Do I need planning permission for my new steel building?

A question customers often ask us here at Miracle Span is “Do I need planning permission for my new steel building?”

Firstly, its a good idea to talk to your local planning department

Arrange an informal discussion with your local authority planning department to discuss your intended project. It’s often possible to get a good indication on the likehood of planning permission being granted as well as advice on particular considerations to be taken into account for the location, for example tree preservation orders, rights of way, flooding, etc. Take plans, drawings and a product brochure with you so the planning officer can comment.

Many local planning departments will allow you to make a Pre-application for planning permission. You will usually have an answer within 2-3 weeks on whether your planning application is likely to be approved. The planning department will also flag up any potential problems which will give you an opportunity to address them before you proceed with your formal application.

In some cases you will be asked to submit an environmental statement with your application, your planning officer will be able to advise you whether this is necessary.

Permitted Development Rights

Although the majority of buildings need planning permission, occasionally projects will fall under “Permitted development rights” where planning permission is not required, however, this only covers industrial buildings or warehouses (not car showrooms, shops, gyms or retail which always require planning permission).

General Planning Rules

Usually planning permission is required for new commercial buildings over 4 metres in height. Expect to wait about 8-12 weeks for a decision, although some local authorities can take considerably longer.

Temporary Steel Buildings

Rules governing planning permission for temporary buildings are more difficult to summarise, but technically planning permission is required for buildings used for over 28 days. If a temporary building comes within 5 metres of the site boundary or reduces space available for vehicle parking or turning, planning permission must be applied for.

In some cases temporary planning permission may be granted for periods of up to 7 years, so it’s well worth seeking advice from your local planning officer.

More Information

You may make a planning application online yourself – visit the Government’s official planning website at for more information.

Miracle Span allows you to place an order subject to planning approval. When an order is placed on this basis, full drawings and structural calculations are provided and help and advice is available. To speak to one of our expert advisors email us or call on 01507 358 974 to take advantage of our planning service.

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