This blog will go through the process of applying for planning permission for a mobile home. It’ll cover what you need to know, and the steps you should take to get all necessary permissions before building your new home.
I hope this helps!
Table of Contents
- 1 Planning Permission For Mobile Homes in Gardens?
- 2 Does Mobile Home Need Planning Permission?
Planning Permission For Mobile Homes in Gardens?
Yes, you read that right! This year it became possible to apply for planning permission for mobile homes, caravans and trailers.
Planning permission is not required for static caravan conversions, but if you are converting an existing trailer, or building a permanent home on wheels, then you will need to apply before using the property as a residence.
FYI :- It has long been possible to buy/build/move into a caravan without planning permission – just within the law.
That said, having planning permission gives greater security concerning local authorities being able to issue Enforcement Notices against your home should they wish to.
As of June 2014, all applications now have to be submitted online with the national database MySMARTplan. So what are the main things to consider when applying?
It is now a requirement that all mobile homes, caravans and trailers have an EPC. If you’re purchasing a new caravan from a manufacturer then this will be assigned automatically.
However, if you are buying or building an older home, then you’ll need to apply for the rating before going any further with your application.
Does Mobile Home Need Planning Permission?
If you are buying or building a new mobile home or converting an old caravan, then yes! Your first step will be to contact your local authority for details on how to apply.
You can find out more at the government website MySMARTPlan.
MySMARTplan was launched in April 2014 and is the replacement for Planning Portal. The new website aims to make applying more straightforward than previously.
Instead of requiring every council to submit their application forms which wouldn’t be up to date with each other’s requirements; now everyone has one place (MySMARTplan) where they can apply and access all guidance and form templates necessary.
This way it’s possible for councils of England and Wales to know exactly what is required of them on all fronts, and it allows you to know exactly what is required.
Are you allowed to put a mobile home in your garden?
Yes, with planning permission! Contact your local council for more information on how to apply.
For example, you would need planning permission if the mobile home is higher than the neighbouring property’s fence line, or if it has a pitched roof, double glazing etc…
What do I need to know?
After applying for planning permission you will receive a letter/email from your council that either accepts your application or rejects it.
If they accept then this means you can now begin work on what will be needed regarding the construction and installation of the property.
Generally, they’ll ask for plans, drawings and details regarding materials plus any details on where it’s going to go e.g. position in the garden, size of garden etc., but always check to be sure.
This is the golden opportunity to get it right! If you do not have a contractor lined up at this point, then I strongly suggest you do so before proceeding any further.
If there are no issues raised by your local council about your application, then you will receive written permission to continue along the process of having your new home fitted out. If there are issues, then these will need resolving or responding to according to how they present themselves to you.
If everything goes smoothly then there are two documents involved in getting it through – Planning Application and Building Regulations Approval/Building Control approval.
The plan approval may take 2-3 weeks at most depending on how complicated it is e.g. if it requires an Environmental Impact Assessment or not, so plan for this in advance of your contractor starting the conversion works.
Building Regulations approval:- which is required for all home conversions/refurbishments, takes approximately 6-8 weeks once you have received planning permission.
For more information on what does and doesn’t require building regulations approval please contact your local council for details (once you’ve applied for planning permission).
Explain 10 year rule for mobile home?
A 10-year rule is a requirement in England and Wales where if you’ve lived in a converted building for 10 years it becomes your permanent property.
This doesn’t mean that you’re free to do with it what you wish but does enable you to sell the property without having to go back through all of the planning permission processes again.
If there’s no one living in the existing property then this will need to go through as well.
How much does planning permission cost?
This varies from council tax region to council tax region, but the current average fee is £202 for a garden-sized application or £380 for an internal conversion application.
What happens if I don’t have planning permission when someone visits my house?
Short answer – you’re breaking the law.
Longer answer – if somebody visits and notes that there’s a building in your garden and no planning permission is in place then they’ll note this down and send it to their council office.
If this happens enough times (i.e. 3 or more) then they’ll call in an enforcement officer to do a site inspection of the property.
What will happen next is up to what sort of person their enforcement officer was, but at worst you could end up with a very unpleasant bill for doing something illegal without having much choice about it!
I’ve heard stories before of people coming home from holidays abroad to find out that all work has been stifled and leaving workmen standing in their garden trying to get the person inside to pay them.
What’s a waiver?
A waiver is an agreement that you can sign which will put off your work from requiring planning permission for a while.
They come in all shapes and sizes and should be discussed with your local council before signing one because I’ve heard some horror stories about people who’ve signed something only to find out that it wasn’t what they thought it was.
So if you’re thinking of agreeing on a waiver, make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up to and talk it through first! Otherwise, there may well be complications further down the line.
Can I put a caravan in my garden and rent it out?
Generally speaking, no.
You can apply for a change in use through your local council which will enable you to do this – but if they approve then any future homeowners who live in it will need to apply to the council before renting the property out.
This is why it often doesn’t make sense financially and isn’t something that most people would advise doing.
The planning permission process for a mobile home is different from the building of a traditional house.
Planning permission for your new mobile home starts with checking to see if there are any local restrictions on buildings or zoning laws that could affect its location and design, as well as how it will be used.
Once you have a clear idea of what type of home and location will suit your needs, the next step is to find out if planning permission has been granted for that property.
The process can be lengthy depending on where the site is but we’ve managed to shorten it by connecting homeowners with local authorities who can provide an answer quickly and without charge.
This way you know as soon as possible whether or not building regulations would allow such a house in its proposed location before investing any time or money into buying land/a mobile home.