Pop-up campsites can now run for more than 56 days thanks to a change in the law.

In a government statement issued on June 28, local authorities have been issued with guidance not to take enforcement action against temporary campsites opening this year under Permitted Development Rights to ensure "planning controls are not a barrier to local tourism and hospitality’s economic recovery".

This effectively offers a welcome extension of the current 56-day limits, allowing sites to make the best use of the weather until the end of October 2021.

The campaign to extend Permitted Development Rights was backed by a range of rural organisations including the NFU, the Countryside Alliance, Historic Houses, the Campaign for Pubs and the Federation of Small Businesses.

The statement does not remove the requirement for a camping licence (for tents being on the land for over 42 consecutive days or over 60 non-consecutive days). However, the government "will work with local authorities to facilitate a quick licensing process this summer, and authorities are encouraged to expedite new applications for licences to provide certainty for applicants".

Because a licence is only required when tents are on the land, this would enable a longer season for temporary campsites by enabling moveable structures to be sited for more than 56 days without a planning application (i.e. up to 60 non-consecutive days of tent camping without needing a camping licence, with moveable facilities on the land for longer).

NFU head of land use and innovation Andrea Graham said: “The NFU welcomes the extension of permitted development rights for camp sites for one summer only.

"While food production will always be at the core of farm businesses, Britain’s farmers provide so much more for the country through tourism and diversified farm businesses.

"These changes will mean that many more people will be able to go camping in the British countryside."

Booking data from outdoor accommodation booking platform Pitchup.com shows 309 per cent growth in arrivals for September compared to 2019, and 202 per cent growth for October, indicating consumer appetite for outdoor breaks well into the typical shoulder season.

Under the restrictive 56-day allowance, which begins from the moment anything such as portable toilets is introduced onto the land, most site owners are forced to opt for a single block across peak weeks in July and August.

The government’s instruction to local authorities to relax enforcement means that temporary sites now have greater flexibility and opportunity to generate vital revenue across a longer period of time. It also helps offset enforced downtime, often due to bad weather or setting-up time, when no guests are on site but the time still counts as part of the 56-day allowance.