20 Nov 23 by Rebecca Cook

According to The Expert Camper, there are over 7,000 holiday parks and campsites across the UK, numerous of which are spread across the South West region. Many caravan and holiday parks were established around the 1950s with farmers changing and/or diversifying from agriculture to tourism.  

Permitted Development for Temporary Campsites in England 

Under permitted development, landowners and farmers have been able to offer temporary recreational campsites for 28 days per calendar year, with an unlimited number of tents, without formal planning permission. This was extended during the Covid-19 pandemic to 56 days.  

Following a period of consultation, the new Class BC permitted development rights took effect in July 2023 and allow for the temporary use of land as a recreational campsite for up to 60 days per calendar year, to accommodate up to 50 tents, motorhomes, or campervans. The new rights require landowners to provide on-site toilet and waste disposal facilities and to give their Local Planning Authority written notice, before opening for the season, including the dates on which the campsite will be in use; a site licence may also be required. The use of land for the siting of tents for 28 days can continue (instead of 60 days) until the end of 25 July 2024. This may continue beyond, where associated with a festival. 

The permitted development rights do not apply to land within the curtilage of a listed building, Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or scheduled monument. Temporary recreational campsites in areas with these designations will require full planning permission. Where sites are located within Flood Zone 2 or 3, prior approval will be required each calendar year. An application fee will be payable, and applications must be accompanied by a flood risk assessment which the Local Planning Authority will use to consult the Environment Agency. 

It is important to note the permitted development rights only apply to tents and motorhomes/campervans. It does not allow for the siting of touring caravans, partly to minimise the potential impact on highways.  

Vickery Holman leisure team are able to provide advice in respect of operational caravan, touring and campsites and would be pleased to discuss the valuation or potential disposal of any trade related property across the South West.