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Appealing a refused lawfullness cert - caravan


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Sorry for the long post , maybe someone has been through similar .

I applied for a certificate of lawfullness for a converted shipping container iny garden ,it has a sofa bed , office desk , windows door , and was going to have A toilet and shower .

I put a thorough lawfullness certificate application together, quoting as much case law as I could find


LPA agreed it was not a change of use .

The max height of the roof on the pent is ,2.6 (over the PD) threshold.

My understanding is the general consensus that it was a caravan , in the legal sense , However the application has been refused due to the addition of a bolt on  steel sheet pent roof making it a structure .

When they visited I pointed out roof can be unbolted and doesn't stop it being transported .




......local planning authority, hereby REFUSE to certify
that on 21st December 2023 the use/operations/matters described in the First
Schedule to this certificate in respect of the land specified in the Second Schedule to this certificate and identified on the plan attached to this certificate, were lawful within the meaning of section 191 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for the
following reason:
The evidence available suggests to the Local Planning Authority that the structure
currently sited in the rear residential garden of ##### for additional residential
accommodation does not amount to a material change of use of the land. Officers
consider the addition of the roofing structure means that the structure as a whole
amounts to operational development. The operational development does not comply
with the criteria set out in Schedule 2, Part 1 Class E of the Town and Country
Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015. The development was
therefore not lawful at the time of the application being made.



Should I remove the roof? And try again ? Or should I appeal , 


I have quickly drafted (notmsent) an appeal but would like some advice ..

1) caravan law states no more than 2 pieces. The caravan has a roof and the unit itself, so is no more than 2 pieces and when separated or when whole it  can be transported by road even if it would not be legal to do so. The container caravan can be craned as one piece using straps underneath. The roof is held on with 4 bolts and has it over hangs by a meter it would be easier to separate the roof and transport in 2 pieces but It is possible to crane and transport on lorry as a whole piece.


Example case law

2 sections 

Odina v Mackland Ltd County Court (Central London)

27 May 2009

2) I believe Additional fixings does not mean it is no longer a caravan and added roof does not make it a structure 

Example case law 

Hand v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2014] EWHC 314 (Admin).



I'm trying to make this as painless as possible and avoid this dragging on for years. 

Any advice would be welcome.






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Personally I can't see how a roof being added would prevent it being a caravan under the caravan act. 

However they appear to have decided the Certificate of lawfulness under Class E for outbuildings.  Which it would fail under if it is too high. 

I am wondering if the application was wrong in the first place. 

Without knowing the application it is hard to say for sure or what is the best route to go down. I do not want to mislead you without knowing all the facts. 


You might want to book a Zoom session with me or you are welcome to fill in our contact us form attaching details of the application. 


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