When you're planning to add a shed to your garden, it's crucial to consider not just the aesthetic or functional aspects but also the legal and practical implications of its placement. One common question many homeowners grapple with is, "How close can I put my shed to a fence?" In this comprehensive blog post, we'll explore the intricacies of this question, including legal considerations, practical advice, and tips for ensuring your new shed enhances your outdoor space without causing any headaches.

Understanding Legal Boundaries

Before hammering the first nail or laying the foundation, the first step is always to familiarise yourself with local regulations. Planning permission requirements and building regulations can vary significantly from one area to another. Generally, there are two key legal aspects to consider:

1. Planning Permission

In the UK, most garden sheds are considered 'permitted development' and don't require planning permission, provided they meet certain conditions:

  • The shed is not used as living accommodation.
  • It covers no more than half the area of the land around the original house.
  • It is not higher than 2.5 metres if within 2 metres of a boundary.
  • The total height does not exceed 4 metres for a dual-pitched roof or 3 metres for any other type.

However, if your property is in a conservation area or listed, stricter rules may apply, and it's advisable to check with your local council.

2. Building Regulations

For most simple garden sheds, complying with building regulations is not necessary. However, if the shed exceeds 15 square metres in internal floor space and is situated less than 1 metre from any boundary, you may need to adhere to building regulations concerning fire safety.

Practical Considerations

Once you've navigated the legal landscape, there are practical issues to consider. Placing a shed too close to a fence can lead to problems with access, maintenance, and dampness.


Leaving sufficient space between your shed and the fence ensures easy access for painting, repairs, and routine maintenance. It also allows for better airflow, reducing the risk of damp and decay in both the shed and the fence.


Consider the future need to replace either the fence or the shed. If the shed is too close, this could complicate what should be a straightforward task, potentially incurring additional costs.

Moisture control

Good ventilation is crucial for preventing mould and rot. A gap between the shed and the fence allows for air circulation, helping to keep the area dry and extending the lifespan of both structures.

Best Practices for Shed Placement

While regulations and practicalities are important, so are aesthetics and usability. Here are some best practices to ensure your shed placement is optimal:

Consider the Purpose

Think about what you'll be using the shed for. If it's for garden storage, consider placing it closer to the garden area. If it's a workshop, you might want more natural light, so distance from the fence to avoid shading would be important.

Maximise Space

If space is at a premium, positioning your shed strategically to make the most of your garden's layout is key. Sometimes, a compromise between ideal placement and regulatory or practical constraints is necessary.

Plan for the Future

Your needs may change, so consider how easy it would be to move the shed if needed. Also, consider the growth of surrounding trees or shrubs and their potential impact on your shed.


While there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to how close you can put a shed to a fence, the guiding principle should be a balance between compliance with legal requirements, practicality for maintenance and use, and the overall aesthetic appeal of your garden space.

By doing your homework before installation, consulting with professionals if necessary, and carefully planning your shed's placement, you can enhance your garden's functionality and beauty without falling foul of the law or encountering future problems. Remember, a well-placed shed not only serves its purpose more effectively but also contributes to the enjoyment and value of your outdoor living space.