“Legal rights to provide temporary holiday accommodation, car parking, catering or retail sites should be reviewed by the Welsh Government,” says Emily Church, Policy and Engagement Manager, CLA Cymru. This follows last week’s announcement by the Westminster Government to extend permitted development rights (PDRs) in England for temporary recreational campsites, from 28 to 60 days (for up to 50 pitches).
“As the holiday season is upon us, we must do everything possible to support our Welsh rural tourism industry,” Emily adds. “The Westminster Government acted following intense lobbying on the subject from the CLA, in support of farmers and landowners in England.”
“The move can have a direct benefit for all parties as vitally-needed capacity for car parking, accommodation, catering and retail outlets can be provided when it’s urgently needed. We have seen how severe issues have affected tourists, landowners and local communities alike in Welsh holiday hot-spot areas.”
“Our Welsh tourism sector must be competitive with its counterpart in England in offering economical options for visitors to Wales in the prolonged cost-of-living crisis. Equally, in times when high fuel, feed and fertiliser costs weigh heavy on Welsh farmers’ incomes, it’s important to ensure Welsh farmers and landowners have options to create new, temporary income-streams.” Emily adds, “Confronted by a raft of new regulatory measures: a statutory licence to manage holiday accommodation, a visitor levy and a challenging threshold for Welsh tourist accommodation providers to qualify for Business Rates, the Welsh Government must seek-out and act to provide quick-wins to support the sector and provide a much-needed boost for the Welsh rural economy.”
Last year the Welsh Government decided not to extend a PDRs extension which had been an important and successful part of the post-Covid 19 pandemic recovery strategy. Emily adds, “We have been advised that the Government doesn’t intend to revisit the subject at this time.”
“Government must explore how permitted development rights can be enhanced, allowing for different types of business activity, and ensuring appropriate infrastructure can be installed to cater for these businesses to a sufficient standard.”