Under planning regulations, mobile homes are classified as caravans, and not as dwelling houses. This means mobile homes do not benefit from permitted development rights and a planning application must be submitted for most development.
Common examples of development to your mobile home that require the submission of a planning application include (but is not limited to):
- any extension to an existing mobile home, including porches
- outbuildings, including summer houses and garden sheds of any size
- other miscellaneous garden structures including pergolas and garden parasols fixed to the ground
- children’s play equipment that is fixed to the ground
- hardstanding, including driveways, patio areas and the laying of gravel
- decking and access steps of any size
- siting of fixed containers, such as for gas storage
Failure to submit a planning application may result in the local planning authority (Bracknell Forest Council) or mobile home park management or land owner taking action to remove the offending development.
Planning advice services
The Local Planning Authority operates a pre-application advice service through which a planning officer provides formal advice on whether what you wish to build is likely to receive officer support.
We also have a duty planning officer advice service. The purpose of this service is to give general planning advice about 'permitted development'.
As general advice, any extension to a mobile home will not be acceptable where it would take the combined resulting structure out of the definition of a caravan. For the purposes of planning a caravan is defined as a structure designed or adapted for human habitation which:
- is composed of not more than 2 sections separately constructed and designed to be assembled on a site by means of bolts, clamps or other devices; and,
- is, when assembled, physically capable of being moved by road from one place to another (whether by being towed, or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer)
The overall combined structure cannot exceed 6.8 metres in width and 20 metres in length. The overall height of living accommodation (measured internally from the floor at the lowest level to the ceiling at the highest level) cannot exceed 3.48 metres.
[Reference: Caravans Site Act 1968, as amended by the Social Landlords (Permissible Additional Purposes) (England) Order 2006 (Definition of Caravan (Amendment) (England) Order 2006)]
Many existing mobile homes within mobile home sites are already twin units (comprised of 2 sections), and therefore in most situations it is likely that any enlargements to the mobile home would not be approved, as they would result in the structure comprising at least 3 sections, and would therefore no longer be a caravan.
Apart from conformity with caravans legislation (see Extensions above), the main matters assessed in planning applications are the potential impacts of the development on:
- the character of the area,
- the amenities of the occupants of neighbouring properties, and,
- highway safety