Forum: camping pod query

Q: I have recently put up a camping pod in my garden. It is mostly for personal use, but I have been letting it out to visitors to the area on an occasional basis during July and August...

...As I had let out one of my rooms on a similar basis before, it did not occur to me that using a cabin in the same way might fall into a different category, as it is not a self-contained unit, has no plumbing and is ancillary to the main house. However, after the cabin use was reported by my neighbours, the council decided I could not keep letting it. It agrees that the pod has permitted development rights and is only objecting because we are making money out of it. Has anyone got any experience with similar cases or advice on possible grounds for appeal? JD

A: The fact that you would be making money from the pod is not directly relevant for planning purposes. To benefit from permitted development rights under class E, part 1, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995 as amended, outbuildings must be "required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such".

This covers uses such as storage, hobbies or games rooms, not primary uses of a dwelling such as living or sleeping accommodation. Your pod would not be used simply as sleeping accommodation but by somebody paying to stay there, so it is clearly not an incidental use. It therefore needs planning permission. In making a case for this being granted, I would recommend that you argue that its impact is similar to that of a building that could be constructed under the class E provisions. John Harrison

NEXT QUESTIONS

Planning permission was granted for a substantial housing development subject to a condition requiring visibility splays. The applicant showed the land required to be within his ownership. The development is now well under way, but another party claims that it owns part of the land and has put up a fence blocking one of the splays. The land is not registered but the third party has demonstrated ownership and has indicated that it does not wish to sell it to the developer. If the development is occupied, the access would be dangerous. How can this issue be resolved? KN

I have seen it suggested that use as a house in multiple occupation within class C4 of the Use Classes Order can benefit from householder permitted development rights, as this class is specifically defined in terms of a dwellinghouse. Would people be inclined to agree with this? PB

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PlanningResource features two online forums dedicated to development management matters. On the forums you can comment on questions raised in this column, or comment on other development management-related topics. Go to PlanningResource.co.uk/forum for details.


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