Outbuildings  include sheds, greenhouses and garages as well as other ancillary garden buildings and many other kinds of structure for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house.

Following the exposure of ‘Beds in Sheds’ the rules on outbuildings now do not allow outbuildings to be used as dwellings.

The overall height of an outbuilding must now not exceed 2.5 m if the outbuilding is within 2m of the property boundary.

WBC currently require brick built outbuildings to be set back from the boundary by 1m

ACER’s primary concern is that any outbuilding should blend in to the suburban garden scene and not stand out as an eyesore out of consideration to the neighbours.

The Borough Design Guide reiterates the Core Strategy policy, which “..is to maintain the existing quality of environment for local residents.” New development, including outbuildings  “must be compatible with local character”.

A recent Application to keep an outbuilding built at the bottom of a garden,  was rejected on Appeal, following objections by local residents, ACER and local Councillors. In his judgement, the Government Inspector stated it  “would detract from the character and appearance of the surrounding area”.

ACER has long argued that these large bungalow style outbuildings are an eyesore and out of place in our gardens. If outbuildings are required they should be unobtrusive and finished in materials which blend into the garden environment, including screening with shrubs etc.  In particular, White UPVC does not blend in, in fact it stands out and therefore is not unobtrusive.