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Living in a temporary dwelling on your own land

98 Comments 4th June 2016

In most of Europe, it is currently perfectly legal to live in a caravan or camper or log cabin, any temporary dwelling in fact, without planning or other permissions on land which you own.

In this country it is not allowed.  What I would like to see is the abilty for those who wished to, to live full time on their own land, in a temporary dwelling.

Why does this matter?

With the housing crisis that we have, it seems completely absurb that so many people who care desparately for the enviroment, cannot live in a simple sustainable way on their own piece of land.

Most people who wish to do this are not strange new age travellers – I used to be a bank manager. I would just like to live a very simple life, pay what taxes I have to, and leave as small a footprint on this earth as possible.  Please let me and thousands like me, have a chance to do so.

Thanks for this opportunity to voice my opinion.

Penny Burgess

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98 Responses to Living in a temporary dwelling on your own land

  1. Colin says:

    Great idea. I’m with you. If people own the land then they should have the right to live on it. This country is run by fascist Nazis who should be culled.

    Yes you probably guessed I’m livid with rage at the government controlling how I live. If it’s my land then it’s not their business.

    I’d happily accept rules re waste water, toilet facilities etc. I just want to live on my own land in peace.

    Best of luck with your campaign. You’ve got my support. 🙂

    • says:

      Agree. As long you are not being a public nuisance or creating an eye-sore ,you should be able to do what you like on your own land. Lots of young people would love to live in a big country like the USA -where there is space, and wilderness – but cant because there are immigration controls.
      So back off and live and let live.

    • Lyn says:

      We have had a caravan on site for 16 years the council have mentioned this caravan in planning applications. no problem ,never been asked to move it. I did get windows smashed after a planning appraisal. everyone blamed the gipsies but we saw the culprits on a motor bike earlier that night. Guess I now now who they were. i don’t believe the gipsies did it, for various reasons.
      We have been served a enforcement notice in may last year. This is on a newer 32foot caravan with wheels that was put on site 3 years ago. 1 idiot cotmplained by phone said it looked an eyesore. We got this one to be ancillary to building our 2nd phase of stables and fixing the barn. Apparently we have to move it. What…. class A planning policy framework states we don’t need planning permission for this. However our land use was changed in 1998 from agriculture to Equine and other animals including rescue, leisure and family functions. As the first caravan has been there more than 10 years and used in conjunction with leisure pursuits although smashed up we still have a legal right to keep it. The council are insisting we get rid of that too. We utilise all of the uses for the site but the council insist we don’t need to live on site. We have 20 various animals on site. Work in our respective tax paying employment. And still the local parish council state we have never had planning for anything. Need to move both caravans and don’t have a right to live on site. I think they are so wrong.

      • Russ Drew says:

        Strange we have planners and housing enabling officers in this country, they are paid by us, they have no other purpose in life but to try and control the lives of their wage payer. They are obstructive, unhelpful and repeatedly deal out bad advice in order to delay decision making. They are a strange breed akin to the hobby bobby and traffic warden.
        We are currently in the same situation, the Human Rights states the enjoyment of one’s posessions, which includes land.
        My advice, do not remove the caravans, they are necessary for the animal welfare, storage of medicines, animal feed. You need a facility for first aid, health and safety etc. If your other caravan has been there 10 years then apply for a certificate of lawfullness. Let me know how you get on.

      • Graeme Ford says:

        Lyn, do not move your caravan. I don’t know where you live but the law is different in Scotland to other parts of the UK. We live in Fife, Scotland and own 6.5 acres on which we keep horses. We also have stables. My wife spends most of her days tending the horses. About 5 years ago we placed a large static caravan on the land. The idea was this would provide shelter for my wife in inclement weather and also a place for a snack and cup of tea. We were instructed to remove the caravan but we refused. Fife Council served us with an Enforcement Notice which I immediately appealed to the Scottish Ministers. My wife did not inhabit the caravan but we used it for ancillary storage of horse feed and equipment. My appeal was upheld and we were allowed to keep the caravan. You must keep in mind that your land is still basically agricultural. Placing a caravan is not classed as building work and if you are not living in it then there has been no material change in use. Fife Council argued that by moving the caravan onto my land this was a type of building work. This is not the case. Keep your caravan where it is.

  2. Rick Seymour says:

    But who lives in the original property on the land?
    If the caravan was also subject to council tax as another dwelling then personally I have no problem with this.

    In fact this could be a way to down shift the council tax banding structure!!

    Whilst you personally may be a lovely neighbour I do feel that many people might not be as nice as yourself and could abuse this…. buying cheap land and packing caravans onto it. This could massively change a community over night.

    • Jules says:

      Unfortunately as with all things it will be the minority that take advantage and spoil things for the rest of us. The council will not be able to keep up with monitoring the correct use and as with landlords and HMO’s now, it will get out of hand.

  3. Sean says:

    Freedom for all if you bought it then you should decide what you do with it I think it’s high time people here in the uk STOOD UP for what they want people is power as we have been recently witnessing all around the world the rules here are crazy for example you get nicked for going over 70 mph but yet still make cars that do 170 mph and faster you can’t drink and drive yet most pubs have car parks heloooooooo so as for living on our own land yes let’s make a stand for our human rights we only want a peaceful life away from the cruel world that it’s turning out to be it so seems that in this life you just gotta do what you gotta do criminals have more rights than decent folk so here goes I’m off to live on my land forgive me oh father I’m about to sin and live on my land hahahahaha yeeeeeeeee ha !

    • Mike says:

      That’s why we need law and order, because people like you are anti establishment.
      Drink driving for God sake, wonder if you would say the same when you have mowed down a child or two.
      And why should I not have rights to look out of my window across a field of grass that’s been there for years and then (what ever you call yourself) make crapy shacks or site caravans everywhere. There are places places like that. There called caravan sites.

      • Ryan says:

        What a sad pathetic person you are! Its strange that you say what you have as sheep like you definitely belong in a field! No one wants to hear your stupid narrow point of view. I cant wait for the day when people like you die out and the people who have common sense might get a chance to create a country that doesn’t resemble a prison full of institutionalised plebs!
        Everyone should have the right to live off grid in a self sufficient way. The only reason its illegal is because someone, somewhere will be losing money. So go on paying your taxes and bills, live your one track life, draw your pension, die and have your children become another cog in the machine just like you!
        Why not try thinking and opening your mind a bit yea??

      • nigel says:

        We’re your house stands was once a field .

      • m says:

        i live near 4 idiots like him !! thats why im putting my caravan on MY land to get away from idiots like you

      • Dai biggy says:

        U sad fucking wanker, i bet you vote for labour dont u

      • Dai biggy says:

        Mike is the one im calling a wanker by the way

      • chris says:

        You sad person, what a stupid analogy Drink Driving vs Living in a wooden hut creating a minimum impact on the planet that spawned us, Really? what goes on in your mind to even imagine such a puerile comparison..

        I guess you would rather settle the planet with good old bricks n mortar or better still concrete highrises than to allow someone that owns the land to build a Crappy, yes there are 2 P’s in Crappy, temporary cabin that will disintegrate back into the land after a few years once they move out or cease to be..

        I should have the right to look out of my crappy cabin window and not see the sprawling, polluting mass of seething humanity that is suburbia or lumps of brick blotting the landscape.

      • Loon says:

        You can’t even spell, so why do you comment…go back to school you idiot. ‘there’…it’s they’re….

        I own several properties, but I’d still like to live a simple life away from the ‘rat race’

        I am not a ‘Hippy’ I’m an intelligent clean living person.

      • Carnzu says:

        I’ve got to say you’ve obviously not read properly or understood what you are replying to not everybody wants to live the way that the establishment wants you to live but still are a law abiding citizen .
        Not everybody is going to be buying caravans and planting them everywhere not everybody wants to live like that a few of us that do a responsible and also care about their environment having a peaceful existence on your own land should be allowed

    • Jules says:

      I get the tongue in cheek bit 😉

  4. Mutt says:

    I think many of us agree that:

    In most of Europe, it is legal to live in a temporary dwelling without planning permissions on land which you own. So a president has been set.

    These days people care for the enviroment, and need to live sustainable lives but cannot stay on their own piece of land in the UK.

    We should stand up for what we want.

    So where do we go from here. MP? facebook? Pertition? Brussels? Has anyone any suggestions on how we make this happen?

    • Neil Senior says:

      Why do let this sort of issue go time after time, I am sure if you were to look back at the presidents that are set in houses already built, I,e extensions, loft conversions e,c,t. we need to ask questions on what is the difference between already built property, to land with already a temp building on it I,e stables live stock shelters. These buildings tho being temp could stand there 20 to 30 years.

    • bob says:

      I have a suggestion , join the freemasons, roll up a trouser leg , give the chief planning officer a dodgy handshake, hand full of cash in other hand , strictly for charitable purposes (not) and get 200 + houses or an industrial estate or whatever you want . When I see 100 ‘ of houses being built on green belt land in open countryside I smell corruption , the town and country planning act is being altered in an ongoing way to stop anyone having permitted development and anything not covered can have an article 4 put on it so if your face does not fit you have no chance. Our rights are gradually being stolen from us , and then sold back to us . Last on out turn the lights out ..

  5. Mutt says:

    I think many of us agree that:

    In most of Europe, it is legal to live in a temporary dwelling without planning permissions on land which you own. So a president has been set.

    These days people care for the enviroment, and need to live sustainable lives but cannot stay on their own piece of land in the UK.

    We should stand up for what we want.

    So where do we go from here. MP? facebook? Petition? Brussels? Has anyone any suggestions on how we make this happen?

  6. Farrer says:

    With Dale Farm issues ringing in our ears, I can see both sides of this issue. Perhaps if sensible laws were in place which allowed the placing of and living in a single temporary structure (as defined) by a single family on their own land where the area of temporary building to land ratio was no less than 1:10, this should be workable. I am thinking of those people who have invested £20k in a few acres of woodland and would like to live there in peace with little if any services or amenities, but some contribution towards local amenities such as police etc.

    • Ben says:

      Agree. A rule allowing 5-10% of your own land to hold either a temporary or otherwise a planning approved single dwelling, for a single family should not be something the state or local council should be able to contest. Perhaps some simple parameters that protect the surrounding can be thrown in for good measure and as a good neighbour you would have to comply with laws and pay towards the local taxes. If you do that, what on earth is the reason for not allowing you to use your own land to live on….?

      Definitely time for a change. It is just not of this age to restrict people from having a simple living on their own property.

      Green party? Want some votes? Have a look at this string.

  7. karen says:

    Quite agree, we have to put up with so many stupid European rules, why can’t we get the odd one such as this that might make being in U S of E not such a bad thing.

    • robnorthlondon says:

      The EU is a central banking cartel hiding behind a political experiment based on manipulating the peoples with all the wacky ideas of liberal socialism. And a big dose of protectionism. It is pro the TTIP whereby Companies can sue Governments for compensation if new laws slow their profits, and then of course you will pay the legal bills in taxes.
      Be careful what you wish for IMO where the dreamland of the USofE is concerned. But.
      I would like to be able to live in a piece of woodland with a stream or pond though Id be fearful of all the lazybones in the world making a right mess in some nice places and then being unaccountable for it.
      So drainage has to be up to scratch for any dwelling
      Clean water has to be available too. Any heating and lighting system has to be inspectably safe. And neighbours must have the right to complain about noise and pollution and waste material dumping
      But I agree planning law can easily be relaxed from where it is currently without causing public health or nuisance problems if a little thought is put into it and licenses are used to regulate it on three year cycles or similar. It could help solve the housing problem perhaps.

  8. Gerald says:

    A friend of mine has just been served with a clearance notice for a piece of land which he has been living on (and paying council tax) for over a year now. The caravan has been on the site for seven years or more.He runs his small business from the site storing his tools and machinery,he took up more permanent residance after series of thiefts took place.
    The clearance order means now he is homeless and out of business,he’s quite aware there needs to be rules allowing certain things to be carried out on private land.
    Based on his situation and probably many others like him I think we should be able to live on our own private land.

    • Sean says:

      Tell him to check out the ten year rule, where if he can prove that the caravan has been there for more than ten years then it is too late for the council to do anything.

    • Peter says:

      I have every sympathy with you friend Gerald, I run my own business and had about £5000 worth of tools stolen from a shed which I was paying rent on. I have a secure shed on my land 5 miles away but feel that it wouldn’t be secure enough without me living near by to keep an eye on things I couldn’t get insurance on this grotty shed I rent so I lost everything and had to start again. Maybe I should have played more Golf and mixed in the right circles because that seems to be the only way to get on in this country.

    • Carnzu says:

      I quite agree I am in the same situation I have lost everything but all I have on my toes and my land I live in a shared 10′ x 10′ I am no problem to anybody I pay my taxes and I’m not a scrounger .
      I pay to get rid of my rubbish I’ve paid to get rid of my sewage I pay for water yet the council are about to have it to me I have nowhere to go and I will have nowhere to work what is wrong with society today when they’re screaming out for places to live when I have already got one

  9. ross says:

    Again, there should be some structure around this, some rule of thumb allotted to prevent abuse…dare say legislation? Maybe a license that is renewed yearly on good tenancy? Something creative, I mean, what happened to the work that JP did relating to housing when he looked into alternative living?

    I for one am fascinated by container homes, and I am no tree hugger, but I can plainly see that unless you happen to be on a good wage then you have little hope of owning anything.

    Land prices are frankly ridiculous and such actions will help, so I am all for it, and dont mind paying for it either.

  10. Steve says:

    I sympathies with this cause. I have a peace of land that I keep Bees on I am trying to build this up to a sustainable income. I have put a mobile home on my land to tend to the Bees during the spring season, I have applied for planning but been turned down. I am appealing but I have been told I wont win. A bit of advice to all that share a dream I have had all my life never never give up. read a book called From Field to farm by David Areman. There are a number of loopholes you can use. The councils look to sustainability (this dose not mean environmentally sound although this dose form a small part of it it means a sustainable income) you must prove you can maintain a minimum wage for a minimum of 12 months. I do believe if you own land you should be able to live on it provided it is not unsightly.
    Best of luck to all you free thinkers.

    • sandy says:

      Who are you on Field to Farm?

    • Norm says:

      Hi, I am in Scotland and of course planning is impossible I also have tried for planning on my 5 acres but guess the answer I asked if I could at least put in 2 posts for a gate and they said no I would need planning but they did say I could hire a machine and a Lorry and put boulders to block off getting in cost a fortune. I also would support going to get the law changed to be able to live on my land so anyone planning count on me.

  11. kismah says:

    I live on my own land. I have done for nearly seven years. I keep my dogs and horses here and need to be here. just wanted to be left alone to live my life with my children. hopefully building a business and a home for them, to give them something better than I have. council don’t want that going to court in afew weeks to face eviction and a criminal record. applied to them to be rehoused if there so against me, apparently IM “low priority”

    • Peter says:

      The council should be happy that your providing for you own family and not sitting there waiting for a council house. There are no social housing and all the councils are skint so why not make it easier for people to provide for their own family

    • Elizabeth says:

      Good luck athough I don’t hold out much hope fpr you I have a friend who purchased a piece of woodland she built a home of straw bales ( very warm) had a composting toilet and solar powered shower,she was coppicing the wood and managing it properly and living happily.Council took her to court evicted her she had so many debts from trying to fight them she had a nervous breakdown had to sell the wood to pay the debts is now in sheltered accomodation and who brought her wood YES THE LOCAL COUNCIL!!!

      • Not.As.Stupid says:

        Scammers. They will sit on it. Then sell it off for devlopment.
        I am looking for land at the moment.
        I’d love to live off grid.
        Anyone posting anything.. be careful, i found this site. That means who ever can do too.
        The donts:
        put nothing linking back to you.
        Facebook… the councils/police/tax all goverment bodys have access too.
        Example: i got arested, photographed,fingerpinted & DNA swabbed, just for ignoring a copper & continue to walk. Held 24 hours then realesed. I got questioned.. & asked whats your facebook..

        So be careful…
        Fuck them. Remember who’s got the best solisitor & accountant. Will always win in uk. Law.. does not exsist.. who can twist it best to win.
        Law should be.. as is..
        Money.. That is what they really want. Just dress it up.

  12. kismah says:

    just a thought if its “law” how come different councils work to different rules!

  13. dermot fynn says:

    its not law, they issue enforcement which is criminal not to comply, enforcement was originaly intended to control massive development, it now used to criminalize those who cannot pay massive amounts of money into the system

  14. Zoe Sherlock says:

    If you own land you should be able to put “temporary” housing on it. We have a housing shortage and it seems that the only people allowed a leg up in life are politicians and bankers!! Not everyone would live in a caravan there are lovely timber houses, cob houses etc… That would bring character and something different … Rather than the regimental Wendy houses commercial builders put up for massive profit!

  15. Peter says:

    Where I live wealthy retirees drive prices up way above what local people can afford. I have a small amount of land that I could help my children set up home on in the future. I have no money to compete with these incomers but I have an asset that I could use to help give my children a leg up in the future. The local council will not consider any sort of dwelling outside the planning boundaries, thus a building plot size of land outside the plannig area is worth about a £1000 and inside the planning area about 80 to a 100,000 pounds.

  16. Jude Chapman says:

    I don’t own my own house, as I can’t afford to buy in this current market. I do want to own land though and would like to have a log cabin on this land. I would not abuse this land, the world is very important to me and my grandchildren. I would then be able to live off my pension without asking the government for extra money to support my housing which would cost them an additional £600 a month (this goes to to a private landlord for rent, and I wonder how many £600 per month the government could be saving). Our government doesn’t have an endless supply of money but housing costs are huge…isn’t it time we started to support the people that were trying to help themselves. The government seems happy to support wealthy landlords and those with multiple houses and all those wealthy people that are putting housing out of the reach of the masses. Legislation could be brought in to ensure that the land is not abused and overbuilt on. Please if a member of parliament is reading this do something about it, help us to help ourselves!!!

  17. Kevin Longbon says:

    I agree that the green belt must be sacrosanct it must not be built on otherwise we will have shanty towns springing up all over England. The law is there to protect the rich from looking at your hovel or having working class living near them. We have thousands of empty properties in England and vast amounts of brownfield sites we can build on so the immigrants can have nice new homes.

    • Barb says:

      Greenbelt is no longer sacrosanct; local councils are allowing thousands of homes to be built all over the country on Greenbelt yet land owners cannot build a temporary building on THEIR land; its’ absolutely potty, and as for having to get insurance in case anyone harms themselves whilst on YOUR land; well, bloody well keep off OUR land! How come the European rule of being able to live on your own land doesn’t apply to us British folk when we have to conform to other rules; seems a bit one-sided and unfair.

  18. will says:

    I agree with you. its funny how any wild animal can be born and be entitled to live minding your own business untaxed but be unfortunate enough to be born of the human species and you basically have less rights than any animal.

    • Bob says:

      You have shown your ignorance here which i feel compelled to reply to.

      Other animals (we are all part of the animal kingdom) have little in the way of rights, only those that humanity deems fit to provide & often take away again the moment there are monetary profits for doing so.

      How can you talk of living in a sustainable manner when you want to live on undeveloped land which presumably will be used by native flora & fauna?

      I have no objections to the purpose of this website, i too would love to live a lifestyle with has as little impact on the natural world as would be possible perhaps a earth bag home or straw bale etc or even custom made low cost timber frame caravan.

      But there should be provision to protect the environment & the natural world. Humanity dominates over 80% of the planets surface it is ludicrous to suggest animals have more rights, when we are living in an anthropogenic age that is rapidly creating the perfect storm of mass extinction of all other species.

      However its not going to happen the establishment don’t want you to live this way because it is not profitable for them! Its a dream no politician will advocate i’m sorry to burst your bubble, civil servants are there to control the population not help it, laws are there to protect property rights. Your very own position highlights this you believe in ownership of land which is offensive in its own right!

      • Mark Lucas says:

        80%of the planet lol… has built on 5.6 % and the government has been regrstering all the unregesterd land to them self to stop you claiming it

  19. Brian Marshall says:

    In Portugal it is possible to build a mobile home on agricultural land, although you can not do it by law except it IS legal up to 180 days and then after a period of 2 full years the land automatically becomes urban land and you will have to pay taxes as everyone else does.

    Having a “mobile structure” on your land means that it “can be” or “will be” moved within or at 180 days. This has also to do with anything happening regarding the national transport system for example that needs your land to put a rail line or motorway through it. If they do have it on their radar then they would think that nothing is there and they could buy your land and start work, if you are paying taxes then they would know that it is there and is also an accepted legal structure.

    If you were fined by the local council the limit is 500 euros, but you can only be fined once. If you murder someone you can only be jailed once, its just like that.

    We have clients that have been fined and still have their house intact and have water, electric and letters delivered to them but their land was once agricultural.

    In some cases you need the services of a lawyer but it is worth the investment because a piece of land that cost 10,000€ can be 10 times that amount after you have done all the work and got your home installed. Good Luck to anyone that is thinking of doing something l hope that you can find help from the right people to make it worthwhile.

  20. Frank says:

    Buy a piece of land and move onto it!
    just be discreet for ten years! Don’t tell a soul and go into hiding! They won’t win

  21. ken cheeseman says:

    just over 2 years ago we bought a plot of land as we could not afford to buy a house and could not rent one as we have 3 dogs, so we placed a mobile home on the land, with in 3 weeks of it being here up rolled the council, to cut a long story short they said we have changed the land use, and they sent us an enforcement notice, we have the deeds to this land going back to 1902 and this land has never been classed as anything. we have turned the place from a rough old field into a nice field, strange the the person that had complained was a parish counciler and lives over the road and is now putting up over 76 acres of solar panels passed by the council. we put in for planning permission to the council they have cashed the check and sat on it for over a year. our field sits between two wharehouses they have planning permission it like one rule for others but not for us. southhams council don’t seem to accomadate for people that just need to live, this is an election year so I think we should make a stand if its votes mp,s want well you will not be getting them from the thousands of voters in our situation will you.

    • Tannacity says:

      If your application has not been determined by the end of 26 weeks and extensions for determination have not been requested and agreed, you can request your fee be refunded and still appeal to the planning inspectorate for non determination.

  22. I was fascinated yet disillusioned to read these brilliant comments. Since a young boy I have dreamed of living in a traditional Gypsy Wagon, making a living by travelling the country painting pub signs and sign-writing. at one point I even had my youngest son as enthusiastic about the idea as myself.
    However, modern life put paid to those dreams as nowadays pub signs and other signage are all laser cut vinyls or perspex – also I suddenly realised that, much as I like horses, I didn’t actually have a clue as to how to look after one.
    So, plan B was took off the shelf and examined. This was to site a purpose built Shepherds hut on a plot of land in the country. These ‘huts’ are absolutely awesome with double glazing, kitchen and bathroom facilities, solid oak floors and wood burners, all within a modest living space at a very reasonable price. It was then that I realised that we actually live in a police state, and not in a good way either.
    Our law enforcement agencies in the UK are vastly underfunded and understaffed due to successive government cut backs and yet, it would appear, that those resources which are available are targeted at preventing ‘crimes’ against the rich. If you own loads of property or have large bank accounts then you will find that the UK law really does favour you – as one contributor has already stated, there is definitely one law for the rich and another for the rest of us.
    Throughout my life I have supported various conservation trusts but I am seriously considering withdrawing from this as I read more and more stories, in the respective news bulletins, about rich people who have purchased swathes of countryside for their personal pleasure and are granted all sorts of concessions that most of us would never be allowed.
    Anyhow, enough ranting at the machine, the point that I wanted to make is that most people, given the opportunity to do so, would create, maintain and cherish their own dwellings just as the rich do with their huge estates. All I really want is the chance to live in my own private space, preferably in the countryside where I grew up, pay my dues to the state and lead a happy, productive lifestyle.

  23. Nick says:

    I own land in Greece that I placed a static caravan on quite legally. There are no mains services (apart from water) and I run the whole thing from 280 watts of solar panels and some bottled gas

    As well as all my low energy lighting, I have an HD flat screen TV, hard drive with many GB’s of films etc to watch, a stereo music system, Hoover, washing machine and a fridge with small freezer compartment (that uses only 50 watts a day to run) and many electric tools (drills, ginders etc). A 5KG gas bottle lasts a good month for all my hot water needs. Sewage is via a sceptic tank.

    I would love to do the same in the UK – who needs an overly expensive and wasteful modern home?

    Yes, we should have the choice to live on our privately owned land in the UK and I agree with the ratio of land to living space idea

    • Nick #2 says:

      I’m intrigued: whereabouts in Greece is your van and how does the general cost of living there stack up in comparison with Rip-off Britain?

  24. Steve Ricketts says:

    Some of the posts on here are part of the problem as the government will only read comments stating that I can do what I want.
    I would personally love to be able to build a log cabin on my own land as I am 27, self employed, a wedding coming up and have a 7 month old son so the chances of me affording our own house is a very distant dream if not impossible and due to the high cost of renting we have to live in a caravan on a caravan that is meant to be a holiday home.
    I had a period where I couldn’t work that much because my partner was ill (brain tumor/ medical mistakes during c section) the government would not help because I managed to do a couple of hours per week and I ended up massively into debt to just keep a tin box over our heads.
    I believe that regulations should be put in place to keep it down to a single family dwelling, taxes should be paid, reviews carried out on occupancy and other things to safeguard our countries natural beauty but putting people into poverty and not allowing our country and children to maximise it’s potential has a detrimental effect on the morale and productivity of our nation. Lets make Britain great again.

  25. sam lees says:

    I think part of the problem is that everybody wants a moderm-ish home that will require a fair ammount of financial investment.

    people also want it to be officially sanctioned so that at some point they can have the option to cash it in.

    If you are truly passionate about about living simply and in a low impact way.

    buy the right bit of land and use the 4 year rule

    Buy some land preferably very rural/hard to get to, fence it off and prevent acess as best you can, build a low cost house from natural materials for a few grand, make sure its blended with its environment..partailly sub surface….grass roofed whatever… just well concealed (but not purposefully hiddden) ….live in it and hope for the best.

    if you stay hidden for four years cool you can apply to have it made legal.

    if you get served with notice sell the land buy something else.

    I want to live on my own bit of lamd but if every fucker did this A)all lamd prices would rocket B)it would be abbused by people looking to cash in

    i think the law is pretty fair and in some ways actually facilitates those who want to live in a true low impact way. find some land build a tiny house from natural materials, live in it and if you get moved on then move on…thats how we used to live

    …….. i have though of buying a bit of land dividing it up into very small plots, building a moveable/modular structure on it and hoping for the best….if i get served witha notice…. ill just move it 20 meters onto the next plot and hop from plot to plot… not sure on the legal side but i bet itwould be an absolute nightmare for the authorities to enforce anything

  26. Barb Gay says:

    Government needs to back out of our pockets. Being able to live on your own land without permission for everything would really help in this financially challenged time. Has such a potential for decreasing homelessness as well.

  27. sue says:

    The government are happy to impose a bedroom tax which sees 90y.o grannys having to move out of two bedroom flats they’ve lived in for sixty years.
    First time buyers are being forced into mortgage/ debt-slavery to get on the housing ladder; yet try and become self-sufficient and leave a low-carbon footprint and they’ll take any opportunity to force you off your land!As for the ‘great unwashed’ provoking the ire of nimbys; have you seen the price of land anywhere near to local facilities – £20K for a quarter of an acre – if you can afford that you can afford to erect a structure in-keeping with the local enviroment such as the one in the photo above.

  28. Luc says:

    The workaround is to do what Kevin McLeod did. Bought a flat bed truck and dug four holes to sit the wheels down into….

  29. Annie says:


    • Andrew says:

      My family and I have been living in Spain for several years. Purchased some rustic land and legally built a home. Working and living on the land producing almonds, veg and producing electricity from the sun.
      Why the heck do we have to go abroad to do this?
      Yes there has to be restraint. The law in living on your land in Spain varies from one area to the next but in principle you have to own 10.000 sq meters and can only develop on 2%. Surly something could be put into place for those that would like to live the good life and have the chance to do it at home? Andrew

  30. Dafydd says:

    Anyone who thinks they have a right to tell anyone else what to do is the problem.

  31. Cazzy rymore says:

    I think it’s wrong you can’t do what you like with YOUR OWN land as long as it doesn’t interfere if cause problems to anything or anyone around you.
    Sadly ‘you’ pay out for the land but never it seems really own it ! The council seem to own it really in the end,
    If someone were even allowed to live on their own land in tempory accommodation like a static log cabin etc but had no rights to sell on if they sell land it goes back to its original state again maybe then this would perhaps be a way forward helping both sides of the argument just a thought !

    • Ulla says:

      You don\’t own the land – both leasehold and freehold are forms of mideaval tenure. The Crown owns all the land – allodial title.

  32. John Coleman says:

    Agreed 100%, people should be able to OWN their own property.

    In the UK it is not presently possible to own property, it is all centrally planned like a communist or fascist state.

    The thing is that 20 to 30 million property owners, millions with mortgages (inc. almost all MPs) are going to become instant losers if their state protected property privilege is shaken up and democracy being what it is, they won’t support any party with that as a policy.

    So dream on or move to somewhere else in Europe, or wherever is not controlled so excessively by fascistic idiots.

  33. S. Roy says:

    Totally agree with all comments here. If you own your own plot of land, you should be able to do,what you want as long as it’s low impact, tasteful and doesn’t impact on others. I grew up watching The Good Life on TV, and now in late 50s it is still a dream of mine to live in a nice cabin/shepherds hut etc, and tend my own animals and grow my own food. I am increasingly disgusted with big business, big agro, big pharma making us all sick and squeezing us till the pips squeak. I could just about afford a wreck with some land in France or Europe, but why should I have to move out of the country of my birth in older age to have a decent quality of life. We need a revolution, but I’m not holding my breath that things will change for the better.

  34. K Berry says:

    I live in a row of terraced houses, my neighbour has put a large campervan on their front drive and moved relatives in. We have this rules for just this reason and it should stay, it’s just like they have built a huge extension to their property without planning permission.

  35. M Kent says:

    Can anyone help advise me on this, it would be much appreciated.
    My uncle owns a small holding, in 2010 I rebuilt a barn / shelter on some old original footprints. Since 2010 the weather has caused a fair bit of damage so Ive now replaced it with a timber frame workshop with a gable roof.
    My uncle has been diagnosed with cancer and needs help to keep the small holding going, lambing etc and keeping the land up together for grazing.
    Because of my uncles health I want to convert the workshop to a dwelling and move on to the farm as I live some 15 miles away (back and fourth 30 miles a day) and its obviously an issue during lambing.
    I applied to the council for “change of use” and have been turned down on one issue – there is no proof the building has been up since 2010 and if it was I should of had planning for it, even though its on an original footprint.. The council are working from a aerial photograph taken in 2009.
    My uncle is due to start chemo and obviously his immune system will be very low therefore working with sheep and in the cold is not the best way forward for him.
    The option we have:- my uncle carries on working through the chemo and we hope he doesnt get ill (70 years old) – slim chance he wont get ill.
    He does what he can but the land will be neglected and the health of the sheep and lambs are at risk. (also has horses).
    He sells the sheep – then there is no money coming in from lambing to keep the land going.
    Would be great if someone can guide me in the right direction

    • Lyn says:

      Hi, your uncle may have claimed payments from DEFRA. He would have needed a CHP number to own sheep on farm land. If he did this could be a blessing as the Raural Payments Agency do mapping by satellite to look at acreage and check the grid reference co ordinates. So with the satellite map view they would have barns and properties on a printed map or saved for reference on their computers. Ask him or look for some paper work from RPA


    Hi great piece on land ownership and the right to do what you want with it. Now I understand that greenbelt does have to be protected as I wouldn’t like to wake up to see all the trees, fields and countryside gone and believe you me there are some very short sighted POWERFUL people out there who would do just that, if millions of pounds were coming their way. (of course they would use the millions to make sure they had enough green belt of their own). Like the bank manager said, I just want to live a peaceful life, abiding the law paying taxes etc. I am a teacher and feel the same way. What gets me is that even if you buy land with planning permission, you have to build to their planning brief which does not include just putting your mobile home on. Or am I wrong has someone a loophole around this? The country is slowly being dismantled by short sighted greedy vultures with no moral compass, and smart people with practical wisdom have no power or voice anymore. The last straw was when I heard about the Homeless charity who were in cahoots with a letting agency business who made a profit of more than five million by charging fees to the local councils for finding the homes, all well below standard and perfectly legal of course …. I could go on………

    • andy says:

      if you want a laugh look at neroche parish council planning applications and see what TDBC refused a conversion of a barn photo supplied by mr d spears also look at 3rd CPRE objection at the bottom of the in small print you will see they have reg office in curland then look at whitey cottage application and low and behold the same address hipos or what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ronnie says:

      You can live on your land using common law. Remember that government and council’s are below any man or woman but they have tricked you into believing that you are a PERSON. A PERSON is your birth certificate, it’s not you. It’s a massive subject but that’s the loophole you were wondering about for living on your property.

  37. Adrian says:

    Fine idea, but flawed. Lets say it happened, and it was allowable – land prices are already £10000 + an acre and they are bound to have a minimum acreage. If you could get away with putting a house on it, it would go up, a lot in value – Becuase all the property developers with deep pockets could afford to buy it, so prices would rise. So, the idea, only benefits the moderately rich and the people who already own the land. And, we all think what ‘our’ temporary place would look like, and the dream is lovely, but we all know in our heart of hearts, there’s going to be an aweful lot of blots on the landscape.

  38. Ronnie says:

    You can live on your own land in England, it’s your common law right. If you get the right paperwork in to your council they will not be able to stop you although you may also need to fight them in court. You need to learn how to deal with court without a solicitor as a solicitor will hang you out to dry. I know of a small group of people who are actually doing this as I write. Remember, it’s our God given right to live on your land as long as it causes no harm loss or damage to another man or woman, this is common law.

    • Guy says:

      This is really interesting, can you give me any more information on the law and proof to support it? I want to rent out my mortgaged house and buy a piece of land to live on in a semi self-sustainable way, while still earning an income from the land. Do you think this would be possible?

  39. scott m says:

    you can do this in wales
    good luck

  40. Mr no name says:

    By a camper van with solar panels and windturbine and park up anywhere like truck drivers do when they need to sleep its ok for them so its ok for us no rent just council tax n insurance n freedom

  41. Mr no name says:

    Money will be worthless if everyone stopped using it thats the problem divides us we should swap things instead like gold metals food water knowledge then everyone would be worth what they put in to a community instead of how many pieces of paper u have or digits in in a computer everyone needs to try to stick together as the art at play is divide n conquer. TAKE AWAY THEIR POWER BY NOT USING IT

  42. N Blackmore says:

    I am 62, live alone in what is a family home. 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I can’t look after it all and the garden as well, and do my self employed woodwork job. So in the village my garden is probably regarded as an eyesore. Can I move to some woodland where I can fairly easily build a warm, safe home to live in and do my work? No. Not allowed. But it is allowed for me to live in my decaying home. It is a family home so a family could live here. No wonder there are not enough homes. Also, thanks partly to the TV we now have idiots buying up buy-to-let properties instead of letting families buy them. So the housing prices are all artificial, just like in seaside towns where whole streets are holiday rental homes. With the properties that we do have as messed up as this does anyone believe the government as in any way credible with regard to the desires of the people who elected them? Only the rich in this country. Money cures all sorts of problems here.

  43. Graeme says:

    So true I’m 50 live in a house I don’t need,I own three acres of neglected woodland I can’t work properly due to time money and distance. (So frustrating)It could be so much more with the right management (and time) my carbon footprint would drop dramatically too.It will benefit the whole diversity of the place.So I’m going to try and explain this to the planners and ask for temporary accommodation for seasonal work and see what happens… It all starts with the fist step’Never give up’

  44. Lyn says:

    I have been reading alot of government planning legislation and it appears that, if you “farm the land” let’s think of a number any number at acres, just not your land cos your not a farmer. You can use it for breeding for the food chain, mow for hay. Have set aside( don’t farm it) . So… using the land for food chain. Yes animals graze the land this helps land management. Mow the land this is classed as land management. Get the picture animals or not the land is managed. By the farmer. But… put horses for grazing and raural pursuits on the land and yes it’s managing the land cos it’s not overgrown, and a horse is a animal as is goat pig cow ect. But apparently a horse grazing is not like a cow grazing so you can’t be called a farmer and yes you got it you can’t live on your land because… horses don’t need the care like cows pigs sheep and goats. What crap. This rubbish is written in various planning templates. This needs changing and yes you can live in your farmhouse on your land having retired and contract all of your farming work to someone else an still own and live on your farm.

  45. Ryan says:

    Think it’s ridiculous. Know people living this way because they haven’t bothered to plan for their future & it’s now a lot easier for them to be ‘kept’ by family (who’s the landowner) than it is to swallow their pride & sort themselves out with proper accommodation. Very weird way of living & not fair on others around them who have to lie about them living there on the basis that nobody is meant to know about it. Ridiculous.

    • Jim says:

      What’s your idea of proper accommodation? Why isn’t a sustainable eco house proper accommodation? Glad you can afford the ridiculous rents and council tax, not everyone can. Everyone should have the right to live on their own bit of land, off grid and sustainably. How dare you talk badly of anyone that does that. Prick

  46. Jim says:

    Just found out about this, I hadn’t even thought there would be an issue if it’s your own land! Madness that even land you own can’t be used to live on sustainably with a temporary structure. Screw this country straight to hell

  47. DJ says:

    Great idea Penny!

    We are all human, so should not be restricted from our natural human rights; to buy a piece of land and live freely within the common law.

    The laws and acts should allow for those whom wish to live in harmony, with in and on their own land, without discrimination, and without eviction.

    I believe there are many people throughout England, of similar minds and beliefs about this human right.

    The government should address this issue immediately, and not base their decisions on the financial aspects of any situation.

  48. Mike Burridge says:

    I can not believe the law in the UK regarding living on your own land – mind you I’m not surprised, especially after finding out that if I live outside the UK for over three months (if I declare it) I lose the right to all ‘free’ (not really free as I have paid for it for at least thirty years) NHS.

    now I’ve had enough of the rat race, have retired and have got the funds to buy a piece of my own land (rented properties all my working life) and I find out I cant live on it if I choose to do so.

    why on earth do we allow this to continue – free country my arse

  49. Karl Gibson says:

    Pretend your a traveller councils have different rules for them & it could take up to 10 years to try to evict you off your own land

  50. Stuart Fish says:

    I started out thinking this proposal was reasonable but conclude it’s a very bad idea.

    Having read most of the contributions, I’m very glad that our planning rules are as strict as they are. Many people who support the idea of relaxing controls do themselves, and the cause, no favours. Indeed, some of the egocentric and selfish attitudes demonstrated are frankly staggering.

    Few supporters of the proposal seem to be able to see past heir own selfish ends and fail to grasp the impact of the unfettered habitation of non-development land.

    Your ‘human rights’ don’t trump everyone else’s.

  51. David says:

    The answer to your dilemma is contained in your own statement:

    “In most of Europe, it is currently perfectly legal to live in a caravan or camper or log cabin, any temporary dwelling in fact, without planning or other permissions on land which you own.

    In this country it is not allowed. What I would like to see is the abilty for those who wished to, to live full time on their own land, in a temporary dwelling.”

    Answer:- Don’t live in the UK !

    I am English but wild horses wouldn’t drag me back to live in the yUK.

    I have been living very happily and contentedly in my caravan for more than 7 years now and have everything I need. I use almost no “services” (the electricty, water, gas, & telephone ‘bandits’ can get their stash from other suckers 🙂 ). I catch rainwater and filter it and rainwater also grows all my fruit & veg in my garden, which is handy as I am a vegetarian. I have bought propane but don’t use it as my caravan is exceptionally well insulated and cooking / brewing up keeps it warm all the time. In the winter hot water bottles are wonderful (and completely forgotten in this modern day).

    You only need to adapt and have the will to do what you actually want to do………

  52. will says:

    so a farmer splits a green belt field into 100s of small plots & sells them for ££££ to people who will live on them in makeshift homes & it’s goodbye to the countryside as we know it.

  53. Jacqueline Fleming says:

    I am over 50, single, female and homeless with not enough money to buy a home. This ridiculous prohibition is keeping me homeless.
    I cannot get a mortgage either.
    No idea what to do. Perhaps someone knows of a community in europe i could buy into?
    I doubt the uk law will change in my lifetime and im becoming seriously ill from being homeless. Impossible to get work without a home. Im fading fast.
    The govt are supposed to be parents to its people. Is this how you treat your children Britain?

  54. Sir George Georgeson says:

    I concur, the current state of affairs in this united of kingdoms is most repugnant. Be damned the political class and their string pulling fingers.

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