News – Do I need planning permission for a mobile home?

Twin Unit Mobile Homes, Lodges and Log Cabins – Planning Permission

Planning Permission for Mobile Homes is the Garden… Do I need planning permission for a mobile home?

Overview… If the mobile homes is sited in the actual garden ‘curtilage of a dwellinghouse’ and used in a manner incidental ‘in addition to’ the main house, you will not require planning permission, unless the property is in a conservation area. In all other cases, excluding replacement caravans, you will need to contact the Council.

The law regarding planning permission for mobile homes in the garden is stated in the ‘Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960’in the ‘First Schedule Cases where a Caravan Site Licence is not required’ point 1 ‘Use within curtilage of a dwellinghouse’ it states…

1. Use within curtilage of a dwellinghouse
A site licence shall not be required for the use of land as a caravan site if the use is incidental to the enjoyment as such of a dwellinghouse within the curtilage of which the land is situated.

A General Interpretation of the Law…

A caravan 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 and/or sited in a Conservation Area.

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. The usage of the caravan must be ‘incidental’ i.e. accompanying the use, of the main dwelling house. In these cases you will not need planning permission. In cases where the caravan is to be sited outside of the ‘domestic grounds’ of the dwelling house or the use is not incidental you will need to contact the Council for a ‘Certificate of Lawful Use of a Caravan’.

Writing to the Council Regarding Mobile Homes in the Garden… Example Letter…

Dear Sirs,

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 domestic curtilage of the dwelling house and will be used in a manner incidental to that of the main property. As an extra bedroom / dayroom it will fall within the primary use of the dwelling house. The caravan will be positioned in the curtilage of the building, 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. 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 1960-2006.

I look forward to your reply. Many Thanks, (name).

Certificate of Lawful Use…

A certificate of lawful use of a caravan is granted by the Council in cases where the use of a caravan is lawful or otherwise granted. Unlike planning permission you often don’t need to submit plans or detail of the actual caravan, just it’s location and use. To apply for a certificate of lawfulness just contact your Council and ask them for the appropriate forms.

When Use of a Caravan is NOT Lawful and Approval is Needed…

You will need to apply for certicate of lawfullness in all cases where a caravan is being sited outside of the domestic curtalidge, i.e. for woodland, green/brown field sites, agricultural land… all cases… you will need to apply for a Certifcate of Lawful Use.

Planning Permission for Temporary Agricultural Dwellings on Farm Land

Overview… If you want to put a mobile home on agricultural/farm land you will need to contact the Council and demonstrate there is a need for you to be there. If you’re not a farmer and just own a plot that you’d like to put a building on you will need to apply for full planning approval.

The law regarding planning permission for mobile homes to be used as Agricultural Dwellings is stated in PPS7 – Planning Policy Statement 7: Sustainable Development in Rural.Annex A – Point 12…

Temporary agricultural dwellings
12. If a new dwelling is essential to support a new farming activity, whether on a newly-created agricultural unit or an established one, it should normally, for the first three years, be provided by a caravan, a wooden structure which can be easily dismantled, or other temporary accommodation. It should satisfy the following criteria:

(i) clear evidence of a firm intention and ability to develop the enterprise concerned (significant investment in new farm buildings is often a good indication of intentions);

(ii) functional need (see paragraph 4 of this Annex… A functional test is necessary to establish whether it is essential for the proper functioning of the enterprise for one or more workers to be readily available at most times. Such a requirement might arise, for example, if workers are needed to be on hand day and night: (i) in case animals or agricultural processes require essential care at short notice; (ii) to deal quickly with emergencies that could otherwise cause serious loss of crops or products, for example, by frost damage or the failure of automatic systems).

(iii) clear evidence that the proposed enterprise has been planned on a sound financial basis;

(iv) the functional need could not be fulfilled by another existing dwelling on the unit, or any other existing accommodation in the area which is suitable and available for occupation by the workers concerned; and

(v) other normal planning requirements, e.g. on siting and access, are satisfied.