Planning Permission for Static Caravans & Mobile Homes
What is planning permission required for?
Planning permission is required if you are developing land. Development is “the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, over or under land or making of any material change in the use of any building or other land.”
Let’s consider the implications of both “building” and “building operations”. Buildings as we know them now have a broader meaning, as people are building all sorts out of… well, all sorts! But the courts have decided that a caravan cannot be a ‘building’. The actual definition of a ‘Caravan’ is “any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another whether by being towed or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer”.
Technically, if you are siting a Static Caravan or Mobile Home within the garden/ planning permitted grounds of your property, it is very unlikely you will need planning permission, provided a relationship remains between the house and the Caravan i.e. Occupants (kids, elderly relatives etc) are using the house to shower, or eat etc. So it is an addition to the house and not a separate dwelling.
However, if you already have a caravan or structure the size of a caravan, you should be able to replace it with a New Static Caravan or Mobile Home under permitted development, sometimes provided it’s been there for more than 10 years.
Do I need planning permission for my mobile home?
Technically, no, as it is a mobile structure and not changing or developing the land it will be on. But there are some points to take into consideration, such as; where is the caravan going to be sited? How long will it stay there, and what is it going to be used for? Typically if you’d like to live in a caravan on a plot of land you will need to apply for planning permission. However, if you are doing a self build or renovation project and your house in uninhabitable then you will have no problem gaining permission for one.
For more in depth advice feel free to give us a call as people are using static caravans and mobile homes for all sorts of uses! For example, have you seen our famous Sunrise Lodges? A fully self contained annex solution working out around 50% cheaper than building!
Please Note: whilst endeavoring to provide you with as much information as possible; we are not planning specialists and would advise seeking local council advice before siting a static caravan or mobile home on your own land. Also, within some residential areas in the UK you may have a covenant on your house deeds specifying whether or not a caravan can be placed upon the land, this is often a good place to start.
Below, we have an example of a letter you could send/email to your council explaining your idea, referencing all the important bits so you shouldn’t need full planning!
Example Letter/ Email for your council
Dear Sir/ Madam,
[FULL ADDRESS OF THE PROPERTY WHERE YOU PLAN TO SITE YOUR LODGE]
I am proposing to station a mobile home in the garden of my property above. I enclose a plan with the proposed stationing area edged red.
I understand that I do not need planning permission to station a mobile home in my garden from ‘Section 29 of the Caravan Sites and Control Development Act 1960’ (as amended by the 1968 Act), I understand that if a mobile home is sited within the curtilage of the dwelling house, and used for ancillary purposes it does not amount to development requiring planning permission. I would be grateful to receive confirmation of this, or if a certificate of lawful use/ similar will be required.
The mobile home would be stationed within the curtilage of my house, would comply fully with ‘Section 13 of the Caravan Sites Act 1968’ and the definition of a caravan/ mobile home. It is a purpose-built log cabin style mobile home from a reputable manufacturer with over 35yrs experience. It is fully moveable, built on a chassis and wheels, its construction and size are all compliant with the definitions of a caravan/ mobile home.
The mobile home would be placed on the land and would not be fixed permanently to the ground. It will require no major building works for installation and all services will be fully removable.
It would be used as… [an annexe for family member(s) / spare bedrooms / guesthouse / staff accommodation / office etc.] …thus providing extra space as part of the overall use of the main house. The mobile home will share services, facilities and access with the main house, and not be classed in any way as a separate or independent dwelling.
If you have any questions, please feel free contact me. Otherwise, I look forward to receiving your confirmation.
Mobile Home Planning Legal References
Section 55(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 defines ‘development’, which requires planning permission, as carrying out of building and other operations or making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land.
Under s 55(2)(d) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 the use of any buildings or other land within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse for any purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such is not to be taken to involve development of the land.
The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 Schedule 1. Cases where a Caravan site License is not required. 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.