UK planning legislation is a complex area, but as a guide, our pods are classed as ‘caravan structures’ and an article of potentially moveable property known as a ‘chattel.’ There is no specific law preventing you from siting a structure within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse (that is, the drive and garden of a property, not including additional land, e.g. a paddock).1 However, regulations regarding the use of land do apply.
Provided ‘material change of use’ has not occurred, for example, if you used your structure as additional overnight accommodation for guests who use washing and food preparation facilities in your main house, planning permission is probably not required, because the part of your garden containing your pod would be used ‘for the enjoyment of the main dwellinghouse.’2
If you intend to use your pod as a main dwelling, business premises or holiday accommodation, then these examples would constitute use which is entirely separate to the main residence and thus material change of use of that area of your land has occurred (‘development’), and planning consent would be required. 3
We’re always happy to assist with planning applications and are able to provide CAD drawings and additional material to support your approach to your Local Authority.
We always recommend discussing your plans at an early stage with your Local Authority Planning Department.
In certain circumstances, UK Building Regulations approval is required (for example if you’re siting a school building, main dwelling or a structure with a floor area of more than 30 square metres). Please note that Building Regulations may apply even if your structure does not require planning permission and the two are entirely separate. We can assist with achieving Building Regulations sign-off.
Please note that it remains the client’s responsibility to ensure all relevant permissions are obtained at all stages.
- 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. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/8-9/62/schedule/FIRST
- Section 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. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/8/section/55
- 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. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/8/section/55