We all know how much kids love to run around in the fresh air, and while the youth of today are often criticised for remaining indoors too much, they are often forced into doing so by the weather. With Britain’s infamous climate, kids often find themselves stuck indoors during school playtimes due to safety concerns when it rains.
School canopies are a great way to enable kids to run around at will in the great outdoors, even when poor weather strikes. These playground shelters are great for protecting play areas from the elements, but before erecting one, it’s your duty to ensure you have the permission.
Lean to canopies are classed as temporary structures, and therefore many local authorities do not have any issue with their presence in the school playground. However, because they are still recognised as buildings, some authorities will need school canopies to be subject to an application before they are installed.
Most playground shelters fall under the guidelines of General Permitted Development Orders (GPDOs), meaning that they must be less than five metres tall, and at least five metres from a boundary. It must also cover less than 25% of the space of the entire school building, or 100 square metres (whichever is lesser).
Lean to canopies may also fall under Part 12 of the Local Authority Permitted Development guidelines, which state that the shelter must be a height of no more than four metres, must be at least a metre from any boundaries, and a volume of no more than 200 cubic metres.
Whilst it is not certain that planning permission is needed to install a school canopy, it is always best to double check, and to ensure that your intentions will not fall foul of the law. Of course, there is always help available to assist with any applications, and in providing adequate justification for the installation of a playground shelter.
Thanks to playground shelters, many schools have benefitted immensely from being able to provide outdoor space for their pupils, even when the weather conspires against them. In the majority of these instances, schools have been able to erect these shelters hassle free, but there is always the odd occasion when a local authority will require an application.
If you’re planning to add school canopies to your playground, make sure you plan ahead, and get any relevant permission to install it before you begin the work. Don’t get caught cold with your playground shelter!