Glamping is an increasingly popular form of rural tourism and presents an attractive opportunity for landowners and farmers looking to diversify. Cheffins Planning team has recently successfully secured planning permission for glamping sites in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

Planning permission is required for glamping sites even if the structures are temporary and if the activity takes place for more than 28 days a year. Any permanent structures, such as a toilet/shower block or a converted building will also require planning permission.

National and local planning policies are generally supportive of farm diversification and economic development in the countryside. The National Planning Policy Framework encourages rural diversification as well as supporting sustainable rural tourism and the expansion of tourist and visitor facilities. Councils will have a Local Plan outlining their policy on rural diversification, development and tourism.

In preparing the planning application, you may need to consider safety, flood risk, the extent of the pitches and the visual and landscape impacts. Depending on the location of the site, other factors include location – is the site within a conservation area or  the Green Belt? The decision as to whether to grant planning permission will be balanced against these considerations and the wider benefits of the scheme.

The key factors that applications should address are:

Impact on the landscape: what impact will the development have on the landscape in terms of its overall character and appearance? The impact is assessed from public vantage points such as roads and public rights of way. It may be worth thinking about whether to include landscaping proposals within the application.  In some cases a Landscape Impact Assessment will need to be undertaken.

Amenity: what are the potential impacts of noise on neighbours? It is worth demonstrating that there will be no significant noise impact on neighbours at unsociable hours.

Highways: will there be a significant increase in traffic and vehicle movement; access and parking will also be taken into account. Glamping sites tend to be more exclusive than run of the mill camping sites and, as a general rule of thumb, are less likely to generate significant increases in traffic.

Cheffins Planning team recently secured planning permission for a change of use for an established wedding venue. Planning permission was granted for the change of use of land and the siting of ten bell tents and associated works, including a car park, shower and toilet block.

Another good example of where planning permission was granted for a glamping site was where a client wished to re-use and convert railway carriages into glamping pods.

Both of the above examples were on working farms and are good examples of agricultural businesses successfully diversifying into the growing leisure sector.

For further information please contact the Planning Team on 01223 271985.