Farmers may be allowed to have pop-up campsites for 60 days, rather than the permitted 28 days - but there could be a new condition.

The government has launched a consultation into permanently extending Permitted Development Rights (PDR) for tent camping from 28 days to 60 days for farmers and landowners in England. 

However, the consultation would also see temporary campsites restricted to a maximum of 30 pitches.

If the PDR were extended, it would make temporary campsites far more economically viable for farmers.

It would also be welcome as farm incomes fall and uncertainty about future govenment payments in lieu of Basic Payments continues.

Under the current regulations, farmers and landowners can operate temporary campsites for up to 28 days each year for an unlimited number of tents without applying for planning permission.

During the Covid pandemic and in June, 2020 when international travel was banned, demand for UK 'staycation' holidays boomed - and many farmers benefitted from the temporary extension to the PDR, from 28 days to 56.

This saw an estimated £25million injected into the UK’s rural economy in 2021 - but PDR returned to 28 days at the end of that year.

Europe’s largest outdoor accommodation provider, has been lobbying the government for a permanent extension to PDR for more than a year.

Founder Dan Yates said:  “Extending PDR had a huge benefit for farmers, landowners, and other rural businesses such as pubs, and provided an escape for many Covid-weary holidaymakers.

“It wasn’t only campsite owners and operators that benefited. Our research showed that almost half of the spend generated by temporary campsites went into the local economy, with local shops, pubs and restaurants all enjoying higher sales.

“Now, during the cost of living crisis and at a time when farmers are reeling over the winding-down of Basic Payments, unprecedented input costs and a labour crisis, extending PDR permanently could provide a lifeline for them, and a cost effective break for people unable to afford a foreign holiday.”

As part of the consultation, the government is proposing to extend PDR to 60 days per year, but limiting temporary campsites to 30 tents to ‘minimise the potential impacts of campsites on local communities’.

The consultation also proposes requiring temporary on-site facilities, including showers, toilets, and waste storage and collection to be provided.

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The government is inviting response to the consultation by April 25, 2023, ideally via the online survey here.

Other issues the consultation process is dealing with include governing the installation of solar equipment, various aspects of local authority development, and the temporary use of buildings for land for film-making purposes.