Planning rules relaxed to benefit tourism sector

Planning rules for camping and caravan sites have been amended to help tourism business owners rebuild after the coronavirus lockdown.

Last week, housing minister Robert Jenrick included a planning update for the tourism sector in England in a written statement.

The usual restrictions on the camping season will be temporarily relaxed to allow businesses adversely affected by the Covid-19 lockdown to recoup some funds.

See also: The land opportunities for farmers in a post-lockdown world

The new guidance encourages local planning authorities to help caravan and holiday parks to extend their season and not seek to undertake planning enforcement action which would unnecessarily restrict facilities from doing so.

Owners of camping and caravan sites whose planning permission prohibits running past the usual summer season can apply to have this permission varied.

They should first speak to their local planning authority before submitting an application. This will likely improve their chances of success and the authority can also advise whether an application is needed.

Where there may be particular concerns about flooding or the effects on a protected site, applicants are also encouraged to seek advice from the Environment Agency and Natural England.

Small-scale camping rules extended

Campsites can open for 56 days this year rather than the usual 28 days, under a new permitted development right for the temporary use of land.

The government is allowing outdoor activities that occur as permitted development to take place for a further 28 days between 1 July and 31 December 2020.

The right also allows the erection of moveable structures, such as stalls or a marquee.

Of the 28 days, no more than 14 days can be for holding a market or for vehicle racing.