A FARM near Christchurch has applied to operate as a campsite during the summer period.

Dampneys Ltd has submitted an application to BCP Council which, if approved, would see Parley Court Farm welcome tents and caravans between May 1 and September 30 each year.

Earlier this year, Dampneys was given permission to use land to the southwest of Parley Golf Course as a campsite for up to 56 days.

Now, the company wishes to continue the use of the ‘surplus’ land to establish a permanent site.

The proposal submitted to the council outlines a site of 1.68 hectares, with space for up to 35 tents and 10 caravans or motorhomes, and portable shower and toilet facilities.

The site would be in operation during the summer months and would be accessible via the car park at the golf club in Parley.

The application follows what has been described as a “downturn in income” for Parley Court Farm.

The Planning Policy Statement reads: “Parley Court Farm, like many other farms, has experienced a downturn in the income it is able to generate from traditional agricultural activity.

“This has resulted in many of the buildings on the site becoming redundant for their original purpose, whilst still being in good condition and capable of being used for alternative functions.

“The diversification of activity that has taken place at the farm helps support the remaining agricultural activity and make continued provision for jobs in the local economy.

“There have been a series of applications over recent years in respect of various redundant buildings and surplus land, which have permitted a variety of uses such as the formation of the golf course, equestrian centre and various uses.”

The application also discusses the camp site’s location within the greenbelt, with Dampneys arguing that the proposals “do not constitute inappropriate development” in the area.

The Planning Policy statement reads: “The harm done to the openness of the Green Belt calls for a subjective judgment. It is contended that the low key and transient use of this area has a neutral effect on the openness of the Green Belt.”

A decision is yet to be reached on the planning application.