Scottish Hutting

Scottish Hutting represents a unique building type in Scotland.

Back to Articles Page

A hut: A simple building used intermittently as recreational accommodation (i.e. not a principal residence); having an internal floor area of no more than 30m2; constructed from low impact materials; generally not connected to mains water, electricity or sewerage; and built in such a way that it is removable with little or no trace at the end of its life. Huts may be built singly or in groups.

From the glossary of Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) 2014

Scottish Hutting Developments from
Scottish Hutting Developments from

This page has excerpts from “New Hutting Developments” by and used with their permission.  This is a public document and you can download a PDF here.

Like many Northern European countries, Scotland once had a strong hutting culture, however this has been eroded in the last 60 years.  Until recently, huts had no place in Scottish planning policy.  Now the tide is beginning to turn in favour of hutting again. In 2014 Scottish Planning Policy defined huts, and encouraged local authorities to consider them in development plans. This change is thanks to an upsurge of enthusiasm for huts, and the work of the campaign for A Thousand Huts, launched by Reforesting Scotland in 2011 with the aim of reviving Scotland’s hutting culture.

The hallmarks of good practice in hut developments

All new hut developments should remain in keeping with the low impact, ecologically sustainable and affordable tradition of Scotland’s hutting communities. This ethos is reflected in the definition of a hut in Scottish Planning Policy 2014.  It is therefore important that hutting developments are established on the basis of:

• Adherence to the principles of ecologically sustainable development in terms of design, materials, construction, waste management and access;

• Careful selection of suitable locations for hut development, recognising that some areas may not be suitable for such developments;

• Participatory decision-making to maximise community cohesion and resilience. This applies to both the community of hutters and the surrounding community within which they are embedded;

• Robust and equitable tenancy agreements giving clarity and security to tenant hutters and landowners;

• Safeguards to prevent hut developments paving the way for higher impact developments at a later date.

About Reforesting Scotland

Reforesting Scotland has campaigned for 25 years for a sustainable forest culture in Scotland. As well as running a range of projects, Reforesting Scotland produces a well-loved journal and hosts a very popular Annual Gathering. The Thousand Huts campaign is a thriving part of Reforesting Scotland’s work.