Do I Need Planning Permission to Have a Shipping Container on My Property?

Shipping containers are extremely useful structures that can be used in a diverse range of transportation and storage applications. Increasing numbers of homeowners and businesses are also converting containers into temporary structures such as offices, living spaces, workshops, or specialist storage units. Converting a shipping container is greener and more budget-friendly than other building options. Containers are also made from highly durable materials as they are designed to transport heavy cargo thousands of miles across the globe. This makes them the ideal solution when looking for a secure and reliable structure for your property. A container conversion should withstand wear and tear and remain in excellent condition for many years. Another attractive benefit of a container conversion is that you can have the container customised to your exact specifications and design preferences.

A shipping container can be installed quickly on your property with the help of a professional container conversion company. The good news is that planning permission is often not required when you install a shipping container on your property. However, there are some exceptions to this rule which we will discuss below.

When is planning permission required?

In the UK, shipping containers are classed as temporary structures which means they are exempt from planning permission requirements. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, you may need to apply for planning permission if you plan on living in a converted shipping container or intend on using a container as a permanent workspace. You may also require planning permission if your container is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty or next to a listed property. With that in mind, it is always advisable to check with your local planning authority (LPA) in advance of ordering a container. You can find your LPA by clicking here.

What circumstances don’t require permission?

There are some circumstances when planning permissions are not required. We are going to outline some examples below, but please note that there is no guarantee that you won’t require planning permission. Special circumstances may apply, so we always advise that you contact your LPA for confirmation before ordering a shipping container.

  • Garden – If you install a shipping container in your garden, then you won’t usually require planning permission. Nevertheless, rules must be followed, i.e., the container cannot take up more than half the area of land surrounding the original property.
  • Business – Businesses can create temporary structures such as exhibits or alfresco bars using containers without the need to apply for planning permission. However, permission may be required if you intend on launching a long-term or permanent container-based business.
  • Farmland – Planning permission is not typically required for shipping containers installed on farmland. Although, you may need to apply for planning permission if the use of the land changes to residential.

What building regulations must I comply with?

Your container must comply with building regulations if you plan on living in it or using it as a working space. For instance, you must be able to demonstrate that your container complies with building safety requirements such as fire regulations. The easiest way to ensure that you have complied with the relevant building regulations is by hiring a certified shipping container company to install and convert your container.

Ensure that your container is compliant

Shipping containers are a quick and affordable way to add extra space to your property. A container can easily be converted into a functional living or working space with the assistance of a specialist conversion company. Generally speaking, planning permission is not required for a shipping container as it is classed as a temporary structure. That being said, there are some exceptions to this rule, and you may need to apply for planning permission in certain situations. You will also need to ensure that your container complies with the relevant local building regulations in your area.

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