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Government extends permitted development rights for camping and filming

If interested in running a temporary tent-focused campsite over the peak of the summer season, operating under permitted development rights is the easiest way to do it.

 
 

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order etc.) (England) (Amendment ) Order 2023 was made on the 3rd July 2023, laid before Parliament on the 5th of July and came into effect on the 26th of July 2023. Class B part 4 Temporary uses of land (28 Days Permitted development rights) was changed to the new Class BC part 4 (Temporary Recreational Campsites).


To open a campsite in the UK, you typically need planning permission and a campsite licence however, as of the 26th July permitted development rights (PDR) throughout England have been extended from 28 days per year to 60 days for temporary (pop-up) campsites for moveable structures used for recreational camping including campervans and motorhomes.


The criteria that have been set are:
  • A maximum of 50 pitches. This does not include caravans, the use of which may trigger the need for planning permission. In addition, pitching campervans or motorhomes for any length of time also requires a caravan site licence.

  • Toilet and waste disposal facilities must be provided. In addition, you can provide ‘any moveable structure reasonably necessary for the campsite use’ (for example, portable shower facilities).

  • You must notify your local planning authority in advance every year, including a copy of a site plan (featuring details of the toilet and waste disposal facilities), as well as the dates of operation.

The site must not be:
  • in the grounds of a listed building,

  • on a SSSI or site of a scheduled monument,

  • in a safety hazard area or in an area where military explosives are stored.

In addition, if the land you are planning to use sits within Flood Zones 2 or 3, a flood risk assessment will need to be submitted via the Prior Approval process and this may involve a fee.


It is important to note that the new permitted development rights apply to planning only and have not changed any licencing requirements for the use of land as a camping or caravanning site. Making use of more than 42 consecutive days for a camping site continues to be an offence under Section 269 of the Public Health Act 1936, so whilst the 60 days can be used within one calendar year, this is not 60 consecutive days. If you accept tents for more than 42 consecutive days, a camping licence would still be required.


PDR and film production


As well as the amendments to PDRs for camping, the PDR also gives three amendments to existing PDRs for filming.


  • Land and buildings can now be used for temporary film-making purposes for 12 months within any 27-month period rather than nine months.

  • The area of land or building used for temporary film-making purposes has increased from 1.5 hectares to three hectares.

  • The height of temporary structures, works, plant or machinery has increased from 15 metres to 20 metres.

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