Planning and Building Requirements

Planning and Building Requirements for the UK

In the United Kingdom, planning and building regulations are two distinct but interconnected sets of rules that govern construction and development. These regulations are in place to ensure that buildings are safe, sustainable, and meet certain standards. Here’s a brief overview of each:

  1. Planning Permission:
    • Purpose: Planning permission is required for certain types of development to control the use of land and buildings. It aims to manage the impact of new developments on the environment, neighbors, and the overall community.
    • Types of Development: This includes new buildings, extensions, changes of use, and alterations to existing structures. The need for planning permission depends on the size and nature of the proposed development.
    • Local Authority: Planning permission is granted by the local planning authority, which varies depending on the location. Local authorities have specific guidelines and policies that developers must adhere to.
    • What planning do I need? Under regulations 01/10/2008 outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing full planning permission, subject to the following conditions:
    • No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principle elevation.
    • Any outbuildings to be single storey with a maximun height of 2.5m and a maximum overall heights of 4m for dual pitched roof or 3m or any other roof
    • No high raised platforms or balconies over 300mm high
    • No more than 50% of garden/land to be taken up with outbuildings
    • Land or houses in National Parks, areas of outstanding beauty and world heritage sites will be subject to more stringent permissions as would listed buildings
  2. Building Regulations:
    • Purpose: Building regulations are national standards that set the minimum requirements for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the health and safety of occupants and the public.
    • Compliance: Compliance with building regulations is a separate process from obtaining planning permission. Even if planning permission is not required, building regulations approval is often necessary.
    • Areas Covered: Building regulations cover various aspects, including structural integrity, fire safety, accessibility, energy efficiency, ventilation, drainage, and more.
    • Approval: Building regulations approval is usually granted by the local building control body, which can be the local authority’s building control department or an approved inspector from the private sector.
    • Do I need Building Regulations?
    • Building regulations do not apply only if the building does not contain any sleeping accommodation
    • Contact your local building control officer for more information or advice, they are usually very helpful especially if you get them on board.

Key Points to Consider:

  • Application Process: Planning permission and building regulations approval are separate processes. Obtaining one does not automatically grant the other.
  • Professional Advice: It’s advisable to seek professional advice from architects, surveyors, or planning consultants when considering a development project. They can guide you through the planning and building regulations processes.
  • Changes and Updates: Both planning and building regulations can be subject to changes and updates, so it’s important to check with the relevant authorities for the most current information.

Always consult with the local planning authority and building control before starting any development work to ensure compliance with the latest regulations and requirements

If you plan to purchase a “pod” which is movable then you may be able to install it without planning permission on your site as a pod can officially be classed as a caravan. The legal definition of a caravan is:

“Any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being moved from place to another (whether by being towed, or being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer) Section 20 (1) of the Caravan and Control of development Act 1960. For this to occur though you will need to have the correct camping and caravanning licences prior to this on your campsite.

If your pods are not mobile or you plan to install multiple camping pods on your site, then check with your local planning authority first. A series of interesting guidance notes from the Lake District National Park authority provides some additional information in how they approach for camping pods (although it is not a planning policy)

If you are planning on buying a camping “pod” to use as an extra addition to your home, such as garden office or studio then planning permission isn’t normally required. This is because the pod falls under the permitted development rights for the house and is incidental to the main property. Incidental has been defined to mean “subordinate to the enjoyment of the house for “residential purposes”. Permitted development offers home owners a whole variety of potential ways to make the best use of their extra space without planning.

This does not provide a green light on any sort of pod to be installed as there are conditions which govern the placement of the pod in relation to the house. For instance certain conditions mean that:

Your pod cannot have a total area of ore than 50% of the total area of land which surrounds your property.

The pod cannot be over 2.5m in height.

The pod cannot be allowed to block the light into neighbouring properties or obstruct nearby doors and windows.

If you are planning on constructing or purchasing a camping pod, or pod structure to use as a permanent dwelling then planning permission will need to be granted. For more information contact your local planning authority, as well as look through the information available on the

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