Changes to planning permission for bike sheds

bike shed

If you struggle to find space to store your bikes at home, help might be at hand. The government is consulting on changes to planning law to allow ‘further flexibilities to permit bike stores in front gardens’.

bike sheds permitted development


The government is proposing to allow bike stores in front gardens, including homes in conservation areas. The size of the bike sheds would be restricted to 2 metres in width, 1 metre in depth and 1.5 metres in height.

You can have your say on the proposed changes here.

Why does planning permission for bike stores need to change?

You might have assumed that if you’re lucky enough to have a front garden, it’s safe to assume you can put up a small shed to store your bicycle? Not necessarily.

In theory, any structure erected in a front garden requires planning consent. However, in practice you’re probably OK unless you live in a strict conservation area or a neighbour complains. If that happens it’s likely you’ll have to apply for planning permission.

Many local councils support cycling so it’s always worth giving your local planning team a call – who knows, you may live in an area that installs bike hangers when there’s enough of a demand.

biskiple demonstration

We became so frustrated at the absence of secure on-street cycle parking we designed a flat-pack fake skip to discreetly house bikes – thankfully there are more practicable solutions

Assuming you get a shed, be aware that thieves now target them specifically and as a result, many cycle insurance companies now insist on a high level of door lock security.

By contrast, Cycle insurance from the ETA has a sympathetic policy towards keeping bicycles in a shed. You can use any type of lock to secure the door and the bike doesn’t have to be locked while left inside – although if it’s visible through a window you have to cover it with a blanket or similar. Read more about storage requirements.

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurancebreakdown cover  and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.


  1. Lee


    If It’s your land and property or if you rent it the government or council shouldn’t have a day in the matter as long as it’s maintained and not an eyesore 🤷🏻‍♂️

  2. Geoff Williams


    A nicely put together shed at the front of the property could be very useful.
    Nowadays, we all have a Storage Problem and the conventional wooden or metal shed are of Major Support. The Article in qu3stion refers to storing bicycles, specifying only a Metre or so high! Whilst OK for a cycle it is not much use to me who is not a Cyclist, but a Gardener!
    Ideally, the 6 x 4 typical potting shed would be better, as shown in the photograph., with the bikes. If the height limitation was implemented, this cut down version could well house Lawn Mower, Scarifier and Gardening tools. This for me would be far more practical and get this ‘GARDENING EQUIPMENT’ FROM
    out of the Garage.

  3. Roger


    if you look at the sizes they have put 2 metres in width, 1 metre in depth and 1.5 metres in height.i do believe the depth size should be at least 2 metres wouldn’t get a child’s bike in the size they have put.
    would need a well made bike shed or the bikes will be nicked

    • Debbie


      I believe the idea is to put the bike in sideways, so it goes across the width, then uou could easily fit 2-3 bikes side by side

  4. Colin thomad


    This is a good idea. More glrxa ilitu some houses do not have back gardens or if so to s.all to put up storage unit where as they have a large front garden

  5. Colin thomad


    This is a good idea
    some houses do not have back gardens or if so to small to put up storage unit where as they have a large front garden

  6. Chris Froome


    Frankly, it’s bad enough having your shed broken into out back. Shed out front, “hello thief, bicycle in here” or as one wanted to put lawn mower in. Really, not a good idea

  7. Bobyas


    I think it a good idea. Saves bringing dirty bike through the house and if she’d secure enough it will be ok

  8. Diane


    As long as a front garden shed is not so big it becomes a light blocking structure to anyone I don’t see a problem apart from the obvious thief magnate if it’s not secure

  9. Robin L Sanders


    As well as the heightened risk of break in due to visibility at the front of one’s house if you store electric bike and charge them there you run the risk of a fire at the possible only exit to you house. Not clever q

  10. Pete Warf


    The bicycle shed size proposed is not nearly large enough. The maximum permissible dimensions need to be bigger in all directions, to make it able to store multiple bikes and not need to kneel to lock, unlock and maintain a cycle. I wish more practical experience was applied to these consultations.

    • Tonihodgkins


      An AVG shed was 2 mts x 1-5 mts takes 3 bikes, 4 at a squeeze,

      • Old giza


        Police plot. Once bikes are outside house, 2 wheeled criminals caught on dash cams will be hunted down by PCSOs

  11. Nick


    Get a Sprinter van, park it in front, and store the neighbourhoods bikes in there. Immobilise the van. Add some locks and cameras.
    There’s always a van parked on the pavement in front of my house.

  12. Robert van Elst


    Why not? You don’t need planning permission to park a 2.5 ton SUV in front of your house either

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