Does My Log Cabin Need Planning Permission?

There’s nothing more blissful than relaxing in a log cabin in the great outdoors – from a tranquil summer house or garden office, a garden spa or sauna cabin, to a residential cabin – the possibilities are endless!

But key question on everyone’s mind is often; “Do I need planning permission for my log cabin?”.

The rules and regulations of planning permission are by no means black and white, and there are a number of confusing grey areas. Our team have put together this simple and succinct guide to help you get your head around it.

To Put It Simply..


When Is Planning Permission Not Required?

You do not required planning permission (subject to planning regulations) when:

  • Building a free-standing structure such as a small cabin or garden house which does not exceed 25 square metres / 270 square foot.
  • Building a new extension which does not exceed 40 square metres / 420 square feet.


When Is Planning Permission Required?

You will require planning permission for your cabin when:

  • Building a larger, more permanent structure.

‘The Grey Area’

The 25 square metre rule generally applies to structures which are within or in excess of these restrictions, and where the building is considered permanent. However, some builds can fall into the unspecified grey areas.

For example, if your cabin is not considered a permanent structure, but it is over 25 square metres, you may not require planning permission. However, we do advise checking with your local planning authority.


What Is a Permanent Structure?

If you are building a cabin which is under 25 square metres, less than 3.9 meters high and which is not considered a “permanent structure”, you do not require planning permission.

Timber frame cabins or log cabins which are built directly on a timber base or block pad are not classed as a “permanent” structure. However, if you are considering building a much larger and more permanent cabin, above the planning size restrictions, we do advise contacting your local council and planning authority.


What If My Planning Application Is Refused?

If you do need to apply for planning permission and your planning application is unfortunately refused, you can appeal this decision through An Bord Pleanala (otherwise referred to as the Planning Appeals Board). This independent board will review each decision on a case by case basis and may overturn the decision on your planning application in favour of the construction of your timber frame cabin.

A refusal may very well be overturned as in mid-2018 there was a large nationwide calling for planning laws to be changed in Ireland to allow log cabins and other timber frame structures to be erected in gardens in order to tackle the ongoing housing crisis. This exception is to be considered, particularly by the Dublin City Council, and the proposal has been outlined as a “sensible” and “modest” response to the housing crisis, and one which most definitely deserves to be debated.

Exceptions to the 25 Sq. Metre Rule

If your timber frame cabin is considered to be an extension to your existing home, you may bypass planning permission requirements. Under this exception to the 25 square meter rule, the extension must not exceed 40 square meters in internal floor space, must not be higher than your existing home and must not have walls higher than 2 metres.

This also applied if your cabin is to be attached to a garage or annexe area to your home.

Ask Our Expert Team

The team at Creative Grain are here to help you every step of the way! Should you require planning permission, we an provide your architect with all of the necessary information and plans to streamline your application. Get in touch with our team today for more information.

Building a timber frame self build? Have planning permission? Visit our sister company ( and submit your construction drawings for a free quotation on your timber frame.

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No – unlike many of our competitors, we include installation on site free of charge with all cabins. As our cabins are much heavier than the ‘kit’ or modular cabins and require precise construction by qualified timber frame specialists, we do not provide a flat pack service.

No – unlike our competitors, our cabins are double skinned as standard and we include 100mm of quality insulation in the cavity walls and roof free of charge with all of our timber frame cabins, resulting in a total wall thickness of approx. 200mm.

Any form of heating can be installed in our cabins – oil, stove, electric radiators etc. However, a concrete base is required for the installation of a stove.

Technically our builds aren’t considered ‘cabins’ – they are timber frame builds or timber frame homes, and are made using the same structure as the roof a regular block built structure.

Unlike the typical modular or ‘kit’ type cabins which can be delivered and connected together on site; our cabins are constructed on site from the ground up to completion.

Unlike our competitors, we include quality insulation free of charge with all of our timber frame cabins.

The total wall thickness is approx. 200mm. This is made up of a number of layers such as the treated timber frame structure, 4 inches of rockwool insulation, interior plaster boarding, the waterproof membrane, external cladding and the cavity wall to reduce the effects of cold bridging. This cavity allows for insulation and the set up of services, rather than a single sheet timber which is usually the case with most of the ‘kit’ type cabins.

We can build to suit all specifications in terms of insulation, layout and interior / exterior finishes. We will work together with you to design your dream cabin at an unbeatable price!

We can build to suit any size or spec. We offer a free site inspection in most locations and will work with you to design a cabin suited to your needs on both the inside and outside!

Cabins can be paid in full in advance, or at each milestone following a small desposit to secure the booking.

All timber is fully treated which means that there is no need to paint to maintain. Over time, all timber will naturally ‘silver’ due to exposure to the elements. However, if you prefer a more modern rather than rustic look, we would advise oiling or painting the timber cladding.

We can provide a variety of alternative cladding options, including concrete plaster boarding which looks just like the exterior of a traditional block built structure.

Our timber frame cabins are made using quality, approved treated timber. The expected lifespan is approx. 25 years.

We do not require planning permission before starting the build. However, for more information feel free to read our blog post which summarises the rules and regulations of planning permission, and the ‘grey’ areas.

A general rule of thumb is that planning is not required on builds under 25 square metres or which are not classed as a “permanent structure” in the ROI. We advise checking with your local planning authority in advance.