Huts can sit on flat ground or sloping ground, even on significant gradients if substructure is professionally engineered. To lessen a hut’s environmental impact and the cost of reinstatement when the hut is removed, the temptation to flatten the site with an excavator should be resisted. Instead a foundation type that can cope with the natural land forms is preferred.

 Unless a stepped section is chosen, there could be quite a high undercroft and care should be taken to ensure this under-building structure is adequately braced (see Foundations). The orientation of a slope is one important factor in how much daylight strikes a building which in turn affects the potential solar gain through well placed glazing (see Windows and doors).



Huts can be built in close proximity to trees but consideration must be given to their condition, the stability of the soil they are growing in, the likelihood of wind-blow and the location of the roots. A rule of thumb is that the root system extends as far underground as the canopy overhead.

 A foundation system should be chosen that is compatible with the neighbouring trees. Trees can overshadow as well as shelter buildings and these effects should be managed to the hut’s advantage over its lifetime.



The hut site should be free from erosion caused, for example, by a burn in spate. It should have a floor deck above likely levels of flood. Information available from SEPA about flood risk should be tempered with local knowledge.

Areas excluded from housing development may still be suitable for huts. However you must consider potential riverbank erosion and landslip in steep areas when siting your hut.

1000 Huts is a project of the charity Reforesting Scotland, which works to restore and support sustainable communities in a well-forested land.


The content of this site is supplied as good practice guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law or of the policy and practice of the planning or building standards system at the local, national, or case level. It simply sets out what our contributors believe to be good practice for hut builders in complying with the Scottish Government's new regulatory framework for huts. Anyone considering undertaking a hut development should seek their own legal, planning and building advice. 





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