Permitted development rights: encouragement for camping and filming

Analysis of the government’s amendments to permitted development rights for the temporary use of land for camping and film-making
Camping in Croyde.jpg

Between March and April 2023, the UK Government launched a consultation on potential changes to the permitted development rights. The intention of these changes is to further support temporary campsites, solar panels and film-making.

The consultation received over 1,000 responses and a response is expected in due course. There have been no amendments put forward at this time in relation to the part of the consultation that focused on solar panels, but amendments have been proposed in respect of temporary use of land for camping and use of buildings and land for film-making.


Previously, permitted development rights have allowed for the temporary use of land for 28 days in any calendar year including camping. A time frame which was extended to 56 days during the pandemic.

The consultation earlier this year proposed a new permitted development right for temporary campsites of up to 30 tents for 60 nights per calendar year. The CLA responded to the consultation and called for the proposed 60 day right to apply to all temporary uses of land, not just campsites. However, the amendments that have been introduced will see the removal of the existing temporary use of land for camping for up to 28 days, replaced with a new permitted development right that will enable the use of any land as a recreational campsite for 60 days per calendar year for no more than 50 pitches (including the provision of any moveable structure reasonably necessary for the purposes of the permitted use), effective from 26 July 2023. The use of land for the siting of tents for 28 days can continue (instead of 60 days) until the end of 25 July 2024.

As part of the consultation earlier this year, the government proposed 30 pitches rather than 50. The CLA did not support this approach and felt it was an arbitrary number with no clear justification. It is positive to see this has been increased to allow for a larger number of pitches, which will balance economic benefit and ensure viability whilst protecting the amenity of local residents.

Whilst the existing right for camping for 28 days will be removed from July 2024, it is important to note that land can still be used for the temporary siting of tents for up to 28 days if associated with a festival. In addition, motorhomes/campervans can also be sited for up to 28 days if associated with a festival.

The new amendment requires any site wishing to operate as a temporary recreational campsite to provide notification to the Local Planning Authority every year. This must be completed prior to commencement, outlining the dates intended for use and a site plan identifying the location for toilet and waste disposal facilities. Any temporary recreational campsites must have on-site provision for toilet and waste disposal facilities.

The new permitted development right has not been extended to areas that comprise scheduled monuments, safety hazard areas, military explosive areas, Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI’s) or listed buildings. Temporary recreational campsites in areas with these designations will require full planning permission.

In addition, the new permitted development right only applies to tents and motorhomes/campervans. It does not allow for the siting of standard touring caravans. Within the consultation earlier this year, the government were only seeking to enable the right to extend to tents but this has been extended to include motorhomes/campervans, enabling people with limited mobility who cannot stay overnight in a tent to stay at these sites. Touring caravans have not been included within the permitted development right to minimise potential impacts on land and highways.

It should be noted that sites for temporary recreational campsites that are located within flood zones two and three must apply to the Local Authority for prior approval before opening the temporary use every calendar year. An application fee will be payable and applications must be accompanied by a flood risk assessment which the Local Planning Authority will use to consult the Environment Agency. These applications will have a 56 day determination period and any decision can be made subject to planning conditions. Prior approval has not been a requirement of temporary land uses in the past but the introduction of it within the new permitted development right is to ensure that safeguards are in place to protect campsites in areas at risk from flooding.


In addition to the amendments to permitted development rights for camping, the consultation also sought three amendments to existing permitted development rights for filming. The CLA supported the three amendments put forward within the consultation. It is positive to see that the below amendments have been included which will allow for increased flexibility in the film and television industry whilst also supporting the surrounding local area in which these locations are placed:

- Land and buildings can now be used for temporary film-making purposes for 12 months in any 27 month period rather than nine months.

- The area of land or building used for temporary film-making purposes has increased from 1.5 hectares to three hectares.

- The height of temporary structures, works, plant or machinery has increased from 15m to 20m.

Overall, the outcome of the consultation on permitted development rights for temporary campsites, solar panels and film-making is so far positive but we await further official response from the government which should also cover proposed amendments to permitted development rights for solar panels.

These amendments and new permitted development rights come at an important time for the rural economy and will provide a welcome option for many rural businesses that are looking to diversify following the removal of BPS. In addition, the increase in opportunity under permitted development will free up resources at Local Planning Authority level through the submission of reduced planning applications for this type of development.

"A much-needed boost to the rural economy"

Read CLA President Mark Tufnell's reaction to the announcement