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Planning permission in Jersey: Can I build a pergola in my garden?

This article was first published in Fine & Country magazine.

Introduction

As Property owners we all like making our new homes (or our existing ones) the place of our dreams. However, before you start making plans to extend or adapt your property and its garden there may be planning issues you need to consider.

This article briefly outlines how Jersey law treats garden structures.

Permitted development

Class A.1, Part 1, Schedule 1, of the Planning and Building (General Development) (Jersey) Order 2011 (the GDO) allows “the erection, construction or placing” of “a structure required for a purpose (other than human habitation)” within the curtilage of a dwelling-house without the need for planning permission, under the “permitted development” exception. Flats are treated differently to dwelling-houses and have their own list of “permitted development” exceptions (which are not the same as those provided for dwelling-houses) under Part 2, Schedule 1 of the GDO.

What is the curtilage of my house?

Domestic “curtilage” is the area of land on which a dwelling-house or flat sits which is used for residential purposes. It does not include a field or other open land next to a house, even if it is in the same ownership. This would include your garden, but would exclude a field next to your garden (even if you own it).

Conditions to permitted development

For the exception under “permitted development” Class A.1 to apply, certain other conditions must be met. For example, the structure cannot be used for commercial purposes. Additionally, if the structure is within 1 metre of the boundary of an adjoining property, it may not exceed 2 metres in height. Nor can the structure be in the front of your house, or exceed 30 square metres in size.

Summary

Generally, a pergola (or other garden structure) can be erected without the need for planning permission. However, the rules can be complicated, so it is worthwhile checking with a lawyer whether the permitted development exception applies in your case.

BCR Law’s Residential and Commercial Property team can advise you on your future property plans and help towards making your dream home a reality. Please contact either Michelle Leverington, Wendy Luce or Emma Baker for more information.

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