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Temporary Sites: Permitted Development Rights

Is it true I can use my land every year for a temporary time for visitors wanting to go camping or glamping?

Yes.  The Government grants planning permission for temporary uses of land which can be undertaken without a planning application – known as permitted development rights. The relevant regulations explaining Permitted Development are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015. This allows certain temporary uses of land to take place without prior planning permission for up to 28 days in any calendar year where the necessary legal requirements are met.

Additional permitted development rights came into force in July 2023 that allow land to be used as a temporary recreational or ‘pop-up’ campsite for up to 60 days in any calendar year without prior planning permission. It is important to note that different legal requirements apply under the 60-day rules, and these must be satisfied in full before development can commence.


Can you still use the 28-day rules for camping?

Yes, but only until 25th July 2024.

Land can be used for camping under either the 28-day or 60-day rules until 25th July 2024. Only the 60-day rules can be used thereafter. Other temporary uses permitted under the 28-day rules such as car parking can operate alongside a 60-day temporary campsite after 25th July 2024 provided the required conditions are met.

Are there any catches to look out for?

Temporary recreational campsites operating under the 60-day rules are subject to a 50-pitch limit. Pitches must be for tents or motorhomes/campervans only (caravans are subject to different rules). Provision must also be made for on-site toilet and waste disposal facilities. 

The local planning authority must be notified in writing each calendar year before development starts. Notification should include a site plan showing toilet/water disposal facilities and details of the dates the campsite will be in use.

Are there any restrictions on where temporary campsites can be located?

Yes. The legislation does not allow 60-day temporary campsites on land within the curtilage of a listed building or within Sites of Special Scientific Interest or Scheduled Monuments. Sites within safety hazard areas and military explosive areas are also excluded. 

Prior approval must be obtained from the local planning authority for any 60-day campsites within Flood Zones 2 or 3. This must be done each calendar year and include a site-specific flood risk assessment including a warning and evacuation plan.

As with other temporary uses, you are not allowed to operate a 60-day campsite on land where permitted development rights have been removed by an Article 4 Direction. There are also restrictions on land within or close to Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and other protected areas. 


Tents are pretty lightweight and removed easily – but what about glamping pods, etc. – some of that stuff can be pretty heavy duty?

Planning policy and regulations can’t cover every eventuality.  As there is a wide range of glamping units available on the market, their legal position varies. Some may constitute uses of land, some buildings, others may be regarded as caravans by local planning authorities. Some may be permissible without a prior planning application being needed; others may not, depending upon their specification and circumstances. A land owner or prospective operator can make an application for a lawful development certificate to obtain a formal decision from their local planning authority whether a glamping proposal would require full planning permission.


If I’ve already had a camping or glamping use on my land, can I easily swap one for the other?

Not Necessarily.  It is always worth first checking with your local planning authority, e.g. by seeking “pre-application advice” or a lawful development certificate on this. It is also worth investigating whether an authority already has Local Plan policies relating to the impact of the loss of, or over-supply of certain types of accommodation – e.g. if it wanted to prevent all tented sites in its area gradually being developed into glamping pods or caravan sites.


What about setting up a caravan site?

Caravans and motorhomes are subject to different rules.  Caravans may only be sited without planning permission if an exception in Schedule 1 of the Caravan Site and Control of Development Act 1960 applies.  In all other cases using land for caravans or motorhomes needs planning permission. A 'caravan' includes static caravans, touring caravans, and motorhomes/campervans, but also typically pods, shepherd's huts, gypsy caravans and moveable lodges: 

'“caravan” means any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another (whether by being towed, or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer) and any motor vehicle so designed or adapted, but does not include...any tent' Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960


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