There have been predictions of a boom in domestic tourism as lockdown measures are eased with people either unable or unwilling to take holidays abroad. Alterations to permitted development rights means that CLA members in England could be very well-placed to take advantage of the renewed interest in UK holiday destinations.
Class BA in the Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments)(England)(Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 was created last year, introducing additional days where people are able to utilise land for temporary use for any purpose for 28 days (of which no more than 14 can be for holding a market or for the racing cars and motorcycles or practising for such races) without needing to apply for a change of use.
This is in addition to the 28 or 14 days already granted under Class B of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015 (as amended) (GPDO), which means that the allowance has increased to 56 days and 28 days respectively. The government has also confirmed that Class BA has been extended until 31 December 2021.
There are some limitations to Class BA. The rights do not apply where the land in question is a building, where the land falls within the curtilage of a listed building, where the use of land is for the display of an advertisement, where the land is within a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the intended use is motor sports, clay shooting or war games and where the land is intended for a caravan site.
It is also worth remembering that a day is counted as any day when items related to the temporary use are in situ on the land, even if that is only a waste bin.
The obvious attraction will be to operate as a campsite to meet the increased demand for tourism accommodation. However, consideration will need to be given to any Covid-secure measures that will still be in place by the summer as well as how a temporary diversification will fit with other agricultural activity during an extremely busy period in the farming calendar. It will also be vital to make sure that you have a clear written cancellation policy should there be any alterations to Covid restrictions which mean that your guests are unable to travel.
If you are going to rely on these permitted development rights and use your land for non-agricultural use for more than 28 days, you will need to remove the relevant parcels from your Basic Payment Scheme claim.
Furthermore, Class DA in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020 allows those members who already operate a restaurant, café or pub to use them for the provision of takeaway food from 24 March 2020 until 23 March 2022. This amendment is effected by notifying your local planning authority.
If you are considering making use of any of these temporary rights, it is recommended that you get in touch with your regional office who can offer in-depth guidance on how best to proceed with your temporary diversification project.
CLA guidance notes
Check out CLA guidance notes 19-20 and 20-20 for more detailed information.