The extension to Permitted Development Rights (PDR) for temporary campsites that many farmers across the south west have benefitted from are set to end at the end of this month.

In the summer of 2020 the government temporarily extended the right to open pop-up campsites without needing planning permission from 28 days to 56 days.

The decision was taken in a bid to help rural communities recover from the damaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In fact, the resulting temporary campsites have generated more than £25million over the past year, has found.

According to the outdoor accommodation provider, £9.8million was generated through pitch fees alone, with an extra £2.9million being spent with campsite owners on firewood and farm-fresh produce.

But the lion’s share of the money – £12.9million – was spent in local, rural businesses including pubs, shops, and restaurants, throwing them a much-needed lifeline in the midst of the pandemic.

According to Dan Yates, founder of, the boom in pop-up campsites was instigated by the temporary PDR extension.

He said: “The 56-day extension to PDR had a tremendous, positive impact on the rural economy just when it was needed.

“It has enabled pubs, shops, restaurants, and rural tourist attractions to negotiate the pandemic when a lot of them may not have survived, and helped a large number of farms that are facing large reductions in support payments.

“It has also seen the British countryside step up to the mark to cater for the huge demand for staycations as people couldn’t holiday abroad.

“Generating an extra £25million for the rural economy is a fantastic achievement and from that perspective, extended PDR has been a huge success.

"However, while the world is still suffering from the ongoing Covid pandemic, and livelihoods are still at risk, it is a shame the government has no plans to extend the initiative this year.”

The decision by the Westminster government to end the extended PDR this year is at odds with the Welsh government which is currently consulting on a permanent extension to 56 days.

According to the administration, ‘temporary permitted development rights have been particularly beneficial in enabling the provision of additional capacity for campsites and broadening the range of tourist provision available to cater for the increase in staycations’.

“Bookings for 2022 are already 145 per cent up on the same time in 2019 and one campsite has already taken 305 bookings for next year,” he said.

“If the 56 day extension were to remain in place on an ongoing basis, the impact on the rural economy would be very significant.”