Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Permits/Regulations Question  (Read 1367 times)


  • Joined Jul 2017
Permits/Regulations Question
« on: July 17, 2017, 01:25:55 am »
Sorry if this is an ignorant question. I am actually american and have never even visited the U.K. before however we are considering settling there if we get the opportunity. In america we call it homesteading and it usually involves large property, guns, building all your own buildings, felling your own trees for firewood etc. I don't think the concept really translates in the word smallholder. I am trying to figure out what we would and would not be able to do there and I am wondering about building on our own property. Do you always need planning permission? (I think that's the right phrase). Is there any time it isn't necessary? What exactly would that entail? Does it include all out buildings as well? Barns etc? Forgive me for my ignorance    :-[


  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Permits/Regulations Question
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 04:20:05 pm »
 Because the UK is so tiny compared with the US you need permission to put up almost any permanent building, or even to live permanently in a temporary one like a caravan or shack. This is because without regulation our limited countryside would be littered with potentially unregulated and unsightly dwellings, and our green and pleasant land would no longer look so pleasant.
 In the States, obviously you could buy some land and build your homestead in the middle of nowhere and it would affect no one else, and in fact be seen by no one else. Unfortunately in this country we don't have a big enough country to be able to allow this to happen.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.


  • Joined Jun 2013
Re: Permits/Regulations Question
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 05:02:21 pm »
Even in the relatively emptier parts of the country, e.g. NW Scotland, you technically need planning permission to put up anything bigger than a henhouse. However you might find you get lucky and can put up something bigger without annoying anybody- but don't even think about building a house this way, you could be forced to demolish it.

One positive is that you won't need a gun over here :)

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Permits/Regulations Question
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 09:29:04 pm »
If you are agricultural (and I am not sure how that is defined) you don't need full permission (or even building regulations approval) for agricultural buildings as long as a few basic criteria are met (under about 350m2 and a certain distance from a boundary).

Residental buildings always need permission which is easy in some areas/circumstances and very hard in others.


  • Joined Jul 2017
Re: Permits/Regulations Question
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 11:34:19 pm »
Thank you guys! I don't think we will need to build our dwelling house. I hope to restore an old structure! So I always figured we would need to jump through legal hoops on the house.  However, I'm assuming we would need to put in a barn and what not at some point. There are areas of the U.S. that are very restrictive but you can find areas that basically have no regulations at all. Off topic question but how do taxes work for people who live off their land? I've asked a few people in facebook groups but they all smallhold in residential areas not large plots of land.


  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Permits/Regulations Question
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 06:14:48 am »
For permitted development you need a minimum of 5 hectares - 12.5 acres to errect a barn ect and non must have been put up for at least 2 years previous.  Tax is exactly the same as for built up areas.


  • Joined May 2017
Re: Permits/Regulations Question
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 10:35:49 pm »
Things that can make it more difficult to get permission to erect any kind of structure - being in a National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or having a building nearby that is "listed" (ie it's of historic interest - may just be referred to as a Grade I or Grade II building).  Even to renovate a derelict dwelling will probably need planning permission for some reason or other.  And Buildings Regs consent.  And Listed Building consent if it's listed.

Tax - there's Council Tax which you pay according to what band the house falls in (A to H), the exact amount depends on which local authority you're in.  That's for local services such as schools, police, roads etc. Income tax is just that - tax on income.  So if you consume your own produce as an individual you don't pay it.  Any surplus you sell, or the notional value of anything you barter, is obviously income.  Whether you actually pay tax on it depends how much it amounts to in the year. If you set up as a company it's different though - the produce belongs to thee company so anything you eat is 'income' from the company (I think!).  But if you have a company, many expenses can be offset against tax. But the company must genuinely intend to make a reasonable profit within a short time - HMRC have clamped down on 'hobby farms', which is how they view self-sufficiency.


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