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A Brief Guide to Planning

Want to build a cabin on land you own and don’t know where to start? Have a read of our brief cabin planning guide and call us if you have any questions.

Typically cabins within the domestic curtilage don’t require planning permission or building regulations, as Permitted Development allows you to build (within strict criteria) without a full planning application. There are some exceptions; if you are within a conservation area, national park, near or in the curtilage of a listed building, or in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty AONB, you will need to acquire full planning permission.

Brief guide to planning

Here are a few pointers

  • Business use. If you wish to rent the cabin or treehouse out then you will need planning permission to change its use to that of a business.
  • If the space is to be used as additional living space then you can apply for either an ancillary unit or an annexe. Simply the difference between the two is a kitchen. The ancillary assumes that the guest will have use of the cooking facilities in the main dwelling. An annexe will be fully self contained. Both are able to have washing facilities (which would be subject to building regulations).
  • Agricultural Buildings. It is possible to obtain permission for spaces linked to the use of the land. For example if you own a piece of woodland you can obtain permission to build a woodland shelter to store tools and make a cup of tea!
  • Caravans!  Bear with us… The Caravan Act allows you to build a ‘caravan’ and dependent on your needs this can be used to achieve a larger space as ancillary or annexe accommodation. There are key defining constraints we will have to design within but you will be surprised by how generous the space can be and remember we don’t do boring!
  • Building regulations or building control really only applies to cabins over 30sqm in area, but again there are conditions depending on the use. A home office/ studio in most cases should be supported.  If you are unsure give us a call or contact your local planning department. 
  • Go to the Planning Portal for general advice on whether you require planning permission (make sure that you select the Welsh or England option as different rules apply). 
  • In Scotland new legislation came into force on 1st July 2017 to make it easier for people in Scotland to build a simple hut for recreational use. Read our blog post here

Call the Life Space Cabins team on 01364 705057 to discuss your project whether it’s a domestic cabin or several cabins for a commercial glamping venture.

Alternatively, email us

This post aims to promote an awareness of the route through planning for a smaller space but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek specific professional advice.

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