Can you put a static caravan in your back garden in the UK?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can you put a static caravan in your back garden in the UK? We will discuss whether you need planning permission to install a static caravan on your own land in the UK. We will also explain where you can legally live in a static caravan. 

Can you put a static caravan in your back garden in the UK?

Yes, you can put a static caravan in your back garden in the UK. As long as you meet the following criteria, you do not need planning permission to install a static caravan in your driveway or back garden

  • The static caravan is strictly used as an annexe to your primary residence, for example as an additional bedroom. 
  • You cannot rent out the static caravan, use it as business premises, or use it with the status of a separate dwelling. 
  • You are not blocking any entrances or exits, nor building new access to a classified road. You are not blocking any road or footway, especially at a corner, bend or junction.
  • You checked with your local council that there is no need for planning permission, especially in urban housing estates. 

If you do not meet all the above criteria, you may need planning permission to put a static caravan in your back garden in the UK. 

How do you apply for planning permission to put a static caravan in your back garden?

Even though you may need planning permission it is still possible to put a static caravan in your back garden in the UK, you just need to follow some additional steps!

  1. First, you must confirm with your local council if you need planning permission. Each area is different and each project has its own peculiarities. This is why you must always check first. 
  2. There are two types of planning permission: detailed or outline planning permission. It is best to discuss the caravan location and dimensions with the city council’s planning department. They will be able to advise you on which type of planning permission you may need. 
  1. After deciding if you need planning permission and which type, you can formally forward your application either by post or online. Besides the application form you will also have to submit a plan of the site and a copy of the plan sketches. You will also have to pay a fee at this point. 

Although not a mandatory step, we advise you to discuss with your neighbours first, especially if the static caravan will be located close to their property. You always want your neighbours on your side!

What is meant by a static caravan?

Static caravans are real housing units resting on a rubberized structure that allows them to be moved. They are furnished and complete with electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems as well as obviously the necessary toilets.

They, therefore, include all the minimum elements to ensure their habitability, such as:

• a bathroom with sink, shower and toilet

• a living area with kitchen

• a sleeping area with a certain number of beds.

The dimensions can range from the smallest ones, around 190 sq ft, to those of real apartments on wheels, of about 645 sq ft.

Can I park a static caravan on my own land?

If the anchoring is stable, in the sense that the static caravan is deprived of the tires and installed on the ground, a planning permission is required. On the other hand, it is allowed to park campers and static caravans without, however, they are intended for permanent residence.

Can I install a static caravan on my land in front of the house?

Only if it is intended to satisfy temporary and not definitive needs. Think of a structure that acts only as a cover for a reception or an event. In other cases, planning permission is required. Caravans intended to meet purely temporary needs cannot be considered those intended for use over time.

Can I put a static caravan on agricultural land?

Many readers have asked us if it is possible to install a static caravan on non-building land, for example a plot intended for agricultural use.

The answer is not unique, because it depends on various factors:

• type of static caravan

• destination of the land in which to install it

• type of installation performed

• duration of the stop.

If the static caravan intended for residential or permanent use:

The answer is negative even if the house is not firmly anchored to the ground, but has the connections to the distribution networks:

• drinking water

• of the electric current

• gas.

These connections represent conditions related to the habitability of the house and indicate its permanent use.

In the presence of these conditions, it is, therefore, necessary to apply for the planning permission which, obviously, on non-building land would not be issued. Violating this condition means incurring the crime of building abuse!

Planning permission is also required if the structure is not used as a dwelling but, for example, as a warehouse or warehouse for materials. Indeed, in this case it is not even necessary to connect the utilities, as the installation proves in any case to respond to the owner’s lasting and not temporary needs.

When is it possible to install a static caravan on agricultural land without a permit?

In order to install a static caravan on non-building land, precise conditions must therefore be verified:

• it must be a caravan that can actually be transported on the road, therefore it must be placed on a frame resting on rubber wheels, balanced by iron supports, and approved for road transport; in practice, it must fall into the category of vehicles, with plates and with a registration certificate

• must satisfy purely transitory needs

• it must not be anchored and therefore can be immediately removed and transferred elsewhere

• it must not be connected to the water, electricity and gas networks.

Where can I install a static caravan?

If there is a planning permission, a static caravan can be installed on its own land. If there is no administrative authorization, however, the static caravan can be installed, only for temporary purposes, in the appropriate accommodation facilities such as campsites and tourist villages.

When is it permissible to put a caravan on your own land?

The crime of building abuse is not triggered if:

– the caravan, camper, static caravan or prefab is placed on wheels and is approved for road transport; simple placement on mobile support that does not allow transport is not enough. Therefore, it is illegal to place a simple caravan on land without being attached to a car;

– the caravan, camper or static caravan must satisfy purely transitory needs;

– the caravan, camper or static caravan must be immediately removable and transferable elsewhere. It is not possible to anchor the caravan or static caravan on the ground.

This is because these structures are suitable for causing an alteration of the original territorial structure and an urban modification, such as to involve the violation of the requirements of the urban planning instrumentation.

Conclusions

Excited about setting up your caravan in the garden? If it is not granted for administrative reasons, the caravan must be moved to a parking lot or to a garage. If approved, it must not be made stationary by removing the wheels. 

Thus transformed, it is assimilated to a residential extension and, as such, it is subject to the town planning rules applicable to construction: windows prohibited within a certain distance from neighbours, housing tax, etc.

If you have any questions about the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Can you put a static caravan in your back garden in the UK?

Can I live in a caravan on my land?

You can live in a caravan on your land, but there are a few rules to follow. Caravans and motorhomes can remain on the grounds of a primary residence, but only between uses. They must in no case lose their mobile nature, otherwise, they will be considered as a fixed installation by the municipality.

Can I put a caravan in my garden?

You can install your caravan in your garden without authorization if you are not using it as a home or as an annexe to your home. The caravan must permanently retain its means of mobility (wheels, drawbar, etc.) in order to be able to leave its location at any time.

Can I put a trailer on my land?

To put a trailer on one’s land, the owner of a trailer must have the mayor’s parking authorization to install his trailer on his land. If the trailer is fixed, a building permit is required.

How to live on non-building land?

It is not allowed to live year-round on any non-building land. You can set up a tent or request authorization from the town hall for your caravan or mobile home.

References