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As everyone knows, planning policy is complex. In the end, only by submitting a planning application will you receive a definitive answer, but some initial planning advice relating specifically to  Echo's  cabins may be useful meantime.




We design and build our cabins to conform to BS3632:2023 as this standard makes it possible for us to create the  imaginative, small  spaces that are perfect for niche rental accommodation, It can be useful  planning -wise in some situations



The BSI specification was originally introduced to ensure minimum standards for residential mobile homes, and was updated in 2023 to improve energy-efficiency, including better levels insulation making them more comfortable and cheaper to run. We work with  the  criteria set out by the standard that include maximum  footprint, maximum internal height,   method of delivery;  physical capability of the structure to be moved from one place to another and provision of facilities; however the levels of insulation, construction,  sustainability and energy efficiency of our prefab cabins significantly exceeds the  BSI specification.

Waterfell Cantilever Cabin Living Space
Eco Yurt Plan

The BS 3632:2023 specification is the  legal definition of a mobile home  for planning purposes, however the intended use of the structure is a significant planning consideration  for a structure that follows this  designation:



The intended use of any  development will be a significant in a planning decision. For small buildings such as ours, that may be required to offer a facility not catered for within the main house, and  the building is sited within the curtilage of the main house, it's use will most commonly be defined as either: 


incidental to the main house . If it meets this designation,  such as a garden room for use as an office, music room  or  artist studio, for instance,  it cannot exist without the main house , It is therefore required to meet Permitted Development rules. 


ancillary to the main house. This will provide all the  facilities of a standard house, and will require planning permission under this designation. The most commonly understood  example of this arrangement would be a granny annex, which provides all the  facilities of a house. 

As Echo's cabins are designed to meet  BS 3632:2023,  depending on the intended use , and by whom it is used,  it may be permitted to be sited within the curtilage of the main house with a Lawful Development Certificate ( England and Wales) or a Certificate of Lawfulness ( Scotland, Northern Ireland). This will only apply, however, if the cabin is dependent on the main house for services such as power and water; laundry facilities; eating main meals, or storage of  furniture or belongings.  The person using the accommodation is normally related to those living in the main residence, and it  may not be used as a separate main residence in its own right.  


The  cabins we have designed and built as rental accommodation have been through the planning process  in a couple of ways, either with with applications  specifically for  the siting of  holiday accommodation  or if the site is agricultural land, and as  we meet BS 3632:2023, we can  make an  application for  change of use for agricultural  land  to site a caravan(s).  This was the approach we used  to obtain permission for the original Modular Pyramid Bothy at Brockloch Farm.


Our designs are ideal for rental accommodation where sustainability and a natural aesthetic are particularly desirable for sites in specially designated areas, such as AONBs.   The structures touch the ground lightly, using screw piles where possible, and as they have no traditional foundations, and can be removed from the site, they    are not considered to be developments. 


Each site and design proposal is unique, and whatever the proposal, we would always advise working with your Local Planning Authority (LPA) to ensure the appropriate permissions are granted where needed.

If the intended use of the building is as your main residence,  you will need planning permission for a permanent  dwelling, regardless  if  whether or not it complies with the  definition of a mobile home. 

Wave Eco Cabin Plan
BrockLoch Eco Bothy Plan


If the proposal  is for a designated site and /or  the site has other has  restrictions or other complications,  a Pre-Planning Application can be useful to get an indication as to whether or not the Local Planning Authority  might  grant permission for your project. It can be submitted without the need for detailed plans, and it can be helpful to establish what additional requirements  may be required to be met if the  full  application is to be successful  -  a full application will need  to be made subsequently, but although the process may ultimately take long,  a Pre-Planning Application can be  useful to establish the feasibility of a proposal prior to investing time and money in what may be an unrealistic plan.    

Each individual UK regional council will follow national guidelines, but also have  its own Local Plan and policies, and Town and Country Planning Acts differ between England & Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.  You can find the local policies that will apply to your particular site on the  appropriate local council's website. 

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