The Caravan Act
Log cabins and the Caravan Act
What does the Caravan Act have to do with log cabins?
You’re perhaps puzzled why log cabins – specifically, our Transportable Log Homes – have anything at all to do with the Caravan Act. After all, there’s no comparison between one of our solid log homes and a relatively flimsy box on wheels.
It might come as a surprise to learn that the important thing about the Caravan Act in this context is that it’s not just about caravans, but effectively the definition of a mobile home in general.
A caravan (mobile home) is a structure designed or adapted for human habitation that can be moved in one or two sections. In everyday terms, if it’s a building fixed to the ground and can’t be moved, it can’t be a mobile home.
And the importance of mobile home status? Well, mobile homes benefit from relatively relaxed requirements for Planning Permission. For example, you would need Planning Permission for a brick-built granny annex in your garden. But not for one of our Transportable Log Homes in the vast majority of cases. For further information, read our helpful guide to Planning Permission as it relates to our products.
What is a mobile home, according to the Caravan Act?
The definition of a mobile home in Section 29 of the Caravan Act is crucial. To give it its formal title, The Caravan Sites Act 1968, as amended in England 2006 and Wales 2007 has several criteria for what constitutes a mobile home. First, maximum dimensions:
- Length (excluding any drawbar) 20 m (65.6’)
- Width 6.8 m (22.3’)
- Overall height (internally, from the floor at its lowest to the ceiling at its highest) 3.05 m (10’)
Second, some general points. It must be:
- A structure, and not a building
- Fit for human habitation
- Capable of being moved from place to place, including around its site once assembled
How our Transportable Log Homes comply with the Caravan Act
We obtained one of the first legal rulings in this area in the courts over 20 years ago, which enabled us to create our Transportable Log Homes. It is now well established that mobile homes need not have wheels or skids, for example, or be required to arrive at your site on the back of a lorry in two halves.
Our proven expertise in this area is your assurance that all our Transportable Log Homes are fully compliant with the Caravan Act as mobile homes – dimensions, structural characteristics, habitability and capability for being moved.
Fully documented compliance with the Caravan Act
When you purchase one of our Transportable Log Homes, we’ll send your Local Authority our Method Statement, which is backed by case law. The officer will issue written confirmation that your new home is indeed exempt from Building Regulations. Furthermore, your new home is zero-rated for VAT, provided it is designed to BS3632, which most of our Transportable Log Homes are and there are no planning restrictions.
How to make the most of our Transportable Log Homes
There are a couple of applications where our Transportable Log Homes are ideal precisely because they comply with the Caravan Act.
One is replacing an existing mobile home – typically a caravan – that is covered by a Certificate of Lawful Use. The step up from the caravan in terms of quality, comfort and durability has huge appeal.
Another is to place one of our Transportable Log Homes in your garden to accommodate a family member in a so-called granny annex (not just for grannies, of course).
Don’t take risks
We’re absolutely certain that our Transportable Log Homes comply with the Caravan Act, and will obtain written confirmation of compliance from your Local Authority on your behalf. Beware: an unsupported statement from another supplier may not be reliable.
You face severe sanctions if you buy a mobile home elsewhere that purports to comply with the Caravan Act, but turns out not to. Essentially, you have constructed a permanent building, not installed a mobile (i.e. temporary) structure. You would therefore need Planning Permission for a permanent dwelling and Building Regulations approval.
Your building cannot be converted retrospectively into a mobile home, so you may be served with an enforcement order requiring its removal from your site. The consequent mess, expense and inconvenience hardly bear thinking about.