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Pop-up camping: planning permission

Follow-on from an earlier post where I attempted to kick-off a new Pop-up camping movement after one of Ivan and my planning sessions at the Five Ways Deli (where we spookily we keep turning up with similar t-shirts), I thought I’d better look into some of the issues. So I had a long chat with Paul Ackers at Natural England, the government’s advisors on the natural environment. I have to say that my head is spinning because setting up campsites, temporary or otherwise, is by no means uncomplicated.

It seems that most of those who seek camping certificates, which is in essence an exemption from planning permission, are caravan clubs who want to organise a rally. Interestingly, the Camping and Caravan Club is one of the few bodies along with the likes of the Scouts who are allowed to issue these kind of exemptions, and I have a contact at the later that I will try and find out more from about whether Pop-Up camping is a goer or not … perhaps under their auspices. There also seems to be a distinction for those temporary sites that are for tents only, and those that are for vehicles like caravans and motorhomes, which includes camper vans. So it might be relatively straightforward for a farmer to set-up a temporary site for tents only where the land is used for camping for no more than 42 consecutive days at a time and less than 60 days in any period of 12 months. Where this become complicated is where temporary facilities are provided even if it’s just a portaloo, as planning permission is then required from the local authority. It also seems that where you do this is also going to be an issue, so I’m not sure how easy it’s going to be to try and create a manifesto for pop-up camping unless I can make it some kind of open collaboration amongst like minded souls. I’ll do a little more digging to see what I can do.