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When starting your holiday letting journey, it’s important to know what planning permission (if any) you will need, before embarking on your new venture. Take a look at our helpful guide below to find out more about planning permission for your holiday let, and whether or not you need to apply.


What is planning permission?

Planning permission enables property & land owners to extend existing buildings, erect new ones, or transform a piece of land into a possible building plot. Local authorities decide whether or not to grant permission in line with the National Planning Policy Framework. The process is in place to try and prevent inappropriate development and an invasion of privacy to other residents nearby.

When you become the owner of a holiday let and you don’t plan on doing any extensions or layout changes, then you don’t need to apply for planning permission. If you buy a property that was previously used as a residential dwelling (or anything other than an existing holiday let) then you may need to apply for ‘Change of Use’. You can contact your local planning authority for more information on this.

Concept of dreams about a new home. Contours of the house in 3d on a meadow.


How much does it cost?

The cost of planning permission can vary, depending on the type you are applying for. For example, a simple Change of Use can cost £96, but the cost of applying to build a new single dwelling can be approximately £462. To find out more about how much you can expect to pay, check out the Gov.uk website here.


How long does it take for a decision to be made?

It can take up to 8 weeks for your local planning authority to come to a decision. If planning permission is granted, it’s valid for up to 3 years. If you haven’t carried out the work within that time you will need to go through the application process again.


What can affect an application being approved?

There are many factors that can affect the approval of planning applications. Some of these include:

  • Loss of privacy
  • Overshadowing of other properties
  • Design and appearance of the building
  • Increased noise or traffic
  • Possible impact on listed buildings, nature conservation or protected land
  • Location – National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Do I need planning permission for converting outbuildings into holiday lets?

Converting an outbuilding does require a planning application, as outlined above. You may also have to apply for a ‘change of use’ as well as the standard planning permission. Renovating unused buildings is a great way to generate some extra income and is a popular choice for farmers looking to diversify their land and get into holiday letting.

If you decide to build log cabins, shepherds hut’s or glamping pods these will also require planning permission. If a structure is only temporary (for example, yurts or tipi’s) planning permission isn’t always required if certain rules are adhered to. Check out further details on here about when permission is required.

A group of traditional whitwashed cottages in the English Lake District, with Bowfell in the distance.