South Downs National Park Authority (Winchester City Council): Pure Town Planning are pleased to have just secured planning permission for the siting of a shipping container at a nature reserve just outside Winchester in the South Downs National Park.

Our client Butterfly Conservation is a registered conservation charity with a particular interest in the conservation of butterflies and moths. The application site lies on a 46 hectare chalk downland nature reserve which they manage just east of Winchester. The shipping container is required for the secure storage of tools and materials to enable the charity to better manage the reserve.

The main issue in this case was the visual impact of the proposed container given the sensitivity of siting within the national park. In our planning statement we produced a visual impact appraisal which demonstrated that the proposed container would only be seen in very limited views from close range with no impact on distant views.

There is often a question in planning as to whether the positioning of a shipping container on the land requires planning permission if it does not involve a change of use of the land – i.e. is it operational development? I take the view that if the container is placed for use as a building and not for a very short temporary period then it should be treated as operational development and requires planning permission (which potentially could come in the form of permitted development rights).

Unfortunately planning is full of “grey areas” and sometimes the advice you get from your Local Authority can be confusing. If you have a proposal and you are not sure whether it requires planning consent then why not contact Pure Town Planning and take advantage of our free initial consultation?