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Temporary Structures like marquees or storage tents

In this guide, you can discover:

When planning permission is required

Whether building regulations apply

What to expect if you need to apply

Temporary structures: Legal aspects of erecting a tent

Are you interested in erecting a temporary building such as a gazebo or portable garage on your private property or rather a temporary structure, such as a marquee, industrial tent, or arched tent on a commercial property, farm, or industrial premises?

Planning permission rules when setting up a new structure in your backyard

Are temporary buildings such as large tents or lightweight halls such as party tents, storage tents or industrial tents allowed to be erected in your garden or business premises for days on end? And if so, only if it's temporary or can I leave my tent standing for years? Short of astro-physics, there is not much more complicated than sorting through the various rules and regulations around planning permission and building regulations in the UK.

This guidebook provides information on rights and obligations when erecting one of our marquees, portable garages or storage tents, based on the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) and other relevant legislation. Read on to understand when permission is required, and how you can best go about lodging an application.

Note: As the rules around planning permission vary across the four nations, this article only provides a general overview of the topic, with a focus on the rules in England. Applications for planning permission are considered by local planning authorities, so we recommend getting in contact with them at the earliest opportunity for the most detailed advice.

An exception for temporary structures: how temporary are we talking?

Marquees can stand for 28 days without a permit

A temporary structure is a building of less than 100m² that will be standing for no longer than 28 days in a calendar year. This makes things easy when we're talking about marquees and pop up gazebos that will be used for garden parties, celebrations, or other short-term, temporary uses. These are clearly temporary buildings. In this case you do not need to apply for planning permission. For things like industrial tents, portable garages, or marquees and gazebos that will be standing for longer than a month, we need to look deeper into the rules to decide if planning permission is required.

Other exceptions where planning permission is not required

Some buildings that will stand for longer than 28 days, can also be built providing that they meet a number of criteria. For private dwellings (i.e your home and garden) these include outbuildings and some extensions.

Outbuildings

Outbuildings like gazebos don't need a permit if they meet certain criteria

An outbuilding is a smaller building on your private property that is not connected to the main building. Common outbuildings include garages, garden sheds, gazebos and pergolas, playhouses, and swimming pool enclosures. There is no need to apply for planning permission for the erection of an outbuilding if the building will meet the following requirements. Here are the four key rules to pay attention to:

  1. The building must be situated behind the front wall of your home.
  2. It should be no higher than 2.5 meters at the eaves, and 4 meters at the apex (for a double pitched roof).
  3. If the building is situated within 2 meters of the property boundary (the curtilage of the house), the building must be no higher than 2.5 meters at the apex.
  4. No more than half the total area of land around the original house (this includes any extensions built after 1948) would be covered by extensions, decking, containers and/or outbuildings.

There are stricter conditions for developments within National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites. In these areas, planning permission is required if the total built-on area between the property boundary and the area within 20 meters of the house exceeds 10m². In addition, an application must be made for development between the sides of the house, and the side boundary.

Tip

In our shop you can find a wide range of products that meet the above requirements. For instance, all marquees and storage tents with a side height of 2m, can be built away from the boundary as the roof is less than 4m high at the apex. Our small portable garages with a width of 1.6-2.4m and premium and economy garages with a width of 3.3m meanwhile have a roof height less than 2.5m and are therefore suitable for pitching close to the property boundary.

When do building regulations apply?

Planning permission is concerned with the spacial and aesthetic elements of new buildings and extensions. Building regulations on the other hand, are designed to ensure that buildings and alterations are safe and energy efficient where needed. It is therefore necessary to consider both planning regulations, and building regulations. As with planning permission, there are also certain structures that may be built, where there is no requirement to make an application for permission from your local council or other building control authority.

Criteria where a structure is exempt from the requirement to obtain permission under the building regulations:

  • Temporary buildings
  • Buildings that are not normally frequented by people
  • Agricultural Buildings
  • Ancillary buildings used on construction sites
  • Small detached buildings
  • Extensions
Buildings need to meet fire safety requirements

Under the regulations a temporary building is, again, a structure that remains standing for no more than 28 days. Small detached buildings are those that are no higher than one storey, and less than 30m² in area, and the purpose of the shed should not be for sleeping. The structure must be more than a meter from the boundary and must be made of non-combustible material. The materials PE and PVC are therefore well suited, given that they are highly fire retardant. To ensure compliance, certified fireproof tents are also available in our shop.

For certain buildings (including those over 50m², and those with either high energy demand or those that will stand in place for over 2 years), a permit may still need to be granted.

What to expect if planning or building applications need to be filed

Buildings must be shown to be stable to gain building permits

Local planning authorities deal with a large number of applications. You can expect to wait a matter of months before finding out if the planning authority will grant a permit. While it is usually possible to request a permit retrospectively if you can show that the use of the building was needed urgently. If the local planning authority decides to refuse to issue a permit, you may be forced to return the land to its original condition. Naturally, if you have installed a tent or gazebo, this is generally not an issue.

Because safety is an important consideration in obtaining approval in relation to the building regulations, a structure that can be shown to be structurally sound, including specified snow and wind loads, while meeting fire safety standards, will help you to secure a permit as quickly as possible. The industrial tents, along with many of the portable garages in our shop are available with extra securing materials and a structural analysis prepared by German engineers that stipulates the maximum wind and snow loads of the product. In our shop this is referred to as statics, which generally includes tie down straps, strong anchors, the load analysis and other supporting material. If a tent requiring a permit does not have a structural analysis from the factory, it may be necessary to have it approved by an expert before it can be erected.

In addition, depending on the nature of your planned or proposed structure and its intended use, you may need to consider regulations relating to:

  • Fire protection
  • Escape routes
  • Height of railings
  • Gradients of ramps
  • Lighting
  • The number of fire extinguishers
  • Equipment and information signs

The best way to find out which documents you need to submit when requesting a permit is to contact your respective local planning authority. In addition, further guidance from the Government on making a planning application is provided on the planning portal website.

A summary of exceptions to the requirement to obtain planning permission or a building permit

How we can help you with temporary or semi-permanent buildings

Find a range of storage solutions for your garden at House of Tents

Do you have questions about the use of temporary buildings and competent authorities? Or would you like to know more about our marquees or our industrial tents with statics? Our staff will be happy to assist you on +4401183150873, or by e-mail at service@houseoftents.co.uk

We look forward to your call

+4401183150873
Mon - Fri 8am - 5pm

Planning permission rules when planning a new structure on a business premises

What are the planning rules around permitted developments for businesses

As a business, what are your rights around erecting temporary structures, large warehousing tents, or other semi-permanent structures on your premises? Are there specific rules relating to permitted developments for agricultural buildings or warehouses built on industrial land?

This page provides guidance on rights and obligations when planning to erect one of our tents on commercial, industrial or agricultural land, based on the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) and other relevant legislation. Read on to understand what is considered to be a permitted development, and whether prior approval must be sought in all instances.

Note: Rules relating to permitted developments and planning permission for businesses vary across the United Kingdom. This article therefore provides only a general overview of the topic, with a focus on the planning system in England. Applications for planning permission are considered by local planning authorities, so we recommend getting in contact with them at the earliest opportunity for the most detailed advice.

Temporary buildings for business use

Tents that stand for less than 28 days in a year

A temporary structure is any building of 100m² or less that will be standing for no longer than 28 days in a calendar year. Marquees and pop up gazebos that will be used for staff parties, events, and other short-term uses therefore do not require prior approval.

Generally, our larger products, such as arched shelters, industrial tents, and container shelters will be standing for longer than a month.

While they are not termed temporary buildings according to the GDPO if they’re standing for more than 28 days, there are other criteria under which the development might be considered a permitted development where prior approval from a local authority is not needed.

Permitted development criteria for business uses

There are a number of criteria for permitted developments on commercial, agricultural and industrial premises that relate to the use of a building.

Agricultural buildings - what is and isn't considered a permitted development

Permitted developement - An arched shelter used to store hay

Agricultural buildings built in rural areas are considered permitted developments according to schedule 2 part 6 of the GDPO when they have met a range of conditions. The conditions are quite detailed, but they are designed to allow most agricultural developments. It is recommended that farmers planning a material change on their farm go through the legislation to check off each criteria. The advice below is not relevant for any proposals for conversions relating to the use class of a property, such as barn conversions.

Planning permission for farms over 5 hectares in area:

For farms larger than 5 hectares the key tests for whether approval must be sought are:

  • if the development includes a dwelling, or includes farm buildings that are not intended for agricultural use.
  • if any part of the proposed structure would be within 25 metres of a metalled part of a trunk road or classified road
  • if there has been no development that is classified as a change of use within the previous 10 years. (Check the link above for more details)
  • if the development is over 1000m².

For significant developments under 1000 square metres, or developments in areas of natural interest, a farmer wishing to build an agricultural building or structure must apply to the local authority for a determination as to whether planning permission must be sought. This is a short (28 days) and inexpensive process, that may be required for larger developments, even if all other criteria are met. Work can begin only once a determination has been made. Approval will be granted if all conditions listed in the legislation are met.

Planning permission for a farm of less than 5 hectares:

For smaller farms, the rules are a little stricter. A planning application does not need to be submitted for the erection of an arched shelter used for farming or farm storage tent, either as a standalone structure or extension, if:

  1. the height of any existing farm building will be increased;
  2. the volume (in m3) of the original agricultural building would increase by more than 10%;
  3. any part of any new building will be situated more than 30 metres from the original building;
  4. if no change of use has taken place within the previous 10 years. (See the legislation for more details)
  5. the structure will be used for sleeping; and
  6. any part of the structure would be within 5 metres of any boundary.
Permitted developments - industrial structures such as container shelters

A planning application is not required for Industrial buildings according to schedule 2 part 7 of the GDPO, which deals with non-domestic extensions, alterations etc, when:

  1. No part of the structure is within 5m of the curtilage (boundary); and
  2. There is no reduction in the area for parked or turning vehicles; and
  3. The structure is not within the curtilage of a listed building; and

For new buildings,

  1. the floor space doesn't exceed 200m² (or 100m² on a site of special natural or scientific interest).
  2. if within 10m of the curtilage, the height doesn't exceed 5m.
  3. otherwise, the height doesn't exceed either 15m or the height of the highest existing building;

For extensions of buildings:

  1. for most areas, the floor space won't increase by more than 50% or 1000m² (or 25% and 1000m² for areas of scientific interest, and 10% and 500m² for areas of natural interest);
  2. if within 10m of the boundary, the height doesn't exceed 5m, and in other cases, doesn't exceed the height of the original building.

In addition, the plans must relate to a parcel of land that already contains an existing industrial building or warehouse

In our shop you can find a wide range of products that meet the above requirements. An extra wide 15.25m x 12m arched shelter for instance, has a floorspace under 200 square metres meeting the criteria for new industrial buildings. Structures that are less than 5m high include our 9.15m wide arched shelters, along with the majority of our industrial tents with a door height up to 4m high (please check measurements on the product pages).

Permitted developments - marquees for outdoor restaurant seating

Commercial planning permission will need to be granted if you are planning to extend a commercial property. Making an application for a permit is likely needed for extensions to a shop using a tent, given that permitted developments include only those where the alterations have a similar external appearance to those used for the existing building. Other relevant criteria for Class A that must be met to forego making an application to the planning authority are if the new building:

  • has a floor space of more than either 100m² or 50% of the existing premises;
  • is less than 4m in height;
  • is within 2 metres of the curtilage of the property;
  • extends beyond an existing shop front or would include an alteration to the shop front;
  • consists of or includes the construction of a verandah, balcony or raised platform.

Is permission also required under the building regulations?

Most business-related building work will also require a permit under the buidling regulations. The regulations are designed to ensure that alterations and building operations are both safe and energy efficient. As with planning permission, there are some building operations where a permit from your local council or other building control authority is not required.

Criteria where a structure is exempt from the requirement to obtain permission under the building regulations:

  • Temporary buildings
  • Buildings that are not normally frequented by people
  • Agricultural Buildings
  • Ancillary buildings such as building site offices
  • Small detached buildings
  • Extensions
Building regulations must also be considered for businesses using tents

Similar to the planning rules, under the building regulations a temporary building is a structure that remains standing for no more than 28 days.

New agricultural buildings are exempt if they are not used as a dwelling, and the distance to any building where there is sleeping accommodation is at least 1.5 times their height. In addition, they must have a fire exit that is no more than 30m from any point in a building.

Small detached buildings must be no higher than one storey, and less than 30m² in area.

For certain buildings (including those over 50 square metres, and those with either high energy demand or those that will stand in place for over 2 years), a permit may still need to be granted.

Building regulations are complicated and contain many exceptions. Our advice is to contact your local authority for more detailed guidance.

What to expect if planning or building applications need to be filed

Tent structures must meet safety requirements

Local planning authorities have a large number of applications to deal with. You should expect to wait at least 90 days before receiving a decision on whether the planning authority will grant a permit. It is possible to request a permit retrospectively if you can show that the use of the building was needed urgently. However, if the local planning authority refuses to issue a permit, you may be forced to return the land to its original condition. A great advantage of a tent, is that this should be no problem. Of course this will be a bigger issue if you have laid a foundation.

Given the importance of safety standards for obtaining a permit, a structure that is shown to be structurally sound, including specified snow and wind loads will help you to secure a permit as quickly as possible. The same goes for fire safety standards. All industrial tents and many of the portable garages in our shop are available with extra securing materials and a structural analysis prepared by German engineers that stipulates the maximum wind and snow loads of the product. In our shop this is referred to as statics, which generally includes tie down straps, strong anchors, the load analysis and other supporting material. Statics are provided with all arched shelters as a matter of course.

If a tent requiring a permit does not have a structural analysis from the factory, it may be necessary to have it approved by an expert before it can be erected.

Our Safety Plus Package is a comprehensive set of securing materials available for other products in the shop, where statics have not been calculated.

Other considerations that you may need to pay attention to when dawing up plans for your new premises, include:

  • Fire protection
  • Escape routes
  • Height of railings
  • Gradients of ramps
  • Lighting
  • The number of fire extinguishers
  • Equipment and information signs

Do you still have questions about planning permission?

Find a range of business storage solutions at House of Tents

There are huge number of rules and exceptions when it comes to planning applications, permitted developments, and building regulations. You can get more advice on when permits are not required, or how to apply for a permit at the planning portal website. Alternatively you could look directly at the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 to determine if a planning application is necessary. If you have specific questions about our products, and their suitability for a project you might be planning, we're eager to help! Our staff will be happy to advise you on +4401183150873, or by e-mail at service@houseoftents.co.uk

We look forward to your call

+4401183150873
Mon - Fri 8am - 5pm