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Frank Hovis

Living On Your Own Land Without Planning Permission

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This has come up as a theoretical cheap way of life and here's a real life example.

I make this about £30 a month to live there, excluding the cost the caravan and hard standing. As he's been running a business as well he's been pretty blatant and would have been doing it a while before 2009. So he's been living there at least five years, I'm guessing paid no council tax, and been given a £2k fine.

So if you do it more discreetly this looks like a great plan, just make sure you're not visible from the road and not annoying your neighbours.

A St Erth man has been fined overv £2,000 over his failure to remove a caravan, the two storage containers, vehicles and a variety of other woodworking business items from land after a planning enforcement decision.

David Leak of Chenhalls Road, St Erth appeared before District Judge Mitchell at Truro County Court on Tuesday 21 January in respect of the Council’s "application for an injunction to secure compliance with a Planning Enforcement Notice".

The Council served an enforcement notice in February 2009 which required Mr Leak to remove the caravan, the two storage containers, all the materials, equipment, vehicles, the hard surface and other paraphernalia associated with his wood working business from the land in St Erth.

Mr Leak unsuccessfully appealed the notice, and should have complied with the requirements by April 2010.

The council says that attempts to encourage compliance with the notice were unsuccessful; and they prosecuted Mr Leak for the failure to comply in March 2012.

Adding "Despite this, Mr Leak continued to reside on the land in breach of the Notice, which is a continuing criminal offence."

Hayley Jewels, the council’s enforcement group leader, said: “The Council had no choice but to apply to the court for an injunction as it was considered that no lesser steps would remedy the breach of planning control.

Mr Leak has continued to flout planning laws for over four years. It is a shame that a resolution could not have been reached sooner without the need for such serious legal action, but repeated breaches of planning control will not be tolerated and the Council will continue to ensure that the integrity of the planning system is upheld”.

Mr Leak has been ordered to comply with the requirements of the notice by April 22. Failure to comply with a Court Injunction may lead to a fine and/or imprisonment. Mr Leak was also ordered to pay £2002.60 towards the Council’s costs.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/10961666.St_Earth_man_fined_after__flouting_planning_law_/

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The subject came up amongst my compadres, and the best we could come up with, was a canal boat; not very cheap because mooring fees exist if you want to live in a fixed place, but very cheap compared with a house. Need a big, well-appointed one, but it's a fairly luxurious life and the posties will even deliver to the moorings if you don't want a post office box. I looked into it seriously for a while, but the present Mrs Old Nis wouldn't wear it.

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The subject came up amongst my compadres, and the best we could come up with, was a canal boat; not very cheap because mooring fees exist if you want to live in a fixed place, but very cheap compared with a house

Exactly what I am planning to do myself in 2016. I intend to "continuously cruise" so all I will need is the CaRT licence and third party insurance, which come to around £1000 a year, but even moorings aren't expensive, at less than £2000 a year in a top class marina. A decent 45' boat can be had for sub £25,000.

Of course, there are other expenses, maintenance etc but it is still far cheaper than living in a bricks and mortar house.

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You can live on agricultural land, but first you have to develop a business that required you to live on the land. It's not such an easy process. The book "field to farm" explains the process and is regularly updated.

The UK planning NATZI's relaly piss me off. Here in Ireland the old guy next door lives in a caravan in the neighbours garden as his old cottage is uninhabitable. Also a friend of mine Rob who lives down the road in a caravan for the last 5 years without planning, quite blatant.

The attitude here towards planning compliance is one of, properties that do not comply with planning are mortgageable so in the end compliance usually looks after it's self.

If someone is in a tight spot an needs to live in a mobile home for a few years, then why shouldn't they? It's hardly a desirable outcome that people would put themselves in if they had no other choice.

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I'd imagine camper/RV living in Spain (or similar climate) is a rather attractive alternative to spending most of your wages on a mortgage/rent/taxes in the U.K.

If the best things in life are free, the youth along the med surely don't need to be too creative in order to have pretty good lives. It's when the 'state' puts in restrictions on the basic things in life things really become a problem.

Not being able to legally reside on private land is mad. What if you used shipping containers underground? Does that count?

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Exactly what I am planning to do myself in 2016. I intend to "continuously cruise" so all I will need is the CaRT licence and third party insurance, which come to around £1000 a year, but even moorings aren't expensive, at less than £2000 a year in a top class marina. A decent 45' boat can be had for sub £25,000.

Of course, there are other expenses, maintenance etc but it is still far cheaper than living in a bricks and mortar house.

Yes I'm looking at keeping my Council flat on 'oop North and parking a boat somewhere like Galleons Point marina in East London. The DLR is only a short walk away.

A 35 footer would work out at £43.75 a week (1.25p per foot per week). Obviously they get you on other stuff like electricity, gas, water, pump out etc.

Something like this wouldn't be that bad to live on for £20k, plus you would have the excitement of navigating a short stretch of tidal Thames in a narrowboat.

Edited by aSecureTenant

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I think that discretion is the answer.

Do not annoy the neighbours, keep it clean and tidy and not visible from the road.

Sounds like this guy's place was more of a junkyard and he did not take steps to conceal it.

Fast growing conifers, an apparently empty field with a small conifer copse in the corner, sheep, chicken sheds....you get the picture.

I lived like this for 6 months in 1986 with my wife and two children. I doubt that anybody knew that we were there.

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Yes I'm looking at keeping my Council flat on 'oop North and parking a boat somewhere like Galleons Point marina in East London. The DLR is only a short walk away.

A 35 footer would work out at £43.75 a week (1.25p per foot per week). Obviously they get you on other stuff like electricity, gas, water, pump out etc.

Something like this wouldn't be that bad to live on for £20k, plus you would have the excitement of navigating a short stretch of tidal Thames in a narrowboat.

Yep but it`s not just London house prices going up though http://houseboats.apolloduck.co.uk/ the ones in London have doubled in price in the last 18 months

By the right boat from the right part of the world, then move it to London quids in if they achieve the price`s that are being asked

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Yes I'm looking at keeping my Council flat on 'oop North and parking a boat somewhere like Galleons Point marina in East London. The DLR is only a short walk away.

A 35 footer would work out at £43.75 a week (1.25p per foot per week). Obviously they get you on other stuff like electricity, gas, water, pump out etc.

Something like this wouldn't be that bad to live on for £20k, plus you would have the excitement of navigating a short stretch of tidal Thames in a narrowboat.

That's pretty much the sort of thing I'd be looking at. Running expenses aren't enormous, it doesn't take a great deal of energy to heat a well insulated boat, the one on the link you posted appears to have a cassette toilet so no pump-out charges there. I'd be genuinely cruising so heat and electricity would be free to all intents and purposes as a by-product of running the engine and I'd use foraged wood to run the multi-fuel stove.

Moorings in London are expensive though, although that wouldn't be a problem for me.

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That's pretty much the sort of thing I'd be looking at. Running expenses aren't enormous, it doesn't take a great deal of energy to heat a well insulated boat, the one on the link you posted appears to have a cassette toilet so no pump-out charges there. I'd be genuinely cruising so heat and electricity would be free to all intents and purposes as a by-product of running the engine and I'd use foraged wood to run the multi-fuel stove.

Moorings in London are expensive though, although that wouldn't be a problem for me.

Is it cheap to heat a boat under the water line in cold water in the winter? Ive no experience of it but imagine you'd get considerable heat loss through to the cold water despite insulation.

I once saw a letting agent advertising a house boat for rent for the same cost as larger flats in the same area. 2 bed flat versus 1 bed long boat. It was in the summer and presumably the novelty of it is worth more to the right person.

Is there a real advantage?

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Is it cheap to heat a boat under the water line in cold water in the winter? Ive no experience of it but imagine you'd get considerable heat loss through to the cold water despite insulation.

I once saw a letting agent advertising a house boat for rent for the same cost as larger flats in the same area. 2 bed flat versus 1 bed long boat. It was in the summer and presumably the novelty of it is worth more to the right person.

Is there a real advantage?

Most barges have a very shallow draft not much more that a couple of feet or so, so very little will be below the water besides on cold winter days the water temp will be above air temp, its all abotut the quality of the insulation

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I think that discretion is the answer.

Do not annoy the neighbours, keep it clean and tidy and not visible from the road.

Sounds like this guy's place was more of a junkyard and he did not take steps to conceal it.

Fast growing conifers, an apparently empty field with a small conifer copse in the corner, sheep, chicken sheds....you get the picture.

I lived like this for 6 months in 1986 with my wife and two children. I doubt that anybody knew that we were there.

were NIMBYS as intolerant in 1986 as today?

a lot more retired folk with nothing better to do than curtain twitch and ruin other peoples lives in 2014.

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Yep but it`s not just London house prices going up though http://houseboats.apolloduck.co.uk/ the ones in London have doubled in price in the last 18 months

By the right boat from the right part of the world, then move it to London quids in if they achieve the price`s that are being asked

I doesn't have to be moored in London. I can always do a 'Harry Monk' and move about. Plenty of mud flat moorings further down the estuary anyway.

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I doesn't have to be moored in London. I can always do a 'Harry Monk' and move about. Plenty of mud flat moorings further down the estuary anyway.

It`s not the cost of morrings in London it`s the cost of boats/barges that are already on London morrings if you can buy eleswhere and its viable to move it to London it looks like a very good idea

Chestery Surrey http://houseboats.apolloduck.co.uk/feature.phtml?id=57195

Hampshire http://houseboats.apolloduck.co.uk/feature.phtml?id=334913

London http://houseboats.apolloduck.co.uk/feature.phtml?id=337319

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Obviously they get you on other stuff like electricity, gas, water, pump out etc.

Electricity supplied by the Canal and River Trust to boats is cheaper than electricity supplied to houses.

CRT price index 2014

Electricity prices

In November we secured another two year fixed price electricity contract, ending in November 2015. It’s great news because, although the price of electricity has increased, we qualify for green energy and this means that you will pay the lowest possible price for your electricity.

For the next two years this cost is fixed at 12.52 pence per kwh (around a 10% increase) which compares favourably with standard domestic rates which can range anywhere from 12.81 to 15.09 pence per kwh.

This means that, as of Monday 9th December, our electricity prepayment cards will cost:

10 Unit / 50kwh Rolec = £7.00

12 Unit = £8.20

20 Unit / 100kwh Rolec = £13.25

25 Unit (also provides one pump-out) = £16.35

Bottled gas is expensive, but would only normally be used for cooking and hot water (and often hot water is supplied by a calorifier which utilises engine heat). The majority of narrowboats are heated either by a solid fuel heater, or an Eberspacher diesel heater.

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This has come up as a theoretical cheap way of life and here's a real life example.

I make this about £30 a month to live there, excluding the cost the caravan and hard standing. As he's been running a business as well he's been pretty blatant and would have been doing it a while before 2009. So he's been living there at least five years, I'm guessing paid no council tax, and been given a £2k fine.

So if you do it more discreetly this looks like a great plan, just make sure you're not visible from the road and not annoying your neighbours.

last bit is key to making/helping it work.

guy in Dedham Essex had the right idea but wrong location, must of been the worst possible place to try it.

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sadly the houseboat dream, even if you can stomach the continuous cruising is not really that cheap unless you want to do a LOT of upkeep work yourself

extensively looked into a few yrs ago

boat needs taking out of the water and bottom blacking (much more frequently if your moving it about but ~ every two yrs) + rubbing down and painting the outside frequently. if it's not realy quite new then you need to also have it surveyed every 5 yrs before you black it or your insurance is invalid. need regular safty certificates, and it seems quite often they change goalpost nessesitating expensive replacment of otherwise working equipment. engine and other bits need regular servicing, again the upkeep not great around all that water. doors windowledges anything wooden has a short lifespan and will leak, require replacement.

you really need two loos, cartrige are a huge hassle, but pumpout is ipossible if the canal freezes. although there are whole periods of the year your stuck when the boards are up which saves n moving as much when theres high rivers, frozen canals

batteries don't last long, have to factor in replacing them,

you need to keep it heated, even to a degree when you are out, worst cade -pipes freeze in winter, damp and mould set in easily. generally the water in the air around don't help much with electrical items which tend to need replacing far more frequently, as do the gas boilers etc. i've yet to see one thats well insulated, though if you use scrap wood and a woodburner (more time collecting wood) then you can again keep costs lowish.

liecences for the river/canal are not cheap, rivers marginally lower than canals, but the variable levels of water on them make them worse places to live.

did wonder about buying some land, digging a pond then craneing a narrowboat on, less liecencing fees at least, problem there would be lack of facilities to connect to eg water, pumpout, man comming down canal selling coal and gas.

in the end caravan was much cheaper option.... can ge the bigger 47l gas too which makes life a lot lss hassle for changeovers, and you can insulate the bottom... the floor is still freezing, but nothing like as cold as it is in friends boats.

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sadly the houseboat dream, even if you can stomach the continuous cruising is not really that cheap unless you want to do a LOT of upkeep work yourself

extensively looked into a few yrs ago

boat needs taking out of the water and bottom blacking (much more frequently if your moving it about but ~ every two yrs) + rubbing down and painting the outside frequently. if it's not realy quite new then you need to also have it surveyed every 5 yrs before you black it or your insurance is invalid. need regular safty certificates, and it seems quite often they change goalpost nessesitating expensive replacment of otherwise working equipment. engine and other bits need regular servicing, again the upkeep not great around all that water. doors windowledges anything wooden has a short lifespan and will leak, require replacement.

Well, I don't look on continuous cruising as something I would need to stomach, it's what I want to do. Give up work, sell virtually everything I own and then set off on an odyssey around as much of the canal network as I can before I get too old for it.

I still have a fair chunk of my STR fund left, more than enough to buy a boat and live for several years before money became an issue, the only reason I'm not doing it now is that I don't have quite enough to last me until my old age pension kicks in, two more years at work means I can save another £20,000 or so, and will have two years less to fund my lifestyle.

It's not quite true to say a boat needs to be surveyed every five years, it's a good idea to have a pre-purchase survey done, and some insurance companies will only offer third-party insurance if an old boat has not had a recent survey, but it doesn't invalidate the insurance.

The Boat Safety Certificate only needs doing every four years and costs around £150. It's not seen as a major drama by boaters.

As I wouldn't be working, but have always enjoyed fiddling and fettling, tinkering with machinery, painting, DIY etc I wouldn't find maintenance a chore either.

Your post does re-inforce a point often made on the CanalWorld forum to wannabes though, narrowboat living is far cheaper than living in a house, but that is not sufficient reason to do it, you have to want to do it for its own sake or the compromises required would be intolerable.

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Well, I don't look on continuous cruising as something I would need to stomach, it's what I want to do. Give up work, sell virtually everything I own and then set off on an odyssey around as much of the canal network as I can before I get too old for it.

I still have a fair chunk of my STR fund left, more than enough to buy a boat and live for several years before money became an issue, the only reason I'm not doing it now is that I don't have quite enough to last me until my old age pension kicks in, two more years at work means I can save another £20,000 or so, and will have two years less to fund my lifestyle.

It's not quite true to say a boat needs to be surveyed every five years, it's a good idea to have a pre-purchase survey done, and some insurance companies will only offer third-party insurance if an old boat has not had a recent survey, but it doesn't invalidate the insurance.

The Boat Safety Certificate only needs doing every four years and costs around £150. It's not seen as a major drama by boaters.

As I wouldn't be working, but have always enjoyed fiddling and fettling, tinkering with machinery, painting, DIY etc I wouldn't find maintenance a chore either.

Your post does re-inforce a point often made on the CanalWorld forum to wannabes though, narrowboat living is far cheaper than living in a house, but that is not sufficient reason to do it, you have to want to do it for its own sake or the compromises required would be intolerable.

ah sorry didnt realise you'd not be workng.. i'd love to CC if i had all the time in the world, but friends doing it and holding down a job are finding it very tireing, always moving, cycling back to get car, finding somewhere to park the car near new moorings. people are clamping down a lot more on period of stay.

beg to differ on saftey cert, may just be friends had old boats but cost them a lot on the last two changes. if youve got enough moeny to get something relatively ned and look after it would be a lot better. these are people spending after selling up realising they were better getting a little equity and getting out before the bank forclosed, and now are not able to afford upkeep on the boats which will only lead to more severe replating costs in the future.

one off per foot

Repainting 72 4 yrly

blacking 200 30 2 yrly

servicing 400 yrly - engine + gas boiler

survey 700 5 yrly - for insurance

moorings 64.008 yrly/ft

monthly electrics 20 monthly

monthly gas 15 monthly

liecence 681.43 yrly manual change ------->

incidental 150 yrly insurance

safety cert 145 4 yrly

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Your post does re-inforce a point often made on the CanalWorld forum to wannabes though, narrowboat living is far cheaper than living in a house, but that is not sufficient reason to do it, you have to want to do it for its own sake or the compromises required would be intolerable.

+1

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Sorry it posted as I cut and past from excel, not sure how!

Anywhoo my costs for 45 footer came in at 620 per month, (this was including moorings as I could not cope with a 55+ hour week and moving home constantly) without allowing much for incidentals . this was 3 yrs ago, can’t imagine prices have gone down. I rent a static caravan from a farmer for £450 a month with nearly double the internal floorspace , including council tax (its legit) water and some electric (i could use their washing machine in garage if i didnt have my own home to take washing to, unable to get a job near my mortgage, so lodger has it to himself weeknights) and don’t pay towards the cesspit being emptied. With gas and electric both cheaper than boat prices and thanks to a lot of skip diving a lot of insulation filling the now skirted bottom we live comfortably for around £500 a month. And the best thing is, whenever anything breaks it gets fixed.

the boat option just didnt work out to be cost effective, and they devalue like a car, i'm personally much bettwr off having the extra money in the offset account even at these ridicarus interest rates

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sorry was not comparing to a house. Was comparing to caravan

we also looked at flats in the area, £700 a month for a tiiiiiiiiny studio, plus £100 council tax + bills ++

I do agree when compared to a flat, let alone a house, canal boat is a lot cheaper so good(ish) value.. but then how many flats even are that small, even the smallest studios actually had more overall floorspace than the 45 foot boats we looked at, a hell of a lot of the size is taken up with engine and deck.

renting (for me anyway) worked out cheaper still then drawing down on my mortgauge to buy another place so and when(/if) HPC ever comes, and despite being an owner i hope it does, then the losses would be comparable to the losses trying to sell on an old boat.

problem is while caravans are a great option, there arn't many of them about to rent, i agree a boat would be nicer, would be great to potter around on the canals for holidays instead of camping in the rain somewhere, but it was not the cheaper option by a good margin

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I think it would be difficult to CC if you had a job and a car to worry about, but I won't have either. I might overwinter on moorings and do a few months' work to top up the funds but as I'm an HGV driver who works away all week, sleeping in the cab, this would only involve getting a taxi to work on a Monday and another one back on Friday, getting shot of the responsibilities and expense of car ownership is something I'm looking forward to, I might get a moped or somesuch. :lol:

Having a boat painted is expensive but I could do that myself for a tenth of the cost of a professional re-paint, and do it just as well, and I'd enjoy doing it, it's my sort of "thing".

Take this as an example, "Practical Magic" a 48' Trad Stern, up for sale at £19,950.

http://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/feature.phtml?id=328420

That's the type of thing I'd be looking at. I'd expect to pay about £17,000 for that subject to survey and with a new BSSC, then about another £3,000 for blacking and anodes, engine overhaul, bits and bobs etc, then I'd be good to go for four years with only the cost of the licence and insurance on the horizon annually- about £1,200-ish.

I have done all of the maths, and it does all stack up. And if it doesn't work out and I have to go back to the life I live now then the most I'll have lost is a few grand, but I will have had fun losing it. What I can't stand the thought of is another 12 years on the rat race until I'm due to retire.

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Yep but it`s not just London house prices going up though http://houseboats.apolloduck.co.uk/ the ones in London have doubled in price in the last 18 months

By the right boat from the right part of the world, then move it to London quids in if they achieve the price`s that are being asked

This is madness, and only goes to emphasise that you're not really paying money for the boat / building but the mooring / plot of land it occupies. In respect to boats and leasehold flats you don't even end up owning the land which is costing you such a premium, you're just paying through the nose to buy the opportunity to rent it!

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