Owen Pike, head of Sanderson Weatherall’s planning team, comments on how park home operators could benefit from changes to planning laws, which identify residential caravans as an additional type of housing for the first time.
Clause 124 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which came into force on 12 July 2016, recognises residential caravans as having a role in contributing towards the supply of housing in a given area.
In a significant step change from previous planning guidance, it means local housing authorities will need to start forward planning for the provision of park homes – increasing the prospects that new park home applications will be given planning approval.
The Government’s online Planning Practice Guidance (PPG), which sets out the methodology for assessing housing need, is now expected to be updated in line with Clause 124, to specifically identify park homes as an additional type of housing that needs to be considered and planned for.
This is a significant change for the park homes sector and it could have a positive impact on numerous sites across England when applying for planning permission for new residential caravans.
We support operators throughout the planning process and we have been successful recently in obtaining planning permissions for park homes by explaining their social and economic benefits. However, this change is set to boost the status of park homes within National Planning Policy, as reflected in the NPPF, which requires Local Planning Authorities to produce Local Plans that will deliver the full, objectively assessed ne eds for market and affordable housing in their housing market area.
For the first time, residential caravans have been identified as contributing towards housing supply and that could be great news for those sites looking to increase in size.