Do I Need Planning Permission For Containers On My Farmland?

As a farmer or land owner you may often require additional storage space to house equipment, tools, feed, and other essentials essential for agricultural operations. Storage containers are a popular choice due to their durability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness. However, before installing these containers on farm land, it’s crucial to understand whether planning permission is required. Here’s what you need to know:

Understanding Planning Permission:

Planning permission is a legal requirement imposed by local authorities to regulate the use and development of land and buildings. The purpose is to ensure that development is carried out in a manner that considers factors such as land use, environmental impact, and community interests. Whether planning permission is needed for storage containers on farm land depends on various factors.

Factors Influencing Planning Permission:

  • Local Regulations: Each jurisdiction has its own planning regulations, which dictate whether planning permission is required for specific developments. Contact your local planning authority or municipal government to understand the rules that apply in your area.
  • Permitted Development Rights: In some cases, storage containers on farm land may fall within permitted development rights, allowing their installation without the need for planning permission. However, there are usually limitations on size, number, and placement.
  • Size and Number of Containers: Larger or multiple storage containers are more likely to require planning permission. Authorities may have restrictions on the dimensions and quantity of structures allowed on agricultural land.
  • Visual Impact: Planning authorities often assess proposals based on their visual impact on the surrounding landscape. Considerations include the containers’ appearance, placement, and potential harm to the character of the area.

Navigating the Process:

  • Intended Use: The purpose for which the storage containers will be used can influence planning requirements. Containers used for agricultural purposes or temporary storage may have different considerations than those used for other activities. For example you do not need permission if the shipping containers are being used for agricultural purposes on agricultural land for perhaps a workshop or storage. Or, if it’s for temporary use of less than 28 days, and if you already have permission for storage and are placing the containers in that area. However, if you are looking to diversify unused farm land into a container storage business, you’ll almost certainly require planning permission.
  • Duration of Use: Temporary structures may have different planning requirements compared to permanent installations. If the containers are intended for temporary use, typically less than 28 days, planning permission may not be necessary in certain cases.
  • Environmental Considerations: Environmental regulations, such as those protecting habitats or water sources, may also apply. Ensure compliance with any relevant environmental laws when installing storage containers on farm land.
  • Research: Familiarise yourself with local planning regulations and seek guidance from the appropriate authorities. At 1st Containers we have over 100-years combined sales experience in containers so we are happy to give guidance, we’ve almost certainly come across your situation. Please give us a call on 01708 558700.
  • Consultation: Consider consulting with planning professionals or advisors who can provide insights into the planning process and help navigate any complexities.
  • Application: If planning permission is required, submit a formal application to the relevant authority. Provide detailed information about the proposed development, addressing any concerns raised by planning regulations.
  • Engage with the Community: In some cases, community consultation may be required as part of the planning process. Engage with neighbours and stakeholders to address any potential objections or concerns.
  • Compliance: Ensure that any development complies with the conditions set out in the planning permission granted. Failure to comply could result in enforcement action by the local authority.


Installing storage containers on farm land can provide valuable additional space for agricultural operations, and potential a thriving container self-storage business. However, it’s essential to navigate the planning process carefully to determine whether planning permission is required and to ensure compliance with relevant regulations. By understanding local planning regulations, considering factors such as size and intended use, and engaging with the planning authorities as needed, farmers can streamline the process and successfully integrate storage containers into their operations.