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As the UK property market continues to rise, it is becoming harder and harder for first-time buyers to scale the property ladder. Last year, the average UK property was valued at £186,512, up more than 10 per cent on the same time in 2013. This increases dramatically as property owners approach London; last year the average London flat sold for on average £456,984. Terraced properties sold for an average price of £591,112. 

With property prices so high, first-time buyers and investors looking to get more for their money are turning to other accommodation means. One of the most innovative ideas to hit the market is converted shipping containers.


Domestic shipping container homes

Typically made from high tensile steel, the high strength and anti-corrosion qualities of shipping containers make excellent building blocks for domestic units. Recycled shipping containers are also readily available, reducing sourcing costs.

Construction work is required to adapt the shipping container for human habitation, but this varies depending on the size of the conversion project, and is still much more cost-effective than buying or building a traditional home.

Other benefits to shipping container homes include:

  • Readily adaptable. Easily convert your shipping container just the way you want it
  • Energy efficient. The material qualities of shipping containers make them excellent insulators, saving owners in utility costs
  • Space efficient. Shipping containers require much less room compared to traditional homes, making them suitable for high density urban environments


The importance of planning permission

Shipping containers are great opportunities for aspiring homeowners and ambitious architects to design personal, affordable housing. It is important when considering projects of this scope to ensure you have the correct planning permission.

Planning permission is vital for securing legal approval for your project. Without it, your local government might reject your conversion, forcing you to amend or even remove it. Planning permission is usually associated with new housing builds, but it is also important when designing home improvements like conservatories and extensions.

So where do converted shipping and storage containers fit into this?


Industry experts

On the subject of planning permission, Mr Box advises: “Storage containers are non-permanent so in most cases not. However if the storage container is going to be in a residential area, near a road junction, or likely to cause complaints from neighbours, we recommend you check with your local planning authorities.”

S Jones Containers advises similarly: “Storage containers are considered to be temporary structures and so would not normally need planning permission. However, we advise being sensitive to the local environment, for instance we can supply green containers for countryside areas. If you are in doubt it may be prudent to check with your local authority.”

Consensus regarding steel containers suggests that planning permission is not required. However, these recommendations seem to reference non-permanent shipping containers used for traditional purposes like goods storage.

Falling between traditional homes, extensions and ad-hoc building projects, converted shipping containers are more permanent that functional shipping containers.

For this reason, it is important to receive planning permission before investing into your shipping container conversion.


Latham’s Steel Security Doors

One way of helping your shipping container to receive planning approval is by guaranteeing its security.

Latham’s Steel Security Doorsets provide steel security doors for converted shipping containers and traditional residences, promising to protect your home from criminal activity, fire damage and other environmental impacts.

Our trademark 19 point locking system, made up of a 14 point locking system plus four dog bolts and a latch, secures the double skinned 1.2mm pre-lacquered cold rolled steel door leaf in its 2mm pre-lacquered cold rolled steel frame. The latest welding technology ensures fully welded construction for optimum strength and precise leaf-frame fits. Reinforced fixing plates, a dense fireboard core, and a Euro profile cylinder (with unique ABC key system) complete this steel security door’s resistance.

All of our steel security door product pages also feature:

  • CAD drawings
  • technical drawings
  • specification sheets
  • fitting instructions
  • Local compliance

Planning permission can often depend on the finished look of a project, and whether or not its aesthetic will comply with the look and feel of other local properties. Our doors’ heavy duty white textured polyester powder-coat finish can be painted on, enabling you to finish your door to planning compliance standards.

Converted shipping containers are an excellent opportunity for homeownership. Developers and homeowners should ensure they have the permission of their local planning authorities before proceeding with the project.

Communicate your converted shipping container’s security measures, including CAD drawings and technical drawings, and present concept sketches of your finished project, for a greater chance of planning approval.

To request a custom steel door for your converted shipping container, call Latham’s Steel Security Doorsets today on +44 (0) 1384 220 050 or get in touch here.