Introduction to shipping containers as structural componentsShipping containers have become quite popular as a sustainable and cost-effective way to construct permanent and temporary structures. They are versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes, including offices, homes, storage spaces, and even swimming pools. These containers are made from sturdy materials and can withstand extreme weather conditions, making them an ideal building material. However, before you embark on any shipping container project, it’s essential to find out whether you need planning permission.
Understanding when permission to plan is necessaryIn general, planning permission is needed if you intend to use shipping containers as permanent structures. If you plan to utilize them as temporary structures, such as for site offices or storage spaces, you might not require planning permission. However, the exact rules and regulations vary from location to location, and it’s crucial to do your research before starting any project.
Here are some instances when planning permission may be necessary:
- When the container will be a permanent household or business structure
- When adding the container will change the appearance of the existing structure significantly
- When there are height restrictions that apply to all structures on the property
- When the container will be positioned in an area where it may pose environmental risks
- When the location is a conservation area or a listed building
Regulations for utilizing shipping containers as permanent structuresWhen using shipping containers as permanent structures, you need to adhere to a set of regulations. These regulations vary depending on where you plan to construct the structure. Usually, the regulations cover the design, durability, and safety of the structure. Additionally, there may be restrictions on the size and height of the structure. One key consideration when using shipping containers as permanent structures is insulation. Shipping containers are made of steel and can become very hot or very cold. To use them as living spaces, you’ll need to ensure proper insulation against the elements. Meeting these regulations can often be a complicated process, requiring input from experts such as architects, engineers, and surveyors.
Overview of the planning permission processIf you require planning permission, the process usually begins with an application to your local planning authority. The authority will typically review the application and check that your plans adhere to the relevant regulations. They will also assess the impact of the building on the environment and surrounding properties. The application process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the complexity of the project. One thing to note is that the planning application process can be expensive. You may need to pay for surveys, designs, and applications fees. Additionally, you’ll need to account for potential appeals, which can further increase costs. Therefore, before embarking on any project, it’s crucial to have a budget in mind and ensure you have the necessary funds to complete the process.
Considerations for temporary usage of shipping containersIf you wish to use the shipping container as a temporary structure, you might not need planning permission. For example, if you’re using it as a site office or storage space for less than 28 days, you can utilize permitted development rights. However, before embarking on any project, it’s important to verify the exact rules that apply to your situation. Some key considerations for temporary usage include:
- Ensuring the container is located on stable ground and doesn’t endanger any nearby structures
- Ensuring the container is secured against theft and weather damage
- Ensuring the container doesn’t negatively impact the environment or the surrounding community
- Obtaining insurance to cover the container and any liabilities arising from its use