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Live on your own Land Legally

Buffy1973 asked:

Hi all 😀

As some of you know, I am currently prepping my house in order to sell it and live in a Motor home full time. I have been doing a lot of research lately and today I came across some tips for living on your own land WITHOUT hassle from the LA, perfectly legally and within Planning Regulations.

I thought some of you may be interested in this 😀

1. You can site a caravan or mobile home in your garden for friends or relatives to live in for only 28 days before the LA will serve an eviction notice, however, if the occupants of the van take at least one meal a day in the house, the van automatically becomes a spare bedroom and can remain occupied on your premises indefinitely, great idea for those with elderly parents or grown up kids who cant afford a home of their own 🙂

2. If you have your own land then you can put a Motor Home on it for 28 days but, if you split the land into 13 units and ‘sell’ each unit to friends and family, you can move your Motorhome between plots every 28 days. As long as each plot is registered at Land Registry under different names you are staying within planning regs. Don’t forget to pay each ‘Owner’ a £1.00 a Month for ground rent, and draft a Tenancy Agreement.

3. If you have a plot of agricultural land over 12.5 Acres, you can build a barn/stable etc….without any permissions and you can live on the land in a caravan or Motorhome for 5 years or until the project is complete. The Acres do not have to be all together so, if you have 2 fields that between them make up the 12.5 Acres, you can still build your barn on one of them.

4. If you farm the land and turn it into a Smallholding, you can live on the land in order to care for your animals/crops.

5. If you buy a dense woodland you can build a hobbit hole type structure and, of you are not challenged, after 4 years you can apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness from the Council. If you use a portable structure, it is 10 years. Slight camouflaging, such as using a lot of green, wouldn’t hurt.

6. if you run a business from your land and you have expensive machinery etc…., you can claim that you are living on site for security purposes.

7. If you have a structure already on your land, you can rent out spaces for Caravan storage for say, £5 a week each van and, you can live in your own van as security. You could also sell Caravans instead and live in one of them as security.

I’m sure that there are other loopholes but, I found the above ones quite interesting and, plausible.

Most of all, please remember you can tell the Council to bog off! The land is ours, we did not ask to be dictated to and, I for one, will not let anyone tell me what to do on my own property. And, if worse comes to worse, if you challenge any eviction notice, it will take a year before it even gets to Court and, even then there are plenty of avenues open to you. And, due to the law of trespass, if any Council staff come onto your land to serve a notice, they can be prosecuted!

Also, don’t forget, there are plenty of plots of land suitable for adverse possession and plenty of run down, pre loved caravans going cheaply so, if this is your dream, you don’t have to have a lot of money to realise it 🙂

This article pertains to England only. There are slight differences for Scotland and Wales.

References –

eggie replied:

Very useful info, Thanks

Buffy1973 replied:

Thanks Eggie, I typed it all out twice because I deleted the first draft accidentally 🙁

The things I do for you guys…… 😉

davidlloyd replied:

Thank you interesting read there.

landlubber replied:

Some very useful information, Buffy, especially the bit on section 5 and buildings in woodland. There is a video on youtube that had a family living in a home they had built. For 7 years they lived there until the local council found out about it, but by then they couldn’t do anything to have them moved. They didn’t have it painted green, but it is a great idea, but since it was built in materials of many colours and could be seen in winter, I believe that still nobody noticed it as being lived in. 😆

Buffy1973 replied:

It’s definitely something to think about. The Powers that be have been oppressing our rights to live on the land for too long, in my honest opinion. I don’t know what way I’m gonna go yet but, I will keep you all informed 😀

andymoore replied:

Awesome thanks Buffy!

Would love a hobbit hole


ottothedog replied:

Great bit of info…..
Where do you find out more about land? , the more I read it the more the idea appeals to me

Buffy1973 replied:

Andy, you help me build my Hobbit hole and I will help you build yours 😉

You can Google land for sale, Otto. eBay also lists plots and, if you’re feeling adventurous, use Google earth to track down possibly abandoned land, do research on adverse possession and, hopefully, you will be able to claim it 😀

Gelhi replied:

4) Grazing livestock, Goats, ponies, alpacas etc or Honey farming, poultry farming small hold all worth while if you dont mind a bit of graft.

5) Coppicing (i have a hazlenut plantation), Orchard, fir trees etc, a lavender plot,herb garden the list is endless if you are preserving/creating bio diversity you can register it a site of scientific interest in a trust.

Can you imagine the bio diversity you could utilise from one acre ?

By living this way we bring back traditional crafts and markets eventually and you will be preserving an envioronment your offspring will benefit from… what are we leaving behind for the next generation by playing the property game of security slaves ? nice out there at the moment isnt it dealing with thugs and parasites and people too thick to know better cos you cant get your battery to produce enough charge for the machine.

This is the green abundant land of albion and you think i want to live on a soul destroying housing estate surrounded by drones, feck that … bottom line is if i cant live on the land as a freeman then ill have to at least die trying.

landlubber replied:

If my memory serves me well, there was a period when certain advertisers were telling us to claim unwanted pieces of land, mind you, who wants a piece of land half way up/down a cliff? 😆 The trouble is, we live on such a small island where very little land is not owned by someone. We only have to look at the way gypsies are treated to partially understand the problems they face. Even new age groups have certain problems with regard to parking where they’d like to. There is always some numpty who wants to tell you where to go and as quickly as possible. We should be free to roam anywhere over the land, but the truth is, we can’t. 🙄

Buffy1973 replied:

Agreed, LL 😀

I come from a traditional Romany family, in fact, I was born in a Caravan but, apart from that, I’ve never actually lived as a Traveller, but, I do know a lot about the Travellers struggles and issues and, life certainly isn’t easy for many of them.

Tiddleyetom replied:

Not a traveller, but a Maori who lives on the land in NZ…removed after 16 years…

In New Zealand
Eric Brewer who lived on the beach in a drift wood home was finally removed on council demands today, even after a massive campaign to let him stay…because the rich have bought adjacent land and want to move in…….

council done early morning raid and smashed his dwelling … fault.aspx
[ ]

older news before he was removed..
beach hut man … fault.aspx
[ ]

more videos about Eric on the right of the links..

FB page

andymoore replied:

Buffy, deal. How about we pull a Tom Sawyer on some folks? We’ve roofs to build, they’re great fun, come and try it – call it a workshop and people pay to attend, that’s the perfect Tom Sawyer work model: people pay you to do your work!

Workshops for reciprocal wooden frame roofs, living roofs, foundation laying, cob mixing, wall building, thermal rocket mass heaters and more. Just about every aspect could be workshopped to bring in hands and finance.

If you end up with a plot of land and have corner going spare…..

I’m paying seven grand a year to live in a box, a tasteful homely one at that but still a box so it pains me. Have vaporised £35k living here, could have bought a dense woodland spot and built me a hobbit hole with underground storage in the form of a sunken trailer and still have grands left…..

Oh well, live n learn…..

Buffy1973 replied:

Tiddleytom, that is awful. I really feel for you 🙁 and, that poor man. Unfortunately, the only way is to snatch back the land whilst staying underneath the radar. We shouldn’t have to but, at the moment, it’s the only choice we have. 😀

Andy, you’re on :). Dunno about the exploitation of volunteers though, kinda goes against the grain a bit for me, however, we could approach Workfare 😉

I’m looking for a piece of Woodland right now

andymoore replied:

If I work for free for a day learning how to do X Y or Z and I chip in a few quid for some booze and food after there’s no way I’d be feeling exploited: I’d have hands on experience of X Y and Z, I’d have had a great day or two and have met some likeminded new friends.

I’m opposed to exploitation but mutually beneficial collaborations can really work well for all parties.

Mike Reynolds’ Earth Ships do workshops, Lammas do, Brighton permaculture do, the couple who make thermal rocket heaters do, it is a perfect way to get results through shared energy and learning.

Many hands….

GeoffD replied:

Great post as usual Buffy.

Certainly I guess many on here would choose to live a simple life on their own bit of land which is something that is espoused in the Anastasia series of books where every family is encouraged to own their own plot of land to live on and cultivate fruit & veg, etc.

Whilst I’m not in a position to do this yet it is something I think about often and have in fact searched availability of land – I found a multi-acre woodland for around £40,000 up here in the north-west which I didn’t think was bad although I didn’t view it.

What an adventure it would be for children – unfortunately you need to have a partner who is prepared to give up their home comforts! 🙁

ottothedog replied:

I would be prepared to work for free to learn the crafts and trades needed to build a home

Its a fair swap in my eyes , to make me self sufficient and FREE

Dragonex8 replied:

Great post and thanks for the info Buffy!!

Living free is eventually what man should aim for but alas with all the regulations put in place we are all struggling to have a taste of it. But am sure if we keep fighting for it we will eventually be free!!

Buffy1973 replied:

Thats a great idea Andy, however, no one is going to work for food if I cook it, even I don’t eat anything I cook.

Geoff, I guess I am quite lucky that, whilst Hubby doesn’t share all of my views, he agrees 100% with me about getting out of this pile of bricks and finding a different type of Accomodation.

Gelhi, I am with you there bud. I hate living in this box surrounded by other people in other boxes, it’s just not in my blood. I have developed a form of Agoraphobia that I need to shake off or, it will kill me. When I had all of my Bailiff issues, they were so aggressive that, I believe, I got into the mindset of ‘if I go out, they will break into my home’ so, I stopped going out and, I find it hard to shake these thoughts off so, I am a recluse. Only way to cure it is to get out.

Otto, careful, I might just take you up on your offer 🙂

Dragon, it is a shame we have to find loopholes etc… to be able to make this work, we shouldn’t have to but, if we want to realise our dreams we sometimes have to play the game.

I am not 100% sure of what we are gonna do yet. The plan at the moment is to sell up and buy a Motorhome and see where we go from there 😀

landlubber replied:

Buffy, we all live in little boxes for one main reason, it’s so that the powers that be can keep their beady eyes on us. Living in the wild takes a little more effort than just packing up and going out there. Far better if you have certain skills that can help to make your life comfortable, oddly enough there are many videos on youtube that show you how to get by properly. How to build a home, these rocket stoves that Andy has spoken about, crikey, they pack out more heat than some incredibly expensive central heating units can ever do. Learn about crop rotation, growing organic without the backbreaking hard work normally expected from it , identifying the wood from the trees so that you can build and maintain smokeless fires, and using screening so that your site can remain private and away from prying eyes. There’s tons more besides and if you look upon it as an adventure, then you’ll enjoy your new life. 😆

Buffy1973 replied:

Totally agree LL. Thankfully I have picked up a lot of knowledge about living without the old bricks n mortar, part of my Romany heritage 😀

Bonus, I can grow stuff. I have a little veggie garden at the moment, nothing spectacular, carrots, potatoes etc…. but I’ve proved I can do it.

I am thinking along the lines of a semi underground arrangement as accomodation, every evil genius needs a subterranean lair……. 😉

andymoore replied:

Haha buff, the subterranean storage rocks.

Saw a guy on YouTube with a 40 foot trailer, huge hole, concreted in with an access point, he stores wine in his.

It could be put under the build, cemented in like foundations with access covered so it is discreet.

Roll back the rug to find the secret entrance!


What’s next secret escape tunnels?

kittiebelle replied:

And I thought it was just me. Its hard to describe this feeling. Unsettling.

Anyways, some friends bought a bit of woodland. First the cleared an area and sunk the main posts for a round dwelling and then did nothing on site for a year, while they got stuff ready offsite. They camped there a lot – right up til November some years.

First they built a treehouse, so they could be on the site more. Gradually they built their home, over about 3-4 years. It is breathtakingly beautiful. Kids have the treehouse which is also used for guests. Growing on veggies. Water from a spring. It is so amazing. Kids home educated. They have no cars – only mountain bikes

They’ve been there for quite a few years now. They haven’t attempted to really conceal what they have done and so are now approaching a point where they have certain rights to stay.

It was such an act of faith what they did. Refused to think about council finding them, folk bubbling them, whatever. Just did it.

I’m not in a position to buy land, although when my flat sells i could possibly be, depending on how much it sells for. Meantime, I have started looking for places …

also, For those interested, there is a website and book called something like ‘field to farm’, where it is explained how to work the loopholes in the planning system so you can build your own place.

eggie replied:

here you are kittiebelle…



For those of you who want to buy a field and turn it into a smallholding without planning permission. This book will show you how; it contains everything you need to know. It is a guide that exploits loopholes in the current planning system.

Please read the introduction which is reproduced below, this gives you some idea of the scope of the book.

Buffy1973 replied:

Thanks Kitty 😀 This is exactly what I want to do and, hopefully, it will work out for me as it did for your friends.

Tomorrow I am 40 and, Ceylon keeps telling me life begins at 40 and, he’s right. The things I am planning to do this year would normally scare the pants off me but, with the big 40 approaching I am feeling a little brave and a lot rebellious.

I also know that I am getting a copy of that book for my Birthday, I have been dropping hints so, hopefully, someone listened 😉

davidellias replied:

Its the future…. I used to clear off when I was younger and live on the land free, here and in Europe..words cannot describe the feeling..Freedom…

Buffy1973 replied:

Thanks David :). That is what I crave – freedom 🙂

savage283 replied:

had my caravan now for year an half, use gf co/ address…..its a great way life i dont own land i just park laybys, an friends, all i need to do is keep my towing vehicle on road total outgoings after mobilr, insurance and ipad 100 a month, food 50 to 100 a month…

landlubber replied:

I’m not sure about anyone else, but wouldn’t you just love to live in the building shown in this exploratory link? I think it’s fantastic!! 😆 Go on, take a look…

Hobbit house only one previous owner

Buffy1973 replied:

That’s awesome 🙂

landlubber replied:

I was struck by it as soon as I saw it. To think that this house and many others throughout the land are un-lived in and un-loved too. That site is full of places that could make ideal live on the land homes for someone. I can understand big houses going to ruin, but why waste the potential of the land itself? The mind truly boggles. 🙄

Buffy1973 replied:

I know exactly what you mean. When I think about all of the homeless folks in the uk and properties like those on the site are just left empty and unloved, it makes you wonder.

I am actually a member of the forum, I love a bit of Urbexing. I’ve got my Daughter into it now as well.

landlubber replied:

I’m a member of that forum too, I joined it about two years ago, but I can’t remember my password nor user name. I can well imagine your daughter catching the exploration bug without problem, because once you’ve done it, you can’t seem to stop. 😆

I used to explore the bombed houses during the 1950s in Southampton… a long, long time ago, and before this pastime took off big time. I’ve also explored caves and potholes, it’s a caving area where I live. I’ve always liked exploring places where you’re not supposed to be, that’s half the excitement, and what’s life without an element of fun to it. 😀

Buffy1973 replied:

I love caves. I have a few faves in Cornwall that we sometimes visit. If I’m ever up your way, I demand a tour of the caves 😀

landlubber replied:

😆 😆 😆 😆 Sorry, Buffy, but the thought of doing now what I did then in caves I’d never have the strength to get back out again at my time in life. I go walking with my partner every summer and a couple of years ago we took a walk along the Wye valley near a place called Cheedale. In places you have to climb up rock faces and by the time I got half way, she had to pull me up I was so knackered! 😀 😀 😀

Tiddleyetom replied:

My mate in NZ..his latest blog post (thought of Buffy hitting the road) … d-and.html
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Buffy1973 replied:

That’s awesome 😀

BrownRabbit replied:

I looked a town and country act 1990, Permitted development says I can have a caravan for expressly farming. I didn’t live in it at all. I honestly used it for Agri storage and refused to do planning.Then Notice to remove RESCIDENTIAL Caravan. They refused Burden of Proof to answer who lives there?

I got 3 unlawful trespasses with Implied Rights of Access revoked etc… I asked lots of questions about enforcement officer and council in FOI requests. I sent invoice to enforcement officers home. He tried an Injunction but got delayed as judge didnt want to do anything. I got 4 local affidavits and went to court…..

Got bumming at court yesterday. Paperwork said county court but got there,Mag & county in same waiting area and got told mines at magistrates. No judge only 3 lay ppl and that mouthy solicitor to advise?Was not allowed power of attorney sent to court and taken on the day for my dad. I said i also went by the apalation of my dads name. Clerk and pretend judge went out opposite doors in court and met and spoke outside. they told me to leave we wont hear you. i said equality of arms and do you go by bangalore principles so he should allow me to speak. he said i wont allow. i said i will presume you wont follow principles uk gov signed too. he said presume what you like, il call a bailiff if you dont sit quickly at the back. Dads has poor English I was not allowed to be his interpreter in ordered to help court case and time and money. My brother got told to get out and security prevented him back in. Court called for a court paid interpreter, who works also for council/prosecution. While we waited for interpreter they called the police to try to arrest me for pretending to be my dad in doc. but i was clear i also went by apalation of dads name same address and i responded to letters but different d.o.b. unsure what happened but cops didn’t come over to me. later interpreter came we wasn’t allowed to speak when prosecutor laid out charges. “failure to act on planning notice “and not that it was invalid as she said it was was a residential caravan. well who lives there and we handed to court 4 local ppls affadavits that say its for farming, Permitted Development. they rail roaded dad to plead guilty to offence in magis. and lessor sentence or gets worse at crown. Solicitor(/pretend judge )said ill let you chat with ur kids. We said reluctantly crown as we won’t gonna get a say there. Crown in July it is. My witnesses and family were shocked at loads of other tricks they played.

What a joke!!!!!!

Like the idea if it all goes wrong left the Gypsies on for free for a few years.

Buffy1973 replied:

I think you’ve definitely done the right thing Rabbit. At least you’ll be better able to prepare yourself for the Crown Court and, I know a few folks on here who may be able to offer you some good advice. Sounds like a private Court you went to Hun. Sod that, you need a public hearing, who do they bloody think they are banning your Brother from the Court.

leo replied:

hi all I have had all the strees of owning my own home and now live in a 3bed mobile home.on a so called holiday park witch is only 10 months of the year but thay still make us pay council tax ,workers are on here for the same 10 months and pay none,so from the 1st of jan to the 1st march ,we move off site and stay on a lovely farm for the two months in our touring caraven ,witch we love, my wife has been fighting cancer the past two years so ,all the moveing is getting a bit much, so we would like to get a little plot of our own land and live on it in our caravan until we can afford to put a static on it,we have found a plot of land but it is all over grown with japanes knot weed , to me its just weeds ,that is eaten in japan,so I would just get stuck in and clear it ,but the council says we have got to pay a ferm to come in spay it all for between £3000-£4000, and what thay use ,I have sins found out is only strong weedell. can some one please tell how to go about living on the land in our touring van ,? PLEASE HELP..

midnight replied:

Maybe of no help but I will post you a link to wild camping. Its not what you are asking for but maybe an alterative if need be.

actinglikeabanker replied:

Your situation sounds a tad bazaar. If you buy a plot of land then you are responsible for that particular plot. If you clear the plot then you have cleared it, unless the council are trying to suggest your plot is the cause of growth into other areas/plots then you have no obligation to pay 3-4k to have it sprayed, your only obligation is to your plot.

One of the reasons camp sites only run for 10 months per year is so that they avoid paying council tax as it is not a permanent residence, if your are being charged council tax, check who your money is actually going to as I personally suspect you may be paying more than you should.

I hope your wife is doing well.

You have switched from ‘touring caraven’ to a ‘static on it’, there is a difference under uk law. However both should be considered as ‘temporary structures’. The ‘static on it’ could potentially be considered a permanent residence if you state year round residency whereas the ‘touring caraven’ is not as it is mobile.

To live (in the context of a non permanent structure) on a parcel you have purchased then you would essentially be parking your ‘touring caraven’ there and not making a solid (fixed) homestead.

If you were to import a ‘static’ structure then you would be potentially liable for council tax unless you prove/state it is is both neither a permanent address or a fixed structure, that is how you avoid both council tax or planning permission.

Non permanent structures are also subject to size.

Hope this helps.

Goldberry replied: … ome-draft1
[ ]

go to the above site for legal determinations on what can be done. Its easy reading.

it is surprisingly easy to have a large home in the middle of nowhere without paying taxes and fees on it.

I am getting my second larger home soon.

I will add that in the text it reads that the unit can or must be able to move on a road. Well, just because you build it there on its moveable sled does not mean that it could never be moved on a road. Mine would not get through the gate let alone down the path. But in legal terms its safe. And tax free…

marbro replied:

hi guys

i don’t know if i have come to the correct place to ask this question? but here goes. as i am now 55 and can retire with a small pension, i have been looking at ways of doing it without reducing our living standards. we own our house but still have a mortgage on it of about £90’000, and it is probably worth in the region of £200’000/£220’000 so if we sold up we would have around £120,000 equity to play with. plus about £40’000 in cash from my pension lump sum. we don’t have any children and at the moment we are both in work. we pay about £600 mortgage a month. what we were thinking of doing was looking to buy a piece of land and siting our own park home on it. selling the house and paying off the mortgage. the problem is i don’t know how you would go about buying the land/where to look/planning permission/what sort of land to buy? it’s all a bit bewildering really. because i would be retiring earlier that i should i would lose a good chunk of my pension so would only get about £250 a week. so as you can imagine i don’t want to be paying out thousands a year in site fees and such. hence putting the home on our own land. any advise as to where to start would be helpful 😉

ausk replied:

wish they had such generous planning requirements as this in Aus.