Category: Blog

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Shepherd’s Hut?

Do you need planning permission for a shepperd's hut?


Home » Blog » Do You Need Planning Permission for a Shepherd’s Hut?


If you’re considering investing in a shepherd’s hut, one of the most important things to consider is whether or not you need planning permission. The good news is that in many cases, shepherd’s huts fall under permitted development rights, which means that you may be able to avoid the hassle and expense of getting planning permission. In this blog, we’ll explain everything you need to know about permitted development, including its limitations and constraints. We’ll also outline the specific requirements for a shepherd’s hut to qualify as permitted development, such as essential features and size considerations. However, there are some situations where planning permission is required, and we’ll cover those too. We’ll also go over the risks of building without planning permission and the process of applying for it if necessary. Lastly, we’ll discuss building regulations for shepherd’s huts and how they differ from planning permission requirements. By the end of this blog, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision on whether or not you need planning permission for your shepherd’s hut.

Understanding Permitted Development

Before delving into the specifics of planning permission, it is essential to understand the concept of permitted development. Permitted development rights allow certain types of development to be carried out without the need for planning permission. These rights apply to houses, including single-family dwellings, but do not extend to flats, maisonettes, converted houses, or other buildings.

Permitted development rights are subject to various factors, such as the size, type, and location of the development, as well as the impact it may have on the local area. They also aim to control the change of use of the land, ensuring that it remains appropriate for the intended incidental use.

Basics of Permitted Development

Permitted development rights grant homeowners the freedom to carry out certain types of development without the need for planning permission. These rights are typically granted by the local planning authority and are subject to specific conditions and limitations.

It is important to note that permitted development rights do not cover all types of development. In the case of shepherd’s huts, the change of use from agricultural land to a shepherds hut for personal use, glamping site, or even a home office, may fall under permitted development, subject to certain criteria.

Limitations and Constraints of Permitted Development

While permitted development rights offer homeowners the freedom to carry out development without planning permission, there are limitations and constraints that need to be considered. The local planning authority has the power to restrict permitted development in specific areas, such as conservation areas, listed buildings, national parks, and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

In conservation areas, for example, the local council may stipulate additional regulations to ensure the preservation of the area’s unique character. Similarly, listed buildings require special consideration to protect their historical and architectural significance. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with the local planning authority before proceeding with any development, especially in these sensitive areas.

Why is a Lawful Development Certificate Important for a Permitted Development?

A Lawful Development Certificate is crucial for permitted development as it provides proof that your project is legal and doesn’t require planning permission. Obtaining this certificate can provide peace of mind and clarity about the status of your development, especially if you plan to sell the property in the future. Without it, there may be uncertainty and potential issues with the value or saleability of your property.

Wooden sheppards hut

Requirements for a Shepherd’s Hut to Be Permitted Development

When it comes to shepherd’s huts, the question of planning permission depends on the intended use of the structure and the specific circumstances of the development. If a shepherd’s hut meets the necessary criteria, it may be classified as permitted development.

To qualify for permitted development, a shepherd’s hut typically needs to be for personal use, incidental use, or part of a glamping site. Additionally, the development should take place on agricultural land, rather than being a permanent structure intended for residential use. These requirements ensure that the shepherd’s hut remains within the bounds of permitted development, allowing for flexibility in its use.

Essential Features of a Permitted Development Shepherd’s Hut

To be considered permitted development, a shepherd’s hut must possess certain essential features. First and foremost, the structure should be mobile, allowing for flexibility and ease of relocation. This mobility distinguishes shepherd’s huts from permanent structures, which commonly require full planning permission.

Additionally, a shepherd’s hut should serve domestic use, such as a garden room, office, or occasional guest accommodation. It should be situated within the curtilage of the garden, a term that refers to the area of land surrounding a domestic property.

Size and Placement Considerations

When considering the size and placement of a shepherd’s hut, it is crucial to abide by the regulations of permitted development. These regulations are designed to control the impact of the development on the local area, ensuring that it remains appropriate for incidental use.

Here are a few key considerations for the size and placement of a shepherd’s hut:

  1. The floor area of the shepherd’s hut should not exceed a certain size limit specified for permitted development rights.
  2. Placement within the curtilage of a domestic garden is a crucial factor for the development to fall under permitted development.
  3. The hut should be of a size and scale that is not excessive, preserving the character of the area.
  4. By adhering to these size and placement considerations, the development of a shepherd’s hut can stay within the realm of permitted development, avoiding the need for planning permission.
Planning Permission for Sheppards Hut

When Planning Permission Is Required for a Shepherd’s Hut

While permitted development provides a great deal of flexibility, there may be situations where planning permission is required for the development of a shepherd’s hut. These situations typically involve a change of use of the land or the development of a permanent structure.

When the intended use of the land no longer falls within the permitted development rights, planning permission is necessary. Similarly, if the shepherd’s hut is intended to be a permanent structure for residential use, planning permission will typically be required. Understanding when planning permission is necessary is crucial to avoid running afoul of local planning regulations.

Situations Necessitating Planning Permission

Certain situations necessitate planning permission for the development of a shepherd’s hut. These situations typically involve factors such as the location of the development, the change of use of the land, and the impact on the surrounding area.

Here are some situations that often require planning permission:

  1. If the shepherd’s hut is located in a conservation area, planning permission is likely to be necessary due to the need for conservation and preservation.
  2. Shepherd’s hut development near a listed building may also require planning permission, as it can impact the visual integrity of the structure.
  3. If the shepherd’s hut represents a change of use for the land, planning permission is typically required, as it differs from the incidental or domestic use permitted by the development rights.
  4. Understanding these various factors can help shepherd hut owners determine when planning permission is necessary for their specific development.

Impact on Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings

Developing a shepherd’s hut in a conservation area or near a listed building holds a significant impact, often necessitating planning permission. These areas require special consideration due to their historical, architectural, or environmental value, as determined by the local council.

When planning permission is required for the development of a shepherd’s hut, an additional layer of scrutiny is applied to ensure the development aligns with the visual and cultural character of the area. Consulting with the local council and seeking professional advice can help shepherd hut owners navigate the planning permission process, ensuring adherence to the regulations that protect the conservation areas and listed buildings.

Permitted Development Sheppards Hut

Risks of Building Without Planning Permission

Building a shepherd’s hut without the necessary planning permission can lead to various risks and consequences. It is important for hut owners to be aware of these risks to ensure a smooth and compliant development process.

Legal Consequences

One of the primary risks of building a shepherd’s hut without planning permission is the potential for legal consequences. Local planning authorities have the power to take enforcement actions against unauthorised development, which may result in penalties, fines, or legal battles. It is crucial to obtain the necessary planning permission to avoid these legal consequences and ensure a hassle-free development process.

Potential Financial Implications

In addition to the legal consequences, building a shepherd’s hut without planning permission can also lead to significant financial implications. If the hut is deemed non-compliant, the owner may be required to pay for retrospective planning permission or, in the worst-case scenario, remove the structure entirely. Seeking planning permission from the start can provide peace of mind and avoid the financial burden of rectifying unauthorized development.

Around 20% of our planning applications are retrospective and of these, 99.9% were sure it was permitted development but got it wrong. Read our blog on the most Common Permitted Development Mistakes: How to Avoid Them for more information on the most common mistakes and how to avoid them to limit your risk.

Planning permission for a shepperd hut

Process of Applying for Planning Permission

When planning permission is necessary for the development of a shepherd’s hut, it is essential to understand the process involved in obtaining it.

Preparing Your Application

Preparing a comprehensive planning permission application is the first step in the process of obtaining permission for a shepherd’s hut. The application should include detailed information about the intended use of the hut and any supporting documents such as architect drawings and planning statements as required by the local planning authority. Seeking professional advice can ensure that the application is well-prepared and meets all the necessary requirements, giving it the best chance of being approved.

Submitting Your Application

Once the planning permission application for the shepherd’s hut has been prepared, it needs to be submitted to the local planning authority. The submission process usually involves completing the required forms and paying the associated fees. It is crucial to ensure the application is complete and accurate to avoid any delays or complications. Understanding the step-by-step guide provided by the local planning authority can help shepherd hut owners navigate the application submission process smoothly.

What to Do after Submission

After the planning permission application has been submitted, there are several steps to follow to ensure a smooth process. This includes proactively responding to any queries or requests for additional information from the local planning authority. Staying engaged in the process and maintaining good communication with the local planning authority is essential during the planning permission process. It is a good idea to keep track of the progress of the application and be prepared to provide any necessary documentation or clarification.


Process of applying for planning permission for a shepprrd's hut

How to Find Out If Planning Permission Is Required

If you are uncertain about whether planning permission is required for your shepherd’s hut development, there are a couple of options to consider.

Option 1 – Pre-Application

One option is to engage in a pre-application process with the local planning authority. Pre-application advice allows you to seek guidance and feedback from the planning authority before submitting a formal planning permission application. This can be helpful in clarifying any potential issues and understanding the specific requirements for your shepherd’s hut development. Seeking professional advice during the pre-application stage can further enhance your understanding of the planning permission process.

Option 2 – Planning Appraisal

Another option is to seek a planning appraisal from a planning consultant or professional. A planning appraisal involves a detailed assessment of your development plans, taking into account local planning policies, regulations, and the specific circumstances of your site. This appraisal can help you understand the likelihood of obtaining planning permission for your shepherd’s hut and identify any potential challenges or modifications needed for a successful application. A planning appraisal, combined with professional advice, can provide you with a good idea of the viability of your shepherd’s hut development.


In conclusion, understanding the regulations and requirements for a shepherd’s hut is essential before embarking on the construction process. While permitted development offers flexibility and ease, it is crucial to ensure that your hut meets all the necessary criteria to qualify. If not, seeking planning permission is necessary to avoid legal consequences and potential financial implications. Applying for planning permission involves careful preparation and submission of the application, followed by adherence to the subsequent steps in the process. To determine if planning permission is required, options such as pre-application or a planning appraisal can be pursued. Additionally, it is important to meet basic building standards and assess the need for a building permit. By following these guidelines, you can confidently navigate the process of building a shepherd’s hut while complying with the relevant regulations.

Return to Blog