The faithful readers will know about the shed I have currently under construction. And yes the roof stayed on last night following #StormRachel (despite the roof not being strapped down). I was thinking about exempted development recently and there’s an interesting exemption that I thought you might like to know.
You can build a shed at 25m2 as Exempted Development under planning legislation (restrictions below from MayoCoCo.ie):
You can build a garage, carport, shed, greenhouse, kennel for domestic pets, etc., as long as it does not extend out in front of the building line of the house and does not exceed 4 metres in heighr, (if it has a tiled or slated pitched roof), or 3 metres (if it has any other roof type). The floor area limitation for exempted development is 25 square metres (which includes the floor area of any existing garage,shed etc. for example, if there is an existing shed of 15 square metres then the exempted limitation would be 10 square metres) and the structure may not be lived in, used for commercial purposes or for keeping pigs, poultry, pigeons, ponies or horses. Garages, sheds, etc. to the side of the house must match the finish of the house. You cannot reduce the open space at the side or rear of the house below 25 square metres.
But, if you live in a rural area you could build an ‘agricultural building’ at 200m2 (restrictions below from Kildare CoCo):
Provided the gross floor area is not greater than 200 sq. metres and meets the following conditions, you do not need planning permission if you live in a rural area as defined in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001.
1. No such structure shall be used for any purpose other than the purpose of agriculture.
2. The gross floor space of such structure together with any other such structures within the same farmyard complex or within 100 metres of that complex shall not exceed 300 square metres gross floor space in aggregate.
3. Effluent storage facilities adequate to serve the structure having regard to its size, use and location, shall be constructed in line with Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and Department of the Environment and Local Government requirements and shall have regard to the need to avoid water pollution.
4. No such structure shall be situated, and no effluent from such structure shall be stored, within 10 metres of any public road.
5. No such structure within 100 metres of any public road shall exceed 8 metres in height.
6. No such structure shall be situated, and no effluent from such structure shall be stored, within 100 metres of any house (other than the house of the person providing the structure) or other residential building or school, hospital, church or building used for public assembly, save with the consent in writing of the owner and, as may be appropriate, the occupier or person in charge thereof.
7. No unpainted metal sheeting shall be used for roofing or on the external finish of the structure.
You don’t even need to keep cattle in it! Stables for horses/donkeys, also enclosures for deer, sheep and goats – even rabbits are also exempt!
So in response to the title question:
When is a shed not a shed, the answer is when it’s a rural agricultural building.
All advice online is remote from the situation and cannot be relied upon as a defence or support – in and of itself – should legal action be taken. Competent legal and building professionals should be asked to advise in Real Life with rights to inspect and issue reports on the matters at hand.