Do I need Planning Permission for Mobile Field Shelters?

The short, concise answer to this sticky question is no, mobile field shelters do not require planning permission. A lot of local planning officers dispute this fact however and send out letters to owners of mobile field/stable shelters informing them that they have two options – either remove said building or apply for planning permission retrospectively.

This happened during a landmark case in August 2001 when the proud new owner of a smallholding in Purbeck sited a mobile field shelter in his grazing field. Almost immediately the local county council sent a letter explaining that all buildings, including timber framed buildings haphazardly ‘dumped’ in the middle of a field, require planning permission before being built and that he had broken UK planning laws by not doing this.

Understandably the owner of the field shelter in question was not amused and just as quickly appealed the decision. An independent inspector was sent to resolve the matter with his finding being that field shelters do not require planning permission as long as:

  1. They are deemed to be fully mobile and can be moved without the need for heavy duty equipment e.g. cranes and low-loader trailers,
  2. They have not had any associated groundwork done, such as the laying of foundations and concrete bases,
  3. There is no physical attachment between the mobile field shelter and the ground it sits on,
  4. There are no services, such as water and electricity, connected to the building,
  5. The sitting of such timber framed buildings doesn’t change the usage of the field it sits in i.e. you don’t intend to live in it or turn it into a retail outlet for your future crops.


So the decision was made in 2001 that when it comes to field shelters planning permission is not a necessity, and if your local planning officer ever says it is then offer them the following reference number and ask them to read the appeal decision:

  • Appeal A: APP/B1225/C/01/1057144

And now the question of field shelters and planning permission has been resolved you can move on to looking at field shelters for sale…and this is where Bridge Timber Stables come in.

Further Information

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