Planning Permission for Log Cabins
Do I need Planning Permission for my log cabin?
We’ve put together some straightforward guides – see below – to Planning Permission for log cabins. There are several guides, because the requirement for Planning Permission depends very much on how and where you anticipate using your log building. You can understand why a simple, unoccupied garden building might be treated differently from a granny annex with all mod cons, for example. If you do need to submit an application for Planning Permission for your log cabin, we recommend you seek professional advice. In any case, it is always wise to check with your local Planning office.
Garden office planning permission
Garden offices and similar buildings are usually considered Permitted Development on your property. This greatly simplifies Planning Permission requirements for your log cabin. (The only exception is Listed buildings, which always require Planning Permission.) Dimensions are often important, so we state them clearly on our plans. If you can answer “Yes” to ALL these questions, you won’t need Planning Permission:
- Will the building be within your property’s curtilage (your garden, effectively)?
- Will it occupy no more than 50% of the available ground space around your house?
- Will it be behind the building line (usually the front of your house, in the direction of the highway)?
- Will it be single-storey?
- If it will have a dual-pitched roof, will it be no more than 4 m high?
- If it will be located within 2 m of your property’s boundary, will it be no more than 2.5 m high?
- In any other case, will it be no more than 3 m high?
- Whatever the height of the building, will its eaves be no more than 2.5 m high?
- Will it be used for purposes incidental to the enjoyment of the house’s occupants?
- All “Yes”? Then in most cases, you simply won’t need Planning Permission for your log cabin. There are some special situations, though. Answer these extra questions to check:
- If it will be in a National Park or AONB, will your log cabin be no more than 20 m from the house?
- If it will be in a conservation area, will your log cabin be behind the rear elevation of the house (i.e., in addition to the usual requirement for the front, you may not locate it at the side of the house)?
- Still all “Yes”? You will not need Planning Permission for your log cabin.
If you have any questions, simply call us and discuss your situation with one of our experts.
Planning Permission for granny annexes
This topic concerns siting a mobile home within the curtilage of your property – the garden, essentially – for the exclusive use of a family member. Again, if you can answer “Yes” to BOTH questions, you will not need Planning Permission:
- Does the annex meet the legal definition of a mobile home in the Caravan Act? (All our Transportable Homes do – read our guide here.)
- Will the granny annex remain ancillary to the house (i.e. not legally separated for sale or rental to a non-family member)?
- Both “Yes”? You won’t need Planning Permission. However, we do recommend that you apply for a Certificate of Lawful Use, which confirms that situation. We provide this service as part of our Granny Annex package.
Note that if your granny annex is NOT a mobile home, you will require Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval. The Planning office may then dictate the annex’s size, facilities, etc.
Transportable/Mobile home planning permission
As homes, these almost always require Planning Permission if sited outside your garden. But there is an exception: if you are replacing a mobile home that has been on the site for more than ten years. In that case, you apply for a Certificate of Lawful Use confirming your right to replace the old mobile home. Obviously, you will need evidence to support your claim, such as council tax payments, utility bills or an affidavit establishing the required continuous occupation.
Remember that the new home must meet the legal definition of a mobile home in the Caravan Act. All our Transportable Homes do – read our guide here.
Planning Permission for homes on farms and smallholdings
You might want to accommodate agricultural workers and family members, or fulfil the requirements of an agricultural tie. The solution seems obvious, but owning land does not mean you can simply go ahead and build on it. Planning laws are rigorous, with many restrictions on building new homes in the countryside as part of National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Paragraph 55. For example, 7.5 acres is considered the minimum size for a smallholding, making it more difficult to obtain Planning Permission for smaller acreages.
We can offer general advice. For example, if you currently reside elsewhere, you will need to demonstrate a proven requirement to live on the land to look after your livestock. Incidentally, horses are not considered agricultural livestock, though you may be able to prove a case if you breed them.
Your application must be accompanied by a detailed business plan showing that within three years your business will be profitable, sustainable and earning you the equivalent of an agricultural wage.
We strongly recommend that you employ a specialist agricultural planning consultant to help you. Unless you have a rigorous business plan, your application is unlikely to be considered further.
Planning Permission for holiday homes
You are more likely to obtain Planning Permission for holiday homes if you intend siting them in an area where the Local Development Plan encourages tourism. Our advice is to research carefully. Does the area have a shortage of holiday accommodation? Can you show the need for more? If so, highlight how you can contribute to the local economy by providing employment and income to the area through tourism.
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