Planning rules changes will ensure Wales benefits from the Great British staycation

The Welsh Government’s announcement increasing Permitted Development Rights from 28 to 56 days is good news for rural communities

“More camp-sites, activity-based businesses, refreshments and retail outlets will play a significant role in regenerating Wales’ economy as 2021 becomes the year of the Great British staycation. It’s made possible because more time is to be allowed for land to be used for temporary businesses.”

Nigel Hollett, Director CLA Cymru which represents about 3,000 farmers land managers and rural businesses in Wales says, “Doubling the permitted trading period in 2021 makes business more viable, enabling businesspeople to manage risk, take-on staff and re-invest. This will revitalise the economy, creating jobs and attracting more visitors to spend in Wales. We’ve long pressed for this change for this year as an important step towards responsible regeneration to lockdown-wracked rural communities.”

“Last week’s announcement by the Welsh Government extends the current 28 days to 56 in which businesses can set-up a temporary premises and trade under the Permitted Development Rights (PDR) regulations this year. Critically it includes moveable structures – which means land can be used for temporary camping sites for 56 days. It also means that working equipment can be used, and shelters can be erected for employees or customers.”

“Many farmers and land owners will take advantage of this much needed opportunity. Many depend on ancillary revenue-streams to support the core business.”

“Building on the momentum behind this announcement, we are running a free online event focused on success in the tourism sector, featuring business experts on 15 April. Anyone can register to attend via the CLA Cymru web-pages or by calling us on 01547 317085.”

Nigel adds, “We hope the whole community will benefit: local residents, local day-trippers, producers of seasonal produce and tourists. Significantly, we hope it will be soon when many visitors from England will be able to come into Wales – these changes will make it possible to increase car parking capacity, camping opportunities, provide refreshments and many other goods and services. Equally, temporary markets and fairs can operate for longer than at present. All these will play a vital part in revitalising rural communities after the pandemic.”

Nigel says, “What can be achieved by improving the Welsh planning system is one of CLA Cymru’s key messages in the Senedd election campaign next month. The planning system should be improved to aid the recovery of the rural economy after the pandemic, and create a rural powerhouse in our countryside. Huge potential for growth exists as farmers, landowners and businesspeople are looking to diversify, grow or create additional businesses.”