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If you’ve ever sat beside a gurgling river or stream and watched the wildlife coming and going, you will know how much life depends on water. Without water, there is no life.
In the UK, we faced massive droughts through the summer this year, and we were getting quite concerned about the wildlife in our little garden, but luckily we have a little pond for them to get water.
We spent a long time watching the little tadpoles grow up into froggies, despite the setbacks, and now we wouldn’t be without a little pond for our garden, but can you build a pond? Do you need permission?
There is no need to obtain planning permission to build a pond in the United Kingdom because a pond is classified as ‘permitted development‘. This means that it is considered a minor addition or alteration (the official wording being “garden project”) that does not significantly alter the appearance or function of the property. However, some restrictions on the size and depth of the pond must be adhered to for it to fall under this category.
If you want to build a pond at the front of your house, this is likely to require permission from your local authority. Some authorities will see this pond as any other and class it under the permitted development rights, but others will consider it a change to the visual aspect of your home, requiring permission.
You must contact your local planning authority to find out whether you need planning permission if you wish to build a pond in your front garden.
Building a pond is not a complex procedure, but getting it right the first time is not always easy. There are a few things that you need to consider before diving in and starting the digging.
- 1 Can I Build A Pond On My Property
- 2 Why Are Ponds Permitted Development?
- 3 Can You Build A Pond In A Council House?
- 4 Why A Garden Pond Is A Good Idea
- 5 Building a Pond: Things To Consider
- 6 What You’ll Need To Build A Pond
- 7 How Close To The Property Line Can I Build A Pond?
- 8 Do You Need Planning Permission To Build A Fishing Pond?
- 9 Do You Need Permission To Build A Swimming Pool In Your Garden?
Can I Build A Pond On My Property
If you own a property in the United Kingdom, you may be wondering if you are allowed to build a pond on your land. The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including whether or not you live in a conservation area and whether or not your pond will be visible from the road.
In most cases, building a pond on your property is considered to be permitted development, which means that you do not need planning permission from your local council to proceed. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Living in a conservation area (ANOB or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) is the most difficult. In that case, you will likely need planning permission for your pond if you live in a conservation area, as these areas are protected, and the authorities need to approve any changes to the landscape.
Why Are Ponds Permitted Development?
It is generally accepted that ponds are permitted development in the UK. This means you do not need planning permission to build a pond as long as it meets specific criteria.
The criteria for ponds are as follows:
- The pond must be no more than 20 square metres (20m²) in area (general rule).
- The pond must be located at least 5 metres from buildings or boundaries.
- The pond must not be deeper than 1 metre at its deepest.
If your pond meets these criteria, then you can go ahead and build it without needing planning permission.
However, it is always worth checking with your local authority before starting any work, just to be sure.
Ponds are often seen as an asset to a property, as they can add visual appeal and attract wildlife. If you are planning to build a pond, it is important to ensure that it will not cause any problems for your neighbours or the local environment.
Can You Build A Pond In A Council House?
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden attached to your council house, you may wonder if you can add a pond?
The good news is that, according to the government’s planning portal, you can build a pond or water feature as long as it does not take up more than 50% of the available land around the original house.
This means that the average garden pond of 2 metres in diameter will be fine as long as your garden is bigger than 4m² is fine.
Of course, there are always restrictions and things to consider when undertaking any building or DIY project on your property.
For example, you will need to make sure that your pond:
- Does not block any windows or doors
- Does not cause any damage to the foundations of your house.
- Is made safe for wildlife (using a wildlife safe filter for example).
- Is made safe for children or pets (using a cover, netting, a barrier or alarm, etc).
You will also need permission from your local council if you plan to make any changes to your property’s exterior that falls within the UK’s planning regulations.
Why A Garden Pond Is A Good Idea
If you’re looking for a new gardening project to add beauty and value to your home, build a pond!
A garden pond is not only a lovely addition to any back garden or backyard but also good for the environment.
A garden pond provides a habitat for local wildlife. Birds, frogs, and other animals will appreciate the new water source, and you’ll enjoy watching them visit your backyard or back garden.
A pond can also be used to grow plants that typically wouldn’t do well in your region. Creating a microclimate around the pond allows you to experiment with different plants and welcome all sorts of wildlife.
Ponds are low-maintenance gardens. Once you’ve built and planted your pond, there’s not much else you need to do except keep a watchful eye on it and encourage the wildlife to visit.
Building a Pond: Things To Consider
Although they are easy to build and maintain, ponds are not without problems.
When it comes to ponds, many people think of them as simply a hole in the ground filled with water. However, there is much more to building a pond than that. Several things need to be considered before starting to build a pond.
The first thing to consider is the size of the pond. It is essential to ensure that the pond is not too small or too large for the area where it will be located.
The second thing to consider is the depth of the pond. The depth of the pond will determine how deep the water will be and how deep the roots of plants will be able to grow.
Having different levels in your pond makes it more appealing to the eye and can be used to divide areas of the pond. However, it is essential to ensure that each level is connected well and will not sink or float.
Having a slope in the pond is crucial. However, it must be a gradual slope to allow wildlife to climb easily in and out of the pond. The slope can be used as an area for growing plants and make your pond a more attractive feature.
What You’ll Need To Build A Pond
If you’re thinking about adding a pond to your backyard oasis, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.
Building a pond is a bit more involved than simply digging a hole and filling it with water.
Here’s what you’ll need to build a pond:
- A level spot in your garden that gets at least six hours of sun per day.
- A pond liner to hold the water in place – this can be made from PVC, rubber, or even special pond liner fabric or a specific rigid pond form.
- A pond pump and filter to circulate the water and keep it oxygenated.
- Rocks or other decorations for around the edge of the pond.
- Pond plants, both floating and submerged varieties. Plants filter the water and provide a habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures.
- Wildlife bio activator.
- Any fish you’re hoping to raise.
- Optional decorative pond lighting.
- Pond safety netting.
- Barley straw and other pond cleaners (be sure to opt for wildlife-friendly and eco-friendly options).
- Pond rescue and pond treatment options.
How Close To The Property Line Can I Build A Pond?
How close to the property line can you build a small pond in your garden? The answer depends on a few factors, including whether you’re in an urban or rural area and whether you need planning permission. In general, you should not build a pond that is visible from the road or entranceway, as this is likely to require planning permission.
In general, ponds are considered permitted development in rural areas. This means that you won’t need planning permission as long as the pond is less than 20 inches deep and doesn’t cover more than 10 per cent of your property.
However, the rules are different if you live in an urban area. You’ll likely need planning permission to build a pond, which must be located at least 10 feet away from any property lines.
So, before you start digging, check with your local planning office to see what regulations apply in your area.
Do You Need Planning Permission To Build A Fishing Pond?
If you want to build a private fishing pond on your property, you may need planning permission from your local authority. This will depend on the size and location of the pond.
You will need planning permission if you intend to build a pond intended for commercial fishing.
In general, you will need planning permission if the pond is more than 20 square metres in size or is located within 10 metres of a road or boundary. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, so it’s always best to check with your local authority before starting any work.
If you’re planning to build a small pond for private use, you may be able to do so without planning permission.
This is known as ‘permitted development’ and usually applies to ponds less than 1 metre deep with a maximum capacity of 50 cubic metres.
Do You Need Permission To Build A Swimming Pool In Your Garden?
If you’re considering adding a swimming pool to your garden, you may be wondering if you need permission from your local authority. In general, most swimming pool developments fall within the permitted development and garden projects scope, so you won’t need to get permission.
The deeper answer is that it depends on several factors, including the size and depth of the pool, whether it’s temporary or permanent, and whether it’s for private or public (commercial) use.
Under what’s known as ‘permitted development’, you may be able to build a small swimming pool without planning permission. However, there are restrictions on the size and depth of the pool, restricting you to under 50% of the total outdoor space, and it must be for private use only.
If you’re unsure whether your proposed pool falls within permitted development guidelines, it’s always best to check with your local authority before proceeding.
Even if you don’t need planning permission, there are other things to consider before building a swimming pool in your garden, including opting for a natural swimming pool rather than a chemical pool.
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