trees are beautiful all year round and we would never do anything to harm them, none are within our property but given our narrow garden one or two branches extend over the path close to the existing garage.

In our planning application it was stated that “The garden room will be situated in an area of the garden where no landscaping will be necessary. The proposed development will not have an adverse effect on any protected species/habitats.” Guess the planner didn’t agree. I was told by a friend that it may be they’re concerned about the roots that extend well into our garden, but I’m not planning a cellar, in fact the building is going on top of the existing concrete base that has been there for 20+ years.

So the removal of the garage scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled, I am now waiting for a local ‘Arborist’ to have a look and advise on this statement that needs to be submitted. I’m sure there will be a fee to him to write it, a fee to the council to file it, and given the council seems to take 6 weeks for anything, and it’s the summer holiday period, maybe I should revise my expectations on moving in till October!

Meanwhile this morning I heard about the Shed of the Year finalists, made me think I’m being very un-creative in opting for a basic timber building.


Its been 4 months since I started the wheels in action to make my garden studio a reality. Getting rid of the old garage, hence my parking space, meant a new driveway at the front of the house to allow for off street parking, I live on a small but busy road. Once that was underway I started searching online for home office/studios as well as visiting a number of garden centres with displays of timber buildings. I had done a lot of research in the past so I knew what I wanted, the challenge was to find a building I could afford.  They are not cheap, without a bit of capital or the ability to take out a loan/mortgage it is not an option many artists can afford even if they have the space.

I asked other artists in my regional network who have home studios what they had, it varied from converted sheds to pre-fab garden rooms. The converted sheds were more affordable but the downside was often damp and cold in mid-winter. As I wanted to be able to use my studio year round and store finished work and materials, this could be an issue. Another artist recommended the company she had bought from, Homestead Timber Buildings,  they would do a site visit and given my narrow, dark end of the garden this would be helpful.

The site visit was excellent, he made some useful suggestions and offered some cost saving measures that did not effect the overall size and dealt with the challenges of natural light. The latest planning law requires that garden buildings will need planning permission if any part of the roof over 2.5m (8’6″) high falls within 2m (6’6″) of a boundary. Given my narrow garden this was certainly the case but they would handle the paperwork with the local council as part of their package. So I placed my order and let the plans unfold.

Now, almost two months later, the planning process is nearing completion! My neighbours have not objected, a good sign, but a very silent planning officer knocked on the door yesterday and spent 15 minutes taking lots of photos and writing notes. I expect to hear by early next week if permission is granted, until then I wait . . . .