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Does my portable building need planning permission?

A common question associated with portable buildings is whether or not they need planning permission. The idea that you may...

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A common question associated with portable buildings is whether or not they need planning permission. The idea that you may not need planning permission could come from the misconception that portable buildings are disposable or not as substantial as they are. However, suppose you need planning permission for a legal conservatory. In that case, you can assume that you will need planning permission for a portable building, which is often more significant than a conservatory!


How long does it take to get planning permission for portable buildings?

Even a temporary building for hire will need planning permission, so it’s vital to include the time necessary to gain approval in your project planning stage. The time it takes to get planning permission for a portable building depends on whether you use a full Turnkey service with your modular building supplier. A portable building may be a temporary building, but it still requires planning permission if it is going to be used for more than 28 days or be bigger than 100m2. There can be some exceptions for existing building extensions.

If you choose to go through your portable building supplier, it can take around 12 weeks to gain planning permission approval. However, you can reduce the time thanks to the expertise of the people handling your project. Our experts do this daily and know the applications and process better than anyone. They know what to put on the application for maximum efficiency and success rate – meaning it is cheaper in the long run. It is less likely to be denied and incur further costs you more money to reapply. 


How much does planning permission cost?

Planning permission is an essential part of the construction industry process. Its purpose is to ensure that your project complies with regulations and council planning policies. In the long run, these sorts of legislations help keep green belts in place, neighbourhoods happy and future development opportunities. Many people get stressed about applying for planning permission, which is why many portable building suppliers offer a service that will sort it out for you, providing all the correct supporting documentation, architectural drawings and appropriate fees. The cost of full planning permission in the UK is £462 per dwelling, but different things make up the cost. It is always possible that there will be further, more minor expenses towards planning permission and conditions you must meet before development begins. Apart from the application fees, you may also need to factor in costs for pre-application advice.


What documentation do I need for portable building planning permission?

Planning permission causes many people some stress when applying. This stress is caused by the risk of doing something wrong that could cost them hundreds of pounds in reapplying. Your portable building supplier will be able to help you in the application process and ensure you include the following documentation accurately:

  • Five copies of your application forms
  • Location plan, including the site plan, block plan, and elevations of both existing and proposed sites. It should also include details of the surrounding area.
  • Signed ownership certificate
  • Agricultural holdings certificate
  • Design and access statement
  • The correct application fee

While it may be possible for you to proceed with your project while waiting for planning permission, you should take it with caution. Failing to secure planning permission would require you to cease production and remove any constructed developments. Naturally, this would be a considerable cost and loss to you and your project. Working with an experienced building partner, portable building supplier, or turnkey service should mitigate these possibilities.


We hope you have found this information helpful and will hopefully prevent you from making costly mistakes during your planning permission application. Having a little bit of extra knowledge about the system helps a lot in reducing stress and costs. In addition, our team are on hand to deliver complete turnkey services to mitigate any issues in the project management process, making the entire process much easier for you and your business.


Portable Building Sales are experienced practitioners in modular buildings. You can contact us for any enquiries regarding planning permission. Our seasoned experts will be able to give you honest, precise answers to best help you make an informed decision. Contact us today for answers to your questions or to enquire about having a portable building supplied through our service.