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Barn conversion example - pholiday let planning permission

As the self-catering market continues to grow year after year, it’s no wonder people are looking at diversifying into the holiday letting market. If you own land or have unused buildings, renting these spaces out could generate some additional income. However, there are some key points to understand regarding holiday let planning permission before you can get started.

Whether you are looking to erect some shepherds’ huts and glamping pods or convert an old barn or outbuilding, read our guide to holiday let planning permission for all our top tips and considerations that will hopefully make the process that little bit easier.

Holiday let planning permission

Use the quick links below for a specific topic, or read on for our full guide on holiday let planning permission:

What is holiday let planning permission?

Holiday let planning permission is the process in which legal consent is given to holiday home owners to do any of the following:

  • Build something new
  • Make changes to an existing building
  • Change the use of a building

Whilst you may not need planning permission for some things, we recommend you find out from your local authorities whether it is required in terms of what you wish to do to your property.

Be aware that there are specific restrictions that apply to certain types of structures and how the building will be used. Your local planning authorities will be able to give you more information regarding these restrictions.

Do I need planning permission for a holiday let?

If you are letting an existing holiday let, planning permission is not required since there is no change of use. 

However, if you are thinking of letting your holiday property for the first time, converting an outbuilding, or building a property on unused land, then planning permission will be required. 

Please note that it is worth checking the following before filling out a planning application:

  • The planning class of your property
  • Commercial letting clauses
  • Mortgage letting restrictions

Find out more about holiday let planning permission via the government website.

Planning permission for different types of holiday let

The type of planning permission required depends on the type of holiday let you are building. Read on for the low-down on what sort of planning you need for the most popular types of holiday let:

Do you need planning permission to convert outbuildings into holiday lets?

There are many old or unused outbuildings across the UK’s beautiful countryside – perfect for converting into holiday homes and creating an additional source of income. Converting existing barns, stables or sheds and optimising these structures is a popular choice. The good news is, that with the new ‘Class Q permitted development’ regulation, you may not have to go through the full planning permission process.

Read our Q&A with the owners of Butterwell Barn, an award-winning barn conversion near Dartmouth, for inspiration on how you can start a successful holiday letting business on your working farm. For a more detailed guide on farm diversification for holiday letting, read our blog.

Renovating unused buildings can be a great investment opportunity. If you have an existing outbuilding such as a garage, shed or annex that you intend to convert into a holiday let, you will require planning permission for any modifications made. You will also need to apply for a change of use for the building.

Do you need planning permission for a shepherd’s hut?

The glamping trend has soared in recent years making it one of the most popular booking options for holidaymakers. This is also great for those who have an extra bit of land, as the income potential could be quite significant. 

You will need planning permission to use shepherd’s huts, glamping pods or yurts for holiday letting. If your Shepherd’s Hut is for personal use you may not need planning permission, as it’s likely to be portable, but holiday letting will require a ‘change of use’ permission for the land it sits on. We suggest contacting a professional agent for more information about your specific situation. 

Do you need planning permission for a log cabin?

Over the last few years, lodges and log cabins have become an increasingly popular way to spend a holiday. The use of the structure as a holiday let will require full planning permission. If your intention is to convert a space into a permanent lodge or log cabin, then planning permission and a change of use will be required.

To find out if your project will need planning permission, contact your local planning authority (LPA) or follow the government guidance on when permission is required.

Permitted Development Rights

What are Permitted Development Rights?

There are some instances when you can carry out certain types of work without needing to apply for planning permission. This is referred to as ‘permitted development rights’.

These rules allow you to extend or alter your holiday home without needing to apply for planning permission, as long as the property receives building regulations approval

However, you must ensure that qualified tradesmen are carrying out work for you, and that they are registered with a competent person scheme.

What is allowed under permitted development rights?

Under permitted development, certain types of extensions and alterations to an existing property are allowed. Examples include:

  • Internal alterations
  • Converting a loft space
  • Adding roof lights or dormer windows
  • Building an extension.

The extent to which you can extend or alter your property, without requiring full planning permission, is dependent on several factors. As permitted development rights are updated regularly, we would advise that you ask your local planning authority for the latest details before carrying out any work. 

It is important to note that the following have restricted development rights:

  • Conservation Areas
  • National Parks
  • National Landscapes (Previously AONBs)
  • World Heritage Sites
  • Listed Buildings

You should always contact your local planning authority and discuss your proposal before any work beginsFor more information, take a look at the official government guide on permitted development rights.

How to find out the current use and planning class of a property

Finding out the current use and planning class of your holiday let is very important as this determines whether you have to apply for a change or not. If you need to change classes, then this will require planning permission and an application for a change of use.

Planning use classes determine what a property may be used for and finding this out is fairly straightforward. To do so, all you need to do is contact your local planning authority. You can find their details via the Planning Portal website.

How do you apply for holiday let planning permission?

Submitting a holiday let planning request allows local authorities to determine whether or not to grant permission in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

For more information on how to submit a planning application, read the official government guide to planning permission

Here are the four stages of the planning process you will need to follow:

  1. Contact your local planning department
    Approach your local council for an initial conversation on whether planning permission is required and what steps you need to take.
  2. Seek advice
    It’s important to get information and guidance from a planning authority or trade expert. They will be able to give you advice on whether your proposal is likely to be approved or not, so you can make changes to ensure the best chances of success.This is also a great time to speak to your local holiday letting agency, who can provide you with investment advice and invaluable insights into your future holiday let’s earning and booking potential.Here at Coast & Country Cottages, our New Property team are always on hand to offer free, no-obligation holiday letting advice to South Devon holiday home owners through every stage of the process.
  3. Apply online
    If needed, you can apply for planning permission online via the Planning Portal from your local planning authority.
  4. Submit your planning application
    Finally, gather up all the necessary documents you need to support your application, pay the fee, and submit your planning application for review.

Planning permission costs

It’s advisable to check the Government website to find out the exact costs of submitting a planning application. 

The cost of a planning application varies depending on the type of planning you are applying for. You can find up-to-date info on the different fees on the Government website.

How long does it take to get a decision on a planning application?

If your planning application is granted, it is usually in the form of a building license with details of the proposed plan. 

Once the application has been validated, the local planning authority should make a decision fairly promptly, and within the statutory time limit of 8 weeks.

The planning permission is then valid for up to 3 years. If work has not been carried out within this time, you will have to re-apply.

Factors that could affect your planning application being granted

There are several factors which could impact the granting of planning permission. Many of these are specific to the area you live in and unique to that local authority. Some common reasons for planning permission being rejected include:

  • Errors within your application
  • If your property is a listed building in a conservation area
  • Objections from your neighbours
  • The time and expense of additional surveys

Each local planning authority will have its own set of rules and regulations, so it’s important to seek the appropriate advice before you embark on any project.

Free, no-obligation holiday letting advice

Whether you are considering investing in a holiday let in South Devon, or you need more information on how to start a successful holiday let business, call 01548 843773 (option 2) to chat with a member of our locally based team who will be happy to help. 

Alternatively, you can order a copy of our free owners guide using the button below. 

Free Owners Guide

If you are considering letting a holiday home or you already do, the following owner guides may be useful to you:

Please Note: 

The information contained in this article was accurate at the time of writing, based on our research. Rules, criteria and regulations change all the time, so please contact our prospective new owner team if you’d like to hear how. Nothing in this article constitutes the giving of financial, tax or legal advice to you; please consult your own professional advisor (accountant, lawyer etc) in this regard. 

If we have referred within the article to a third-party provider of unregulated holiday let mortgages, this is due to the fact that such mortgages aren’t currently regulated by the FCA. 

As a helpful reminder, your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage. Again anything you decide to do in this particular area is one on which you should seek your own professional advice on too, as we aren’t providing and can’t provide you with this.