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mind the gap
04-02-2009, 16:47 PM
This is a spin-off from a question someone posted on the HMO forum, but seems more pertinent here: are there any restrictions/implications in terms of planning permission, council tax, or anything else, if a caravan or log cabin is parked outside a house on private land (e.g.a garden) and someone is allowed to live in it, long-term, as a tenant?

jeffrey
04-02-2009, 16:52 PM
Does one not need planning permission for a residential caravan?

mind the gap
04-02-2009, 17:05 PM
Does one not need planning permission for a residential caravan?

I don't know! That's what I am asking:)

jeffrey
04-02-2009, 17:24 PM
Well, my limited knowledge rests on the definition of 'development'. See TCPA 1990, below. I've omitted irrelevant bits and underlined one very relevant bit. Unless caravan use is incidental to house use, it's development and therefore needs p/pmsn.

55. Meaning of “development” and “new development”.

(1) Subject to the following provisions of this section, in this Act, except where the context otherwise requires, “development,” means the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land.

(1A) For the purposes of this Act “building operations” includes...

(2) The following operations or uses of land shall not be taken for the purposes of this Act to involve development of the land:
(a) the carrying out for the maintenance, improvement or other alteration of any building of works which:
(i) affect only the interior of the building, or
(ii) do not materially affect the external appearance of the building,
and are not works for making good war damage or works begun after 5th December 1968 for the alteration of a building by providing additional space in it underground;
(b) ...
(c) ...
(d) the use of any buildings or other land within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse for any purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such;
(e) ...
(f) in the case of buildings or other land which are used for a purpose of any class specified in an order made by the Secretary of State under this section, the use of the buildings or other land or, subject to the provisions of the order, of any part of the buildings or the other land, for any other purpose of the same class.
(g) the demolition of any description of building specified in a direction given by the Secretary of State to local planning authorities generally or to a particular local planning authority.

(2A) The Secretary of State may in a development order specify any circumstances or description of circumstances in which subsection (2) does not apply to operations mentioned in paragraph (a) of that subsection which have the effect of increasing the gross floor space of the building by such amount or percentage amount as is so specified.

(2B) The development order may make different provision for different purposes.

(3) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that for the purposes of this section:
(a) the use as two or more separate dwellinghouses of any building previously used as a single dwellinghouse involves a material change in the use of the building and of each part of it which is so used;
(b) the deposit of refuse...

mind the gap
04-02-2009, 17:36 PM
Hmmm, interesting; thank you.

Two scenarios were envisaged in the other thread:

(i) The 'tenant' pays rent to live in the caravan and is independent and self-contained apart from a cable supplying electricity to the caravan from the house, and the use of washing facilities in an outhouse.

(ii) The tenant pays rent to live and sleeps in the caravan, but uses the kitchen and bathroom in the house (along with 4 other tenants). Elec. cable as above.

In both cases, electricity bills are shared by all 5.

In either of these scenarios, would the use of the caravan be classed as 'incidental' - or something else?

jeffrey
04-02-2009, 17:59 PM
Two scenarios were envisaged in the other thread:

(i) The 'tenant' pays rent to live in the caravan and is independent and self-contained apart from a cable supplying electricity to the caravan from the house, and the use of washing facilities in an outhouse.

(ii) The tenant pays rent to live and sleeps in the caravan, but uses the kitchen and bathroom in the house (along with 4 other tenants). Elec. cable as above.

In both cases, electricity bills are shared by all 5.

In either of these scenarios, would the use of the caravan be classed as 'incidental'?
I doubt it. Surely "incidental use" mean use of the external land, for normal secondary purposes, by whoever owns or lives in the house (H). Assume that H owns a house (freehold or leasehold). H can go and sit in the garden; or plant vegetables in the garden; or leave a holiday caravan in the garden until it's holiday time. Those are reasonably callable "incidental" uses to H's house residence; how could a separate person's occupation be?

Also see other Acts- Caravan Sites Act, Mobile Homes Act, etc. I don't have enough time to research them- sorry.

mind the gap
04-02-2009, 18:58 PM
I doubt it. Surely "incidental use" mean use of the external land, for normal secondary purposes, by whoever owns or lives in the house (H). Assume that H owns a house (freehold or leasehold). H can go and sit in the garden; or plant vegetables in the garden; or leave a holiday caravan in the garden until it's holiday time. Those are reasonably callable "incidental" uses to H's house residence; how could a separate person's occupation be?

Also see other Acts- Caravan Sites Act, Mobile Homes Act, etc. I don't have enough time to research them- sorry.

Don't worry...yes, I agree with your reasoning. Thank you.

I only asked because Rodent seemed to think pp would not be needed, but it seems to me it would.

Even more interesting is the question (which remained unresolved last night over the darts and dominoes in our local): if anyone with a patch of garden could legitimately house a tenant in a caravan on it, would the gardens of Middle England be overrun by tenanted caravans... or not?

jeffrey
05-02-2009, 10:46 AM
Overrun by, er, 'travelling folk' possibly!

Rodent1
06-02-2009, 00:08 AM
If house is let to 5 people and their happens to be a caravan in the garden , then "so what" if one of the 5 decides to sleep in said caravan then who is to question this ?

The Rodent

jeffrey
06-02-2009, 10:15 AM
If house is let to 5 people and there happens to be a caravan in the garden , then "so what" if one of the 5 decides to sleep in said caravan then who is to question this?
(Leaving aside the regular problem of a letting to >4 people)
Such a caravan seems ancillary to the house. If so, siting the caravan there is not "development" as defined.

Rodent1
07-02-2009, 01:39 AM
Also if caravan is "towable" and not "fixed" no council tax can apply ?
The Rodent

buffalo747
09-02-2009, 09:30 AM
As I understand it, you are permitted to use a caravan for extra accommodation providing it's within the grounds of the main residence and not completely self contained.....i.e.relies on facilities of the main house and is used as e.g. extra bedroom,grannies own domain or even a study perhaps.
I own a small block of flats together with a large plot of land to the rear which I'm trying to obtain P.P. for two dwellings on.....I've been refused at council level and in the process of appeal but if unsuccessful wondered if one caravan for each of the four flats could be permitted under the same rules as previously mentioned....the idea would be to allocate an exclusive area of ground for each flat.
Out of interest, if an enforcement by the council to remove a caravan came about and you then complied to the notice within the given period, what would the consequences be if at a later date you simply towed the caravan back in place and used it as before.
From experience, I know only too well you can't beat the system but if you knew how much my local planners have lied and mucked me about in the past then would understand why I'd like to give them the runaround also, providing I don't shoot myself in the foot that is!!

Bill

mind the gap
09-02-2009, 13:27 PM
I can see how there would not be a problem vis a vis planning permisison if caravan in garden is ancilliary, but what if it is tenanted by a sole occupant independent of the main house (e,.g had its own kitchen and bathroom)?

jeffrey
09-02-2009, 13:37 PM
I can see how there would not be a problem vis a vis planning permisison if caravan in garden is ancilliary, but what if it is tenanted by a sole occupant independent of the main house (e,.g had its own kitchen and bathroom)?
Sounds like breach of planning control, doesn't it?

buffalo747
09-02-2009, 17:59 PM
I think you'll find that if a caravan/mobile home is used as a self contained residential unit to live in, other than whilst carrying out a self build project or major works to an existing property for example, P.P. would be required as if it were a traditional built dwelling with very little chance to say the least of success.
If you have the ground,a prospective tenant who knows the situation and neighbours who don't, then providing the caravan isn't going to cause a nuisance you could take a chance.....I would consider it if the caravan could be positioned inconspicuously, providing I already had a caravan or could buy one cheap.......Even if you were found out and enforcement action taken, you could appeal and apply for planning retrospectively by which time months and months have gone by or even years.
In the meantime,a nice bit of extra income and the worst case being that you have to remove the caravan or the tenant and use it for holidays.

Bill

mind the gap
09-02-2009, 18:10 PM
I
the worst case being that you have to remove the caravan or the tenant and use it for holidays.

Bill

Both, presumably, if you're going to use it for holidays. These things are poky enough already, without a leftover redundant tenant cluttering the place up :D

buffalo747
10-02-2009, 00:43 AM
Depends on the tenant....surely you can put up with a bit of pokiness for a week or two on your hol's!!