Planning For Mobile Homes
If the building is going in your garden you often don’t need planning permission but we do recommend you get a ‘Certificate of Lawfulness’ for peace-of-mind. This is like planning permission but you don’t have to submit plans. If you want to put a Mobile Home anywhere other than your garden you will need to contact your local council for approval. This would include any agricultural land jointed to your property and woodland. You will also need approval for conservation areas and new build estates.
Putting a Mobile Home in your garden (up to 6.8x20m) falls under the same law as parking a touring caravan in your drive and normally falls within the primary use of the dwelling house. So long as it remains moveable and is not someone’s sole or primary residence, it will be acceptable. However, the use is important. There must remain a relationship between the main house and the Mobile, this means the people using the mobile home also have use of the main house. If a caravan is just used for sleeping purposes by a family member it is ancillary and you don’t need any approval. If, however, it is capable of being used as a separate residence, it is not. There must be an interaction between the two buildings that involves a significant degree of dependence on facilities provided from the main house. This means the people who stay in the building must also have access or a relationship with to the main house, like they take meals there, have their belonging stored there, use the facilities etc.
Legal Planning Definition for Caravans in the Garden…
A caravan (as defined in s.29 of the Caravan Sites & Control of Development) may be parked temporarily (in the same manner as a car) within the curtilage of a domestic property without the need for planning permission, unless there are limiting conditions applied when the house was built. This is more commonplace in modern housing estates.*
A caravan may also be used in a manner ancillary to the residential property; that is, in addition to the use of the house, but not as someone’s separate dwelling. You can use a caravan as, say, a granny annex, but it must not become someone’s “only or main residence”. There must remain a relationship between the caravan and the house, so, for example, meals could be taken in the house. Use the caravan simply in the manner of an extra room / bedroom. Make sure it remains moveable.
*Check to make sure your property deeds do not restrict this permitted development right; particularly on more modern estates or where the council has issued an Article 4 Direction – common in Conservation Areas.
Contacting the Council…
We suggest in the first instance, if appropriate to your situation, you write a letter like the one below to the Council. They will hopefully write back confirming planning isn’t required. We then suggest, armed with this reply, you go back to the Council and apply for a Certificate of Lawful Development for a Caravan. Example letter one…
I am writing to inform you of my intention to site a caravan in my garden at (your address).
I understand that I do not need planning permission for this but thought it advisable to check before proceeding.
The caravan will be sited in the actual grounds of the house and will be used by family members and guests in addition to the use of the main house. As an extra bedroom / dayroom it will fall within the primary use of the dwelling house.
The caravan will not be separately metered and relies on the services from the main house. The caravan will be positioned in the curtilage of the building i.e. the garden, not in surrounding paddocks or farmland.
The caravan will be used in a manner ancillary to the main property. It is not someone’s separate dwelling. Guests or family members who stay in the caravan can have meals and store belongings in the main residence and will use the caravan only for occasional sleeping purposes and daytime activities. Any use of the caravan will vitally depend on a connection with the main house.
The caravan falls under the current legal definition of a caravan set in the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, 1968 and the 2006 amendment.
I look forward to your reply.
Many Thanks, (name).
What are Mobile Homes?
Mobile Home refers to any building that has been deigned and constructed to be transportable by road in one or two sections. Once assembled you must be able to move the building around site in one section and the structure must also remain divisible for road transport. Mobile Homes are no larger than 20 x 6.8m, that’s 65 x 23FT) with an internal maximum height of 305cms. Legally mobile-homes can still be defined as ‘Caravans’.
Different types. Static Caravans and Twin Unit Homehomes…
There are two types of Mobile Home, single units or static caravans and twin-units or park-homes. Static caravans are no wider than 14ft, allowing them to transported in one complete section. Twin-Units are transported in two halves which are bolted together on-site and remain divisible.
Wheels or No Chassis?…
Many Mobile Homes are constructed on steel chassis with wheels. This allows the buildings to be moved on and off truck trailers and around site. However, Mobile Homes don’t have to have wheels. So long as the structure remains unconnected to the groundwork’s, i.e. it’s built on steel girders or timber beams and remains divisible and transportable, it will still comply with legislation.
All our on-site built mobile homes come with a 3rd party structural enginners report confirming compliance with the regulations.
BS 3632 (2005) Residential Park Homes Specification…
All our mobile homes BUILT OFF-SITE carry BS3632 certification. Mobile Homes don’t have to conform to Building Regulations but in 2005 the Government revised the legalisation for the construction of Park and Mobile Homes that are used as permanent places of residence. BS 3632 (2005) sets manufacturing standards for insulation values, structural integrity, ventilation, fire and other statutory requirements. Commercially manufactured mobile homes constructed with-out BS:3632 are often substantially lower in specification and build quality.
Building on or off-site?…
We can build mobile homes off-site and deliver via truck in one or two section. We can also build on-site, if a mobile homes is being built on-site we use a timber chassis system with no wheels which gives fantastic structural integrity and means that you don’t need to clad or ‘skirt’ around the chassis to hide the wheels.
Single unit static caravans can be built on-site with-out complication. However, twin-unit mobile homes must be constructed in two separate stand alone halves and the ‘last act’ of building is joining the halves together. The building must be capable of being transported around site in one section and also split in two sections for road transport. All our on-site built mobile homes come with a 3rd party structural enginners report confirming compliance with the regulations.
This is the Current Legal Definition of a Caravan…
Section 29 (1) of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 defined a caravan as:
“… Any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another (whether being towed, or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer) and any motor vehicle so designed or adapted but does not include
(A) Any railway rolling stock which is for the time being on rails forming part of a system, or
(B) Any tent”
This definition has been modified be section 13 (1) of the Caravan Sites Act 1968, which deals with twin-unit caravans. Section 13 (1) provides that:
“A structure designed or adapted for human habitation which:
(A) Is composed of not more than two sections separately constructed and designed to be assembled on a site by means of bolts, clamps and other devices; and
(B) Is, when assembled, physically capable of being moved by road from one place to another (whether being towed, or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer), shall not be treated as not being (or have been) a caravan within the means of Part 1 of the Caravan Sites Control of Development Act 1960 by reason only that it cannot lawfully be moved on a highway when assembled”.
Amendment of the definition of caravan in article 3 of the Social Landlords (Permissible Additional Purposes) (England) Order 2006Ã¢â‚¬Â¨ Paragraph 3 of article 3 of the Social Landlords (Permissible Additional Purposes) (England) Order 2006 (meaning of caravan) shall be amendedÃ¢â‚¬Â¨
(a) Length (exclusive of any drawbar) 20m (65.6FT)
(b) Width: 6.8m (22.3ft)
(c) Overall height (measured internally from the floor at the lowest level to the ceiling at the highest level) 3.05m (10ft)