The simple answer is the shepherd’s hut itself doesn’t need planning permission, it’s what you are doing with it that may do.
As the shepherd’s hut structure is on wheels and is portable the answer is often no. But any change of use of the land that the huts stand upon may need planning permission. Planning permission guidelines can be found online. Local plan policy is a good starting point if you do need planning permission, as if your project falls within the local plan that is a positive thing. In the curtilage of the house, and if the enjoyment of the hut is incidental to the enjoyment of the main dwelling then you don’tneed planning permission. So if the hut is near the house, and you go out to the hut to paint, play the guitar, have friends to stay then that is all incidental to the enjoyment of the main dwelling. The test of ‘has a material change of use occurred’ is a good question to ask. If a hut is placed on an agricultural field, and it becomes a holiday let then planning permission would officially be needed. There is a permanency question too; can the hut be moved without large machinery? Yes it can, so it isn’t seen as a permanent structure.But if your hut has plumbing connected to the drain or septic tank (perhaps fora glamping venture) then it could be seen as being less portable – and if services such as septic tanks are needed then the Environment Agency will have guidelines for that, protecting watercourses. Whilst we have delivered many shepherds huts to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the Lake District, the Peak District, Dartmoor, the New Forest andthe Black Mountains in Wales it is worth running the idea past them first.
Yes, the shepherd’s hut is built using modern timber frame house techniques, and can be used all year round. The 75mm / 3″ timber frame is completely sheathed in structural OSB 2, wrapped in breather membrane, insulated with British Thermafleece sheep’s wool, and lined with vapour barrier which contributes to a comfortable, warm and dry environment. The internal wall lining is very stable V grooved sheet material, achieving the look of traditional match-boarding with no knots or shrinkage. It takes paint extremely well. Like with many things there are lots of magic ingredients that go into the hut build that makes it a cut above the rest.
Richard went to what was Hooke Park College during the Parnham era, (which is now an architectural college). He ended up with an MSc in Forest ProductTechnology (design and manufacture), linked to Bournemouth University. Hooke was a great experience, if a little unusual. Richard saw it as a monastery of woodwork, spending two and a bit years in the woods on top of a hill in West Dorset. Students benefited from a wide range of impressive visiting lecturers who were the best in their fields of business studies, design and making. It was mainly about the freedom to experiment in all aspects of timber design, from building to furniture to sculpture. Interestingly there are three regular trade exhibitors at the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show who, including Plankbridge, are Hooke Park alumni.
We don’t offer shepherd’s hut kits. Whilst it could be possible to bundle the materials onto a shepherd’s hut chassis and leave it someone else we would much rather build complete shepherd’s huts and cabins for our customers. For us a hut is similar to a piece of furniture, albeit a large one, and we wouldn’t want to deliver a kitchen or a dining table in the form of planks of wood with a bag of bolts and screws.