On the 26th January the snappily titled Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2023 came into force in England. Buried within the order was an amendment to part 4 (temporary buildings and uses).
Class BC – temporary recreational campsites.
This new allowance builds on the former 28 day temporary change of use of land provisions to provide for a discrete allowance on ANY land for the provision of a temporary residential campsite. The allowance provides for no more than 50 pitches and any moveable structure reasonably necessary for the purposes of the permitted use. This can include a movable toilet block, movable shower block, or movable office.
These new campsites are not allowed everywhere. The provision of ANY land excludes the logical places that you would not want to see a campsite such as; on a site of a scheduled monument; in a safety hazard area; in a military explosives storage area; on a site of special scientific interest; on a site of a listed building and for the siting of any caravan except a caravan which is used as a motor vehicle designed or adapted for human habitation.
Basically statics are not allowed but touring caravans are!
The conditions of the use make clear that this is a prior approval allowance but with only matters of compliance and flood-risk considered!
The developer must make on-site provision for users of the campsite of toilet and waste disposal facilities and needs to submit a plan showing how these facilities will work together with the dates that the dates on which the site will be in use.
The LPA will be required to notify the Fire and Rescue Service and the EA if the land is within Flood Zone 2 or Flood Zone 3.
Finally this prior approval only last for a calendar year. Developers must re-apply every year before commencement of development in each calendar year. Like with most of the PA’s within the GPDO the application is subject to the 56 day rule putting pressure on the LPA to understand what is going on and reach before they run out of time. This is especially pertinent as the objections they can raise appear exceptionally limited.
Whilst the lack of joined up thinking at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities is profound with its present war on SA and proposed PD for Hotels to Resi this actual PD allowance provides for new campsites and caravan sites to be developed each year by landowners and developers to somewhat reinforce the tourism industry!
Once you have run one of these 60 day cycles and demonstrated that you know what you are doing without substantial harm it is only a short hop for a little more time and…permanency! Granted through a planning permission off the back of a prior approval allowance. Mansell vs Tonbridge and Malling all over again!
I, for one, am going to be considering this new allowance with interest and see how it is applied in practice.