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The Complete Guide to Holiday Let Planning Permission

Over the past few years, the market for British holidays has grown exponentially. This has resulted in an increased demand for holiday properties in many areas across the UK, not just for traditional country cottages, but also for lodges, log cabins, and even the quirkier properties like yurts and shepherd huts.

Many savvy farmers and land owners have realised the unlocked potential in their previously disused acreages, and have built lodges, log cabins or temporary structures, turning them into successful holiday homes as a way of generating additional income – which can also be referred to as farm diversification.

Stages of planning applications

  1. Contact your local council for an initial conversation.
    Having some form of plan would be beneficial at this stage
  2. Begin speaking with design teams or architects.
    It would also be useful to compile a list of preferred suppliers.
  3. Submit your plans to the council.
    It can take up to approximately 8 weeks for a decision to be made.
  4. Have an advisor visit the land to discuss your plans.
    Our advisors can meet with you at this stage and chat about your plans, giving valuable information on potential booking levels and income.

Stages of planning applications for holiday lets

What can affect planning permission being accepted?

There are various reasons why your request may be rejected, and often some of these reasons can be unique to the local authorities. However, some of the most common reasons include:

  • The location
    If the land is part of a green belt, a national park, an area of outstanding natural beauty, or a heritage site.
  • Nearby properties
    If a property on the land is listed this can affect approval. If you are using the revenue from the potential holiday letting to supplement repairs of the listed building, it is worth mentioning this in your application.
  • Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans
    These directives are created by communities to allow them to shape the development and growth of the local area. They are often used when determining planning applications, for example if your venture fits into their vision then you will not need planning permission.

The type of permission required can be dependent on what sort of holiday let you are considering building.

planning for holiday lets - green belt land

Converting an outbuilding into a holiday let

Converting unused or derelict outbuildings into holiday homes is a great way to generate another source of income and is a popular choice for farmers or land owners wishing to diversify their land. Planning permission will be required for any alterations to your outbuildings and a ‘Change of Use’ may need to be applied for.

Converting an outbuilding into a holiday let - holiday let rules and regulations

Do I need planning permission for a lodge or log cabin?

Synonymous with cosy rustic getaways, Lodges and Log Cabins have long been popular choices for many wanting to escape busy city life in favour of a calmer rural setting. For permanent buildings such as these, you will need to apply for planning permission.

Do I need planning permission for a lodge or log cabin

Do I need planning permission for a yurt or shepherd’s hut?

The most common types of temporary holiday lets would be yurts and shepherd huts, both of which are ideal for those who are just getting started in holiday letting and want to see if it suits them before making any long-term commitments. For temporary structures planning permission is not always needed. Currently permission is not required if the structures are moved or taken down within the period of 28 days, and can be reinstated after an allotted time frame. A ‘Change of Use’ may still need to be applied for, usually costing £462.00 and taking 8 weeks to be approved. Further information available at:

 Do I need planning permission for a yurt or shepherd's hut - holiday let rules and regulations

Important things to note

  • If your application is approved, it lasts for three years. After this period you will have to apply a second time.
  • If denied, the council will always give you reasons behind this decision. It can be worth taking these observations into account and altering the plans to the requirements, then resubmitting.
  • If buying a temporary structure, make sure that the company has attained the British Standard to endure that safety regulations have been adhered to.
  • To be represented by ourselves, we would require each property to be fully self-contained, with a bathroom and self-catering kitchen.
  • The cost of planning permission varies dependant on which country the land is based in. It is best to check with your local authority for an exact figure.

Funding and Grants

If you’re land is located in

Let your property with Sykes and earn up to £125,000 per year*

  • Join over 15,000 holiday properties already working with Sykes Cottages
  • We welcome over 26 million web visitors a year
  • Many of our owners achieve more than 45 bookings a year
  • We specialise in turning your holiday property into a profitable year-round income for you

*Based on a 7 bedroom property in the Lake District with bookings between October 2017 to September 2018.

holiday let owner pack

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