Temporary buildings and planning permission

Planning permission for temporary structures

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A guide to help you learn more about temporary buildings and planning permission

Download our free guide to learn more about planning permission for temporary structures and semi-permanent buildings.

Do you need planning permission for a temporary building? This is a very common question we get asked.  This handy guide will explain when you will need to get planning permission for a temporary building or semi-permanent structure. 

Temporary buildings are only temporary by name. They are safe, compliant and resilient structures that have a lifespan in excess of 20 years. That’s why, in most cases, you will need to get planning permission for your structure.

Planning conditions may vary depending on your location and circumstances. Always seek professional advice before committing.

Do I need planning permission for my temporary building? In most cases, yes, you will need planning permission for a temporary building. That’s why Field and Lawn Temporary Buildings are here to help guide you through the process…

Planning permission for temporary structures explained

Your temporary building will need planning permission if:

There are some helpful planning exemptions…

If your project doesn’t fit the criteria above, then planning permission may not be required. However, if you are unsure, we recommend you contact us for bespoke advice. To summarise, if you intend to have the building in place for more than 28 days and the footprint is bigger than 100m2, you should make a planning application.

In some cases, planning permission for a temporary building may be granted, even though an application for a permanent building on the same land would be refused. For example, permission might be granted for an application to use a temporary building for several years on land that will be required while road or rail infrastructure improvements are carried out.

Further guidance

The location of your temporary building is an important factor to consider for planning permission. For example, you shouldn’t install your temporary building on ground containing shrubs or trees. Remember, some trees may also be subject to a Tree Protection Order or TPO. This means you could face significant fines or prosecution for removing or damaging trees. More information can be found on the Government website.

If you need a temporary solution urgently, retrospective planning permission may be obtained. Urgent circumstances include if you require a temporary building quickly under urgent disaster recovery circumstances, such as fire damage. It is recommended that a strong planning case from a specialist is submitted. The benefit of a temporary building here is that if planning permission wasn’t granted retrospectively, the building could be taken down, stored or moved to another location.

We have a pool of in-house knowledge and a wide network of experts who can walk and talk you through the process or even handle the application for you from start to finish.

We provide CAD drawings, elevation plans and layouts to make the planning process smooth, so you can get on with business as usual.  

Need help with a planning application?

Speak to one of our dedicated Sales Managers today; they can help you with your temporary building planning application.


Phone: 01506 248307

7 Dunnet Way, East Mains Industrial Estate, Broxburn, Edinburgh, EH52 5NN


Phone: 01928 378279

Unit 1A, Aston Lane South Whitehouse Industrial Estate, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 3FY


Phone: 01172 052903

6/8 Clothier Road Brislington, Bristol, BS4

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