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Boom in ‘pop up’ campsites presents diversification opportunities for farmers

A staycation surge in the popularity of camping due to Covid-19 is set to present new diversification ‘opportunities’ for farmers.

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Boom in ‘pop up’ campsites present diversification ‘opportunities’ for farmers

With Britons holidaying at home and Government having temporarily relaxed planning conditions to extend the open season in England from July 14 to December 22, the number of ‘pop-up’ campsites in rural areas has boomed, making it a potentially lucrative income for farmers with land to spare.

 

In a written statement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick said: “Local planning authorities should not look to taking enforcement action that would restrict campsites, caravan and holiday parks from extending the open season [and should] account for the economic importance of this extension.”

 

Further relaxations to permitted development rights has also seen Government temporarily double its planning exemption, which will allow land to be used for up to 56 days without permission up until December 31.


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Highlighting the importance of permitted development rights in delivering rural development, a CLA spokesperson said: “We very much welcome the Government’s measures, as they will prove to be yet another tool that will enable rural businesses to operate for longer.

 

“It will also help businesses that depend on the temporary use of land to recoup some of the revenue and custom lost earlier this year.”

 

Grow

 

According to Statistica, residents spent approximately 2.41 billion pounds on camping and caravan trips in 2019.

 

The spokesperson added: “These rights will allow many rural businesses to establish and grow.”

CLA’s guidelines for camping: What you need to know

Permitted development rules: Planning exemption for temporary sites

  • Any change of use from agriculture needs planning permission, although some small scale camping is allowed under permitted development rules.
  • The Government published amendments to permitted development rights on June 23.
  • These are temporary measures from the July 1 until December 31 and allow additional days on which temporary uses of land can operate by 28 days (of which a maximum of 14 can be motor sport or outdoor markets).
  • However, this does not cover the use of buildings or land within a curtilage of a listed building, use as caravan sites and there are further restrictions on SSSIs.
  • Whilst caravan sites will not gain from these changes, camping sites will qualify.
  • As with all permitted development it is to meet the detail of the regulation to benefit from the additional right.

Permanent and seasonal sites

  • For permanent and larger seasonal sites, full planning permission will be needed.
  • National government guidance broadly says local authorities should support farm diversification applications including tourism.
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