Northern Ireland Planning Service

Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland
Regional Planning Policies: Policy HOU 15 Residential Caravans and Mobile Homes

Policy HOU 15 Residential Caravans and Mobile Homes
The provisions of PPS 21 will take precedence over this policy.
Planning permission may be granted for a residential caravan or mobile home, for a temporary period only, in exceptional circumstances.
Generally, the design and finishes of a residential caravan or mobile home limits its potential for integration into the rural landscape. For this reason, planning permission will not be granted for a permanently sited residential caravan or mobile home, in any part of the open countryside.
However, it is accepted that, in exceptional circumstances, a caravan or mobile home can be a sensible temporary solution, to meeting the need for accommodation in a Green Belt or Countryside Policy Area.
These exceptional circumstances include where:
  • a farmer, who is developing an established farm business and meets the need criteria for a permanent dwelling, cannot at present afford to build a house - see Policy HOU 9;
  • a farmer is retiring - see Policy HOU 10; and
  • a person requires to live close to a relative because of special personal circumstances - see Policy HOU 12
All permissions will be subject to a time limit. The limit may initially be generous and can be extended, to allow the named occupant to use the accommodation for as long as the particular circumstances require.
A residential caravan or mobile home, in the garden of an abandoned dwelling, will require planning permission as no permitted development rights exist. In practice, if permission has already been granted for development of the site for a permanent dwelling, applications to locate a residential caravan or mobile home on a site for this use will normally be approved for a limited period.
The siting of a residential caravan or mobile home will be subject to the same planning and environmental considerations as a permanent dwelling. Permission will depend on the ability to integrate the unit within an existing building group and screen the unit from public view. Residential caravans or mobile homes on farms must be integrated with the main farm complex.
Planning permission will not be given for a residential caravan or mobile home on an isolated site, cut out of an open field.
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