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. Note that it does not allow temporary uses within the curtilage of buildings, such as in private gardens.
Are there any catches to look out for with that 28-day limit?
You need to check other legislation which covers those. Permitted development rights do not override the requirements of any other legislation - for example the provision of sanitation or other facilities. Site owners or operators must ensure that their sites comply with all relevant requirements, not just planning regulations.
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