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Temporary Buildings Planning Permission and Regulations

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In a Nutshell

You could be forgiven for assuming because a building is temporary, planning permission is not a requirement.

Indeed, there are a couple of instances when planning permission may not be a requirement, but in most cases, planning permission is a requirement.

You do not need to apply for planning permission if your intended use is less than 28 days.

And you do not need to apply for planning permission if the ground area is less than 100m2.

So if you plan to use the temporary building for more than 28 days and it’s going to be bigger than 100m2, you should make an application to your local authority for approval.

Whether you do this before you have the temporary building installed, or whether you make a retrospective planning application due to the urgency of the space requirement, is entirely your decision.

Antony Hunt
Managing Director, Portable Venues Group

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Applications should take between 8 - 12 weeks.
You can make a retrospective planning application if your need is urgent or in an emergency.

Government Requirements wwwGovernment Website

Factory or warehouse extensions

Planning permission will not normally be required if your extension is:

  • less than 100 square metres of floor space; and
  • less than 25 per cent of the volume of the original building; and
  • below the height of the original building.
  • The extension must be related to the current use of the building or the provision of staff facilities.

Planning permission will be required if the extension:

  • materially affects the external appearance of the building; or
  • comes within five metres of the boundary of the site; or
  • reduces the amount of space available for parking or turning of vehicles.

Permission may be granted for the erection of a temporary building to last seven years on land required for road improvements in eight or more years, although an application to erect a permanent building would normally be refused.

Retrospective Permission

If you go ahead without permission, the local council (or National Park Authority) may ask you to make a retrospective planning application.

If it decides permission should not be granted it may require you to put things back as they were. You can appeal but if the decision is against you and you refuse to comply you may be prosecuted.

Our Recommendation and Practice


Simply that, you should obtain permission. However, you can have the building installed, and then make a retrospective application, if the planning officer asks you to do so.

And this is the way the vast majority of our customers go about it. Because if you make the application before you have the building installed, it can and most probably will, take months and months - time you probably do not have?

You can have the building installed, and then make a retrospective application.

design-staff-380 We help with Planning Permission

Building Specifications for You


Andy, our 'CAD MAN', can draw up the scaled building specifications you'll need to make your application - just Contact Us and we'll get back to you shortly!

Temporary Buildings Planning Guide

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