Stationing a Caravan under the Caravan Act, or building an Annexe with Planning Permission

There are many key differences to consider between stationing a caravan under the Caravan Act or building a high-quality annexe with Hawksbeck, with the benefit of Planning Permission.
studio grannyannex floor plan

What is the Caravan Act?

If you’re considering setting up a caravan or mobile home on your land for residential use, it’s essential to understand the Caravan Act and how it applies to your situation. The Caravan Act 1968 regulates the use of caravans and mobile homes for residential purposes.

Under the Caravan Act, a caravan is defined as any structure designed or adapted for human habitation, which is capable of being moved from one place to another, in a maximum of two pieces. This includes static caravans and mobile homes. A maximum length of 20 m (65.6′), width of 6.8 m (22.3′), and height (3.05m (10’) applies.

Caravans and Mobile Homes are ultimately temporary structures; one of the reasons that they do not always require planning permission is because they do not usually meet the definition of ‘development’.

Applying for a Lawful Development Certificate

Prior to installing a caravan, you should seek a Lawful Development Certificate from your local authority, so as to ensure that the use of the land for the stationing of a caravan is agreed, and to confirm that no ‘Article 4’ directions or other matters prevent you from stationing a Caravan. Seeking a Lawful Development Certificate from your Council still requires you to prepare plans, file paperwork, and wait 8 weeks for a response.

Why Should I Consider Planning Permission for a Permanent Annexe?

Caravans are essentially temporary structures, often lasting fewer than 5-10 years, and rarely come with the benefits or quality of a permanent, well-built structure, such as high-quality insulation, and on solid foundations. Whilst it may seem daunting, seeking Planning Permission for a permanent, high-quality, purpose-built annexe takes no longer than seeking a Lawful Development Certificate in most cases.

Further, the stationing of a caravan can cause concerns for neighbours, and often raise questions with local authorities over whether the land has changed use, leading to planning enforcement action.

Hawksbeck Annexes Offer a High Quality, Long Term Permanent Solution

A Hawksbeck annexe, however, is designed for the long term and provides permanent additional living space, additional bedrooms, and can be largely self-contained. A permanent annexe comes with the benefits of quality, being a well-built structure and including modern benefits such as high-quality insulation to keep energy bills low, as well as being built on solid foundations.

Seeking Planning Permission for an annexe through Hawksbeck is easy. We have an excellent team who can undertake the entire process on your behalf.

The process typically involves providing plans, which we draw, explaining the purpose of the annexe, and addressing any concerns raised by neighbours or the planning authority. Even better, the process takes no longer than seeking a Lawful Development Certificate, at eight weeks.

With a Hawksbeck annexe, once you have planning, you’ll have complete peace of mind that you can construct and occupy your permanent building – such assurances come with the benefits that when you sell your property, you’ll have the correct paperwork to support your permanent building, and its use, increasing your property value and expanding its market appeal.

Two bedroom garden annexe for elderly parents
studio garden room annex floor plan

What are Building Control Regulations?

Building regulations are a minimum standard for design, construction and alterations for buildings including annexes. Building regulations are developed by the Government and are designed to protect your safety, health and welfare, as well as conserving fuel and power to promote sustainable development. Where sleeping accommodation is required such as annexes; building control regulations are compulsory.

At Hawksbeck Annexes, all of our buildings (unlike caravans) are subject to building control regulations, providing you with even greater peace of mind that your outbuilding is a safe and solid construction.

Hawksbeck and our planning partners have an excellent success rate in gaining planning permission for permanent annexe accommodation throughout the UK; we can prepare plans, apply for planning, and work with local authorities on your behalf to secure planning.

To find out more about planning permission for our garden annexes, call us on 01277 414586 or email us at

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Hawksbeck Annexes

228 Priests Lane
CM15 8LG