Do You Need Planning Permission For An Outdoor Pizza Oven?

Outdoor Pizza Ovens have become increasingly popular in recent years, both in residential and commercial settings. But for anyone thinking of installing one, this poses a very important question: Do You Need Planning Permission For An Outdoor Pizza Oven?

Whilst the idea of basking in the setting mid-summer sun, with a glass of something fizzy and a freshly baked slice of pizza sounds like heaven to most people… it might not be the best news for your neighbours! After all, who wouldn’t be just a little envious if the heavenly aroma of pizza came wafting through their window?!?

So before you invest in an outdoor pizza oven, it is worth making sure you are on the right side of the law!

So Do You Need Planning Permission For An Outdoor Pizza Oven?

To date, there are very few circumstances where you will need planning permission for an oven outdoors. But before installation, this point should be checked with your local authority or relevant heritage agency – especially if it is a commercial venture, or if the property is listed or located or a conservation area.

If you are installing the oven commercially, i.e. you intend to cook and serve food in a pub garden, changes may be required in a property’s licensing. For example, a premises licence may need to authorise the provision of late-night hot food.


If you are planning to serve food in your garden it must be considered whether the noise, smoke, and smells may constitute a nuisance to any neighbours. A neighbour who suffers from any nuisance, which interferes with their reasonable use and enjoyment of their land, has a right of action either for damages or for an injunction preventing the continuation of the nuisance. Accordingly, it is advisable to mitigate via adequate ventilation or extraction facilities any nuisance emanating from your property to the detriment of any neighbours. You can also mitigate issues around smoke by using the right wood and learn to build a fire properly for efficient combustion.

Building Regulations

A small, standalone oven is unlikely to be subject to any building regulations. But if you plan to erect a structure to house your pizza over, then you may require planning permission.

Chimneys are governed by various building regulations, depending on the type, height, and diameter of chimney and flue being used.  All wood-burning stoves require a “Class 1” chimney. Building Regulations also stipulate the ventilation of these appliances. The two proper ventilation methods are the “traditional design” and the “centre vent design” which ensure that the ventilation system is outside of the cooking chamber. You should check this with your supplier prior to purchasing the equipment.

Consents (landlord change of use/alterations)

If you are a tenant of leased property, you should check to see whether your lease permits both the installation and use of an outdoor oven. Installation of an outdoor cooking oven will be considered an alteration for the purposes of the lease and may require your landlord’s consent.

In addition, the permitted use of the outdoor area of the property could be inconsistent with the cooking and serving of food. It is always advisable to check the terms of your lease to ascertain whether your well-laid plans are permitted by the lease and if the landlord’s consent is required.

Fire Regulations

You are probably ok if you are enjoying your home-cooked endeavours with a small gathering of family or friends, but if you are hosting a large gathering or commercial event, you will need to consider fire regulations.

In order to comply with fire regulations, it is essential for every owner of outdoor cooking facilities to conduct a fire safety risk assessment.  This means: 1) identify fire hazards; 2) identify people at risk; 3) evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risk; 4) record, plan, inform, instruct and train and 5) review the plans and assessment.

Smoke Control Areas

If your property is located within a smoke control area then the oven must be certified as a “smoke exempt appliance” and have DEFRA certification.  It is an offence to install a non-exempt appliance and you could be fined up to £1,000.  Local authorities have details of the fuels and appliances which are approved for use.

If you are thinking of installing a Pizza Oven and you aren’t sure whether or not you need planning permission, contact us and we can talk you through the process. You might also find our article about When to Hire a Town Planner and our download Guide on How to Choose a Town Planner helpful.

Related Content

If you are thinking about incorporating your pizza oven into a garden shed or building, you might also find our article Do you need Planning Permission for a Garden Office helpful as the same principles apply.

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