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  • Commercial Property

    PP required for shipping containers?

    Looking for advice please....I own a mixed use property which consists of 1 x large retail unit, 3 x flats and 3 x workshops/storage areas on the land to the rear which I rent out.  There is space on the land at the back for another 3 or four workshops.  I get a great yield on the current workshops and so it makes sense to build more.  I have 3 potential tenants lined up and waiting.

    The dilema I have is do I apply for planning permission which will take min. 8 weeks (if I'm lucky), then build, which could take another 3-4 months in which time my eager potential tenants will find something else.  Or, do I use converted shipping containers which as I understand it, do not need PP as they are classed as temporary structures? 

    The converted containers would be insulated, have electrics, heating, doors and windows etc. 

    The land they would be sited on is not residential, is at the rear of a main road and the only other access is to a building material supplier who are unlikely to have an issue as they have several shipping containers on their land. 

    The shipping containers also cost a lot less than building and putting the rest of the property to one side (which generates a yield of 14%), these new workshops would give me a yield of 51% Smile

    After all this rambling.....my question is: Do I need planning permission for shipping containers in this scenario (there will be at least 6, with each 2 joined together to make 3 units

    Any advice appreciated !

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    Dear SusanGriffiths

    You do not need planning consent for shipping containers in the type of location your describe. This excludes Conservation Areas, National Parks, AONB's and the like.

    This is based on no 'utilities' connected to them. Some Local Planning Authorities (LPA's) take the view that they cease to be 'temporary' once visible means of utility connection are made.

    In fact you do not need to apply for planning consent to put the containers in place (except where excepted above) and you might consider doing so and then making a contemporaneous planning application for the containers - known as a retrospective application. There is of course the possibility that you may be turned down but you have the option to appeal.

    It might well be difficult of the LPA to refuse your application where such containers are already located on the neighbouring land, to which you refer. A Planning Inspector will take this into account in the event that the application goes to appeal. It is well worth contacting your LPA directly asap (note sometime you have to pay for consultation - usually abt £75.00 per hour),

    Although I know of LPA's that so not charge and some who charge much more! Anyway, it is worth checking with your LPA as to their thoughts in advance. If the Planning Officers are encouraging, ask them whether the matter can be dealt with using 'delegated powers' that is to say that the Planning Officers decide without the application going before Members of the Planning Committee.

    If their view of your proposal is positive and can be dealt with by delegated powers you are likely to be on your way. You might consider using a planning consultant-agent to draw the plans and make the application on your behalf - if you do so - check that they have significant business planning application experience and do not just do residential applications for porches and residential extensions

    Sid

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    @Susan,

    You sound like a smart lady! Smile

    Motorhomes don't require planning permission either, and can be rented out at £45.00 to £75.00 per night. Wink  You can buy a suitable one for around £25K.

    BTL does not produce those kind of yields.

    You may be interested in this thread:

    Futurist landlord thinking 

    @Derek

    ​Thank you so much for taking the time to write such an informative response.

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    Hey Vanessa - thanks, you too! Smile

    Motorhomes...hmm, well that's food for thought.

    I've previously flipped properties and the one I mention above is my first rental and hopefully not my last, my plan is to buy more like this.... This property had been empty for a year before I bought it - and it was a steal.  I like being able to spread my risk across resi, commercial and industrial.  My rental strategy is to achieve at least a 10% yield and increasing the capital value at the same time, and staying local if possible - but you can't just buy these as is, I do think you have to spot something with potential that maybe doesn't initially stand out as being a good investment.  I guess it's a risk buying an empty building, but it's a measured one if you've done your research.  I've got my eye on another one a few doors away from this that I'll use the same model for (retail, flats and workshops)

    I think it's going to be mixed use all the way for me going forward Smile

    I've read your Futurist landlord thinking post and found it very interesting, it's just got me thinking more about shipping container conversions. I need to do more research but some of the conversions to homes/bars/cafes (you name it) that I've seen are truly amazing and relatively cheap

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    If I were you I would be tempted to put the containers there & press-on with your plan,  then when council approach you apply for retrospective permission. If the worst situation arose and you were refused you would recoup your outlay by selling the container offices on.

    In any dealings with government bodies theres an argument for doing what you want and then asking for forgiveness. My neighbour at home has recently installed a new driveway and road access, he would never have got consent for it had he applied. He completed it over a bank holiday weekend then when there were complaints he applied for retrospective consent and it was granted.

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    Phil Stewardson.

    Stewardson Properties.

    Stewardson Developments Ltd.

    Burson Land Ltd. & Jennings & Gilchreaste Ltd.

    http://www.stewardson.co.uk

    Follow me on twitter - @philstewardson

    Thanks Phil, I think that's the way I'm going to go.  I've looked at how much these containers go for second hand and if the worst happened they don't seem to depreciate much at all.

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    Website is  still work in progress, but thank you.

    Containers are fab, we have one here in our yard here for storing materials and its so useful - I would love to build a shipping container home however It was a very brief discussion with my wife & it wont be happening.

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    Phil Stewardson.

    Stewardson Properties.

    Stewardson Developments Ltd.

    Burson Land Ltd. & Jennings & Gilchreaste Ltd.

    http://www.stewardson.co.uk

    Follow me on twitter - @philstewardson

    Great idea of yours Susan! There's precious few small start-up units like the ones you're proposing out there. Whereabouts in the country are you by the way?

    I recently went to a self storage facility and these guys: https://www.mrbox.co.uk/

    provided the containers. They also provide information on planning permission etc. etc.

    Well done with your endeavors so far.

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    Thanks Adam. I’m in North Sheffield and there’s been a massive demand for the workshops!  I’m actually already speaking to Mr Box and hoping to get their quote soon ??

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