Can I put a caravan on my plot of land in Kerry?
Camp for more than 10 days without permission and you risk a county council enforcement notice
Matters to consider include ground conditions and the suitability for a septic tank and percolation area. Photograph: iStock
I have bought land in Ventry in Kerry with no planning permission – can I put a caravan on the land and if so, how long for? Can I camp there, or what structure, if any, can be erected and used in the field? Thank you.
The short answer is no. For the purposes of camping, the planning Acts provide for temporary use of any land for the placing of a caravan provided that:
1. Not more than one caravan shall be placed within 100m of another at any time.
2. No caravan shall remain on the land for a period greater than 10 days.
3. No caravan shall be used for the storage, display, advertisement or sale of goods or for the purposes of any business.
4. No caravan shall be placed on land within 50m of any public road unless the land is enclosed by a wall, bank or hedge, or any combination thereof, having an average height of not less than 1.5m.
I suspect this does not address your question in that I imagine you want to use the caravan on a more regular basis as a holiday home. You can camp there short term (10 days) without planning permission but go beyond the 10 days and you risk an enforcement notice from Kerry County Council.
You can store a mobile home on your own property for up to nine months without planning permission. This assumes it is in “dry-camp” mode and not connected to services. The planning regulations classify the keeping or storing of a caravan within the curtilage of a house as exempted development (no planning permission is required) provided that:
1. Not more than one caravan shall be so kept or stored.
2. The caravan shall not be used for the storage, display, advertisement or sale of goods or for the purposes of any business.
3. No caravan shall be so kept or stored for more than nine months in any year or occupied as a dwelling while so kept or stored.
However, again, I suspect you would like to occupy the mobile home as a dwelling. This would require planning permission. It is not what is known as exempt development. Your only option is to apply for planning permission for a temporary structure. You will then have to consider permanent services such as a waste treatment plant, electricity-supply connection and connection to a water supply.
This will involve consulting with a suitably qualified planning professional to make the application on your behalf. Check the websites of the relevant professional bodies for an architect, chartered building surveyor or chartered planning and development surveyor who specialises in domestic planning applications in the area in which you are interested in buying. A consultation with the planner in the local authority for the area in which you buy is recommended and you can go along to that with whatever consultant you appoint.
Matters to consider include neighbours and how they may react to the application, ground conditions and the suitability for a septic tank and percolation area should this be required, and the availability of a local water supply or a well on site.
Pat McGovern is a chartered building surveyor and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.