Following a concerted campaign led by outdoor accommodation booking platform Pitchup.com, and supported by a number of national bodies, pop-up campsites in England will now be able to open potentially until 31 October this year.
In a government statement issued on 28 June, local authorities have been issued with guidance not to take enforcement action against temporary campsites opening this year under Permitted Development Rights (PDR) to ensure “planning controls are not a barrier to local tourism and hospitality’s economic recovery”.
This effectively offers an extension of the current 56 day limits, allowing sites to make the best use of the weather until the end of October 2021.
The campaign to extend PDR was backed by a range of rural organisations including the NFU, the Countryside Alliance, Historic Houses, the Campaign for Pubs and the Federation of Small Businesses. The statement does not remove the requirement for a camping licence (for tents being on the land for over 42 consecutive days or over 60 non-consecutive days). However, the government “will work with local authorities to facilitate a quick licensing process this summer, and authorities are encouraged to expedite new applications for licences to provide certainty for applicants”.
Because a licence is only required when tents are on the land, this would enable a longer season for temporary campsites by enabling moveable structures to be sited for more than 56 days without a planning application (i.e. up to 60 non-consecutive days of tent camping without needing a camping licence, with moveable facilities on the land for longer).
Sarah Lee, director of policy and campaigns, Countryside Alliance, said: “This announcement is welcome news for the many rural land based businesses who have been badly hit over the last year. Relaxing enforcement of PDRs means there will be a larger number of camping and caravanning pitches available, providing businesses with greater flexibility and many more families with a welcome break in the countryside. It will give a much needed boost to the rural economy, as businesses slowly start to return to normality.”