Q&As

Is planning permission required for a shepherd's hut on land or for general camping in the summer for someone's own personal enjoyment?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 21/04/2017

The following Planning Q&A produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is planning permission required for a shepherd's hut on land or for general camping in the summer for someone's own personal enjoyment?
  • Operational development
  • Development through material change in use

Is planning permission required for a shepherd's hut on land or for general camping in the summer for someone's own personal enjoyment?

Whether or not planning permission is required for a shepherd’s hut will depend on the construction, location and use of the hut.

Section 57 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) provides that, subject to a few exceptions, planning permission is required for the carrying out of any development of land. TCPA 1990, s 55(1) defines ‘development’ as:

  1. the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or

  2. the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land

For more detail see Practice Notes: Operational development and Material change of use.

Operational development

In terms of construction, a traditional shepherd’s hut is a mobile structure and is likely to fall within the legal definition of a caravan. Section 29 of the Caravan Sites and Control Development Act 1960 defines a caravan as any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another (whether by being towed, or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer) and any motor vehicle so designed or adapted. This section specifically excludes tents from the

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