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Shipping Container Homes UK Planning Permission Regulations

Do I need Planning Permission For A Shipping Container?

In the UK, container homes often do not require planning permission as they are not considered to be permanent. However, a container home can’t be considered as a temporary structure if you are choosing to live in the home for a prolonged period.

You should also be aware that the rules vary in different parts of the country. For instance, Listed Buildings and National Parks often require planning permission, regardless of the type of building, the structure, or the intended use. For that reason, you should always contact your local planning authority (LPA) to check whether your particular location requires planning permission. You can find your local LPA by clicking here.

Investing in a shipping container home offers many benefits. It’s affordable, eco‐friendly, and allows you to create a unique, functional and stylish home for you and your family. What’s more, shipping containers are now easily accessible and can be installed and converted quickly with the help of specialist container conversion companies. If you’re considering upgrading to a trendy container home, here’s everything you need to know about the UK planning permission regulations.

What is a Container Home?

Container homes are homes made from the large metal shipping containers you see transporting goods on ships, trucks, and trains – or being used to store goods. Shipping containers are designed to travel long distances around the world, and as a result, are made from highly durable materials such as steel. This makes them extremely durable and enables them to withstand wear and tear and remain in excellent condition for many years. Container homes also have significantly lower construction and maintenance costs when compared to traditional homes, which makes them extremely appealing to potential house‐buyers.

Furthermore, container homes offer many environmental benefits as they are made from recycled material and don’t require the use of building materials. This makes them the perfect housing solutions for any environment-conscious families looking for an innovative way to lower their carbon footprint and lead a greener lifestyle. Many container conversion companies offer bespoke designs of all shapes and sizes, allowing you to create the perfect green family home to suit your specific style and requirements.

Current Regulations

You must always comply with building regulations if you are planning to live in a container home. You will have to show that you have properly complied with fire regulations and other building control requirements in force within your area. The best way to do this is to have your installation carried out by a certified professional container conversion company. This will give you complete reassurance that your container home complies with all current legislation.

When wouldn’t I need Planning Permission to use a Container?

There are several situations when you wouldn’t need planning permission to use a container. For example:

In your garden ‐ If you extend your current property by installing a shipping container in your garden, then you wouldn’t typically require planning permission unless your property is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or meets another exception. However, certain rules must be followed. For instance, a container extension must not cover more than half the area of land around the original property.

Farmland ‐ You will not usually require planning permission if you are installing a container home on empty land or farmland. However, it is important to be aware that you may require planning permission if the use of the land changes (i.e. from agricultural to residential). It is advisable to contact your local LPA in these circumstances.

Business ‐ Planning permission is not usually required if you’re converting a shipping container into a pop‐up shop or similar, as this would be considered a temporary structure. If you want to set up a permanent container‐based business, then you would usually require planning permission.


Container homes are yet another excellent example of how old shipping containers can be recycled and converted into something innovative and functional. Not only do they offer environmental benefits, they also allow you to create a unique and affordable home. With planning permission often not necessary, installing a container home is now relatively quick, affordable and painless. However, if you are considering a container home, it is always best to contact your local LPA or container conversion specialists to see what rules and regulations apply.

We provide a wide range of container solutions to suit your needs, whether it be for hire, for sale or a conversion.

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0800 1954 538