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Living in caravan on drive

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jolou71 | 20:50 Tue 18th Apr 2006 | Home & Garden
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Is it legal for my neighbours' son to be living in a caravan on their drive? It is hooked up to the mains via an extension cable through the letterbox and they make a lot of noise!!

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(POsted in 2 parts):
This one could possibly keep teams of lawyers occupied for months!

The legal opinion, given on the Daily Telegraph website, is that it's lawful to live in a caravan parked on your own land (or, presumably upon the land of consenting relatives), for up to a maximum of 28 days in any 12 month period. Beyond this, planning permission might be required:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/main.jhtml ?xml=/property/2005/07/02/prclinic02.xml

BUT . . .
Last November, as part of a debate on sites for traveller families, Ann Winterton MP tabled a series of parliamentary questions which specifically related to whether it was lawful for people to live in caravans parked in private gardens. These were answered, on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister by Jim Fitzpatrick MP. The reply was both detailed and fairly complex. The main points seem to be these:
1. Planning permission is required if the planning officer deems that a change in the principal use of the land, upon which the caravan stands, has occurred.
2. Where those people living in the caravan use it as an entirely separate residence (and don't, for example, use the bathroom in the house), it's almost certain that it will be deemed that such a change in the principal use of the land has taken place.
3. If those living in the caravan simply use it as an extension of the house (rather than as separate from it), planning permission might not be required but this would depend upon other factors to be considered by the local planning officer.

There's a great deal more information contained within the parliamentary reply but you might stil find that it doesn't provide a definitive answer to your question. (There seem to be a lot of 'grey areas'):
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200 506/cmhansrd/cm051122/debtext/51122-41.htm

I recommend having a word the local planning staff and leaving them to read up on the finer points of the law!

Chris
That is a fantastic answer Buenchico.
Regardless of the legality of the caravan you could no doubt report them for noise pollution.
...or impersonating a pikey
get a life

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