The UK government has initiated a consultation to permanently extend the Permitted Development Rights (PDR) for farmers and landowners in England, allowing them to operate tent camping sites for 60 days per year.
Currently, the PDR permits farmers to run these sites for 28 days annually without the need for planning permission, according to a report by the South West Farmer.
The proposed extension would provide a much-needed boost to the rural economy and offer a cost-effective alternative for individuals seeking a holiday experience within the country.
The government’s consultation proposal seeks to increase the PDR from 28 to 60 days, with a condition of limiting the number of tents at temporary campsites to 30. This restriction aims to minimize the impact of the campsites on local communities.
Additionally, the proposal calls for temporary on-site facilities such as showers, toilets, and waste storage and collection to be provided.
The move to extend PDR has been backed by Pitch-up.com, Europe’s largest outdoor accommodation provider, which has been lobbying the government for over a year.
The company’s research shows that almost half of the revenue generated by temporary campsites goes back into the local economy, benefiting shops, pubs, and restaurants in the area.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ban on international travel in 2020 created a surge in demand for UK staycation holidays.
Farmers benefitted from the temporary extension of the PDR from 28 to 56 days. The extended PDR saw an estimated £25 million injected into the UK’s rural economy in 2021.
With farmers facing declining income, uncertainty about future government payments, and a labor crisis, the permanent extension of the PDR could provide a much-needed lifeline for the industry.
The government is inviting responses to the consultation by April 25, 2023, and is encouraging individuals to participate in the online survey to have their voices heard.
The UK government’s proposal to extend the PDR for farmers and landowners could be a game-changer for the rural economy and provide a cost-effective alternative for individuals seeking a holiday experience within the country.
The consultation process is an opportunity for individuals to contribute to the decision-making process and help shape the future of the UK’s camping and caravanning industry.