Living in a double decker bus

Living in a double decker bus

Hi there,

I have an unusual request.

We are a family of five living in Edinburgh.

We would like to park two double-decker buses semi-permanently on our own land and convert them into a home for permanent residence. We intend to lift the buses off their wheels to sit securely on its chassis, supported by a brace, but retain all driving functionality so they could theoretically be easily lifted off the station and driven away. However, the conversion would involve several features of a permanent house, including some of the following: mains and waste water, mains electricity, solar panels, wind turbine, ground source heat pump, gutters, and chimneys. Additionally, we intend to fit an entrance porch to either or both buses adjacent to the doors.

As such I have two questions:
-What aspects of this development will require planning permission?
-We do not have the land yet – is there a particular type of land that would be more likely to be permitted for this purpose.

  1. Do I Need PermissionDo I Need Permission07-11-2013


    As it is a movable structure I think this is best suited to class 15 planning and reads as follows,

    “The use of land (other than a building or land within the curtilage of a building) for any purpose, except as a caravan site or an open air market, on not more than 28 days in total in any calendar year, and the erection or placing of moveable structures on the land for the purposes of that use.”

    So you would require planning permission for the actual busses being in place.

    Mains services in themselves may not require permission however as part of the planning permission for the busses the planning dept. may ask how the site will be serviced.

    Solar panels, wind turbines and ground sourced heat pumps can fall within permitted development however there are some restrictions on sizes etc… depends on the particular project.

    With regards to type of land, it really depends on the certain area. Getting permission for this on land that has not been zoned for residential use may prove difficult. You can download a copy of your councils local plan online, this will show area that have been zoned each type of use. An derelict house site may also provide a good opportunity.

    Building warrant wise, this is quite tricky to work out what it would come under, it could be classed as a mobile home which reads as,

    “A caravan or mobile home within the meaning of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, or a tent van or shed within the meaning of section 73 of the Public Health (Scotland) Act 1897.”

    If it could be constructed/finished to this standard that actual busses wouldn’t need building warrant however some of the associated works, drainage etc… may require permission.

    This is only a general view not knowing the specifics of a site etc… I would recommend contacting your local planning dept. and building control dept. before putting anything on a site.

    Good luck with your project, it sounds interesting.

    Thanks for using Do I Need Permission.

  2. AndrewAndrew07-12-2013

    Thanks so much for your extremely helpful and prompt reply.


    • nicola Orrnicola Orr03-16-2017

      hi andrew… Have you done this yet? If you have please can i get in touch to discuss..thank you.. i am in Fife

      • pete jonespete jones08-05-2017

        i am also in fife nicola and would love yo know. i kinda guess we are not getting the answer here though. pete j

  3. Mark L'EstrangeMark L'Estrange11-29-2013

    Hi Andrew – looking at very much the same plan as you (but with one dd bus) and am in the same position. I’d love to know if you are making any progress or have learnt anything.

  4. nicola Orrnicola Orr03-16-2017

    hi Mark ..Did you go ahead with your plan… interested in learning more..

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