There is an assumption that portable buildings are just temporary, short-term fixes, which couldn’t be further from the truth. However, because of this misconception, “Do portable buildings need planning permission?” is an incredibly common question. The short answer is yes, most of the time, so it is important that you fully understand how to get planning permission.

Portable cabins are durable, cost-effective and sustainable. But whether you’re looking to buy or hire, you need to be completely clued up on planning permission. Continue reading to learn how to properly and effectively navigate planning permission for your portable buildings.

Why do Portable buildings require planning permission?

Any building that will be used for over 28 days or has a surface area larger than 100m2 must obtain planning permission from their local authority. Many portable cabins fall within this category

There are, of course, some exceptions. If the portable building is an extension of the existing construction, you may avoid planning permission. Particularly if:

  • The portable building is shorter than the existing building.

  • The portable building is directly related to the purpose of the original building.

How long does acquiring planning permission take?

Planning applications can take up to 12 weeks to be processed and concluded. 

There is a chance that your Local Planning Authority may reject your application. In this case, you would need to revise your application and reapply. This takes additional time and money, so it is advisable to apply for planning permission as early as possible. 

To ensure maximum efficiency and success rate for your planning application, consider going through your portable building supplier. The time taken for approval is still around 12 weeks, but the experts handling your project submit applications regularly and know the process better than anyone. 

Going through your portable building supplier means your application is less likely to be denied, saving time. Having experts complete your planning application is also cheaper in the long run as it is less likely to incur further costs to reapply. 

portable building

How much does planning permission for a portable cabin cost? 

Paying the necessary application fees is vital to applying for planning permission. Your Local Planning Authority can begin processing your application once this payment has been received. In England, the standard fee is £462 per home.  

As well as this cost, you should factor in the possibility of other expenses towards planning permission for portable buildings. This can include the cost of pre-planning applications, costs to ensure your site meets the necessary conditions before development begins, and the cost of pre-application professional advice. 

Alternatively, use your portable building suppliers' planning permission service. They will provide the correct supporting documentation, architectural drawings and appropriate fees. 

What are the benefits of a full turnkey service, including planning permission?

Many people find applying for planning permission to be stressful. Many providers offer a complete turnkey service to make the hire or purchase of portable buildings a hassle-free experience. Paying for these services is incredibly worthwhile as they include completing planning permission applications. 

Reduced stress is not the only benefit of a complete turnkey service. Having your portable building provider complete your planning applications ensures your application will be filled out by someone with a lot of experience. This means you can be sure your application is filled out to the highest standard.

This experience reduces the likelihood of your portable building planning application being denied. This saves time and money in the long run, which leaves you to focus on your business, knowing your portable building is taken care of. 

If you submit the planning permission application yourself, what steps must you take?

Step one

Contact your Local Planning Authority before officially starting your application. This allows you to ask them any questions and help you understand the chances of your application’s success. 

Step two

You may be able to apply for a pre-planning application. These take around three weeks to be reviewed and give you an even stronger indication of whether your application will be approved. If any issues arise here, you will know what needs addressing before sending your planning application. 

Step three

Prepare the following documents for submission:

  • Five copies of your application forms 

  • Location plan, including the site plan, block plan, and elevations of both existing and proposed sites 

  • Signed ownership certificate

  • Agricultural holdings certificate 

  • Design and access statement 

Step four

Pay the correct application fees.

A hand with a smart watch pins a document to a whiteboard, which is filled with various printed diagrams and notes linked by strings and colorful pushpins.

What is retrospective planning permission, and when is it appropriate?

Sometimes, businesses proceed with their project and install their portable cabins without planning permission. If you do this, you must apply for retrospective planning permission.

Retrospective planning permission is received if you prove you had to install your portable building due to an emergency or urgent need. If you need spacing solutions faster than 12 weeks, this is possible, and most genuine cases will get approved by the local authorities. 

However, if you decide to take this route and are not approved, you will receive an enforcement notice asking you to reinstate the site and remove your portable buildings. You have the right to appeal this request. However, if the Local Planning Authority sticks to its decision, you must comply with the enforcement notice or risk prosecution.  Therefore applying for planning permission ahead of time is advisable and incredibly important. 

Portable buildings from Paragon Space

Planning permission is a crucial step in most portable building projects. Whether buying or hiring, if your building is over 100m2 or will be in place longer than 28 days, you must confirm if planning permission is needed before installation. 

Paragon Space is a modular building manufacturer based in Hull with over 15 years of experience. Our expert team can help support you with planning applications for all types of portable buildings. 

If you want to start a new project or have any questions about portable cabins, contact us today!

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