min read

Landlord wins unusual planning appeal over 'floating homes'

floating home chichester bay

Britain’s most unusual holiday rental investment has been uncovered following a planning appeal decision over two floating ‘pods’ at a Marina in Chichester Harbour.

Both ‘Seabreeze’ and ‘Samphire’ are one-bedroom luxury holiday lets built by a local boatyard with outboards and steering controls but, as the photo above illustrates, look very much like homes both inside and out.

West Sussex council issued their owner with a planning enforcement notice back in 2022 claiming the ‘units’ were in breach of planning controls, requiring the properties to be permanently separated from the ‘land’ – i.e. the marine boardwalk – to qualify as ‘boats’.

The owners appealed the notice, which would have made them much less appealing as short-lets and, following a planning inspectorate visit last month, won their appeal and the notice has now been quashed.

£240 a night

Both ‘arks’ cost approximately £240 a night to rent via a shot-let on

In making his decision, the planning inspector said: “As I have however already found, the units have been designed as boats and certified as such.

“They have also been used for navigation. Whilst they may then contain some of the accoutrements of a dwelling house and be insulated, the same can be said of many boats or structures.

“In respect of physical attachment, on the balance of probabilities the evidence therefore does not weigh in favour of the units being buildings.”

The decision, which will be referred to in future planning decisions, opens up the UK’s many marinas as potential places to invest in holiday lets as long as the floating properties are not ‘bolted’ to the boardwalk, have some for of propulsion and can be steered – even if they are, to the untrained eye, dwellings.


Planning 2
Planning law
Short lets 2
Holiday lets
Holiday homes