Dudley Peverill

UK Government extends Camping Permitted Development Rights for Farmers and Rural Landowners

Off the back of an extensive consultation process, the UK government has extended the permitted development rights (PDRs) for camping and caravanning, increasing the allowed duration from 28 days to 60 days. During the previous (temporary and due to Covid-19 lockdowns) extension of the 28-day PDRs to 56 days, Pitchup.com estimated an income of approximately £25 million to the rural economy in 2021. This led to lobbying to make this extension permanent.

In England, this comes into effect from the 26th of July 2023. This decision to create new “Class BC” Permitted Development Rights affords greater opportunities for farmers and rural landowners, opening up new, viable avenues for income generation, diversification, and rural tourism. In this article, we will explore legislative requirements surrounding the extended PDRs, explore the advantages they offer to farmers and landowners, and address the limitations that accompany these permissions. The Explanatory Memorandum, prepared by the Department for Levelling Up, can be found here.

It should be noted that in Wales, the consultation is still ongoing to extend the PDRs to 56 days. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, there is no consultation. For the time being, the 28-day rule still applies across the three countries and landowners are advised to contact their local authority should they wish to extend the siting of tents etc. for a longer duration.

Firstly, it’s important to understand what Permitted Development Rights are. Permitted Development Rights allow specific types of development on land without the need for full planning permission. The recent extension of PDRs relating to camping and caravanning empowers landowners, particularly those in rural areas, to host campers and campervanners for an extended period, up to 60 days. It is notable that the updated PDR’s applies only to motorhomes, campervans and tents. Touring caravans do not benefit from these PDR’s, as the government were concerned this may cause adverse impacts on land and highways.

Limitations and Conditions

  • The PDR is limited to a maximum of 50 pitches (until the 25th of July 2024, it is still permissible to site an unlimited number of tents under the former Class B 28-day PDRs, of which there is no obligation to notify the local authority).
  • Landowners must ensure they have appropriate facilities to cater to the needs of campers, such as toilets, waste disposal points, and sufficient water supply. Moveable facilities (on wheels, skids or liftable) will benefit from PDRs. However, engineering works such as installation of drains, utilities and access will still require planning permission.
  • Landowners must notify their local authority of any plans to use these PDRs. Information such as dates, site plans and facilities (as above) should be included.
  •  If the site is in operation for more than 42 consecutive days, or in excess of 60 days in total within a year on a singular planning unit, planning permission and a camping licence will be required.
  • There are reasons where PDRs will not be available, for example, where the site lies in the curtilage of a listed building, SSSI, scheduled monument, in a military explosive storage area or designated safety hazard area. The full legislation and conditions of Class BC can be found here. If you are unsure, we recommend consulting your local authority.
  • Local authorities have the authority to impose additional restrictions or conditions tailored to the specific needs and characteristics of their areas..
  • Landowners should take necessary precautions to minimize environmental impacts, such as implementing proper waste management practices and managing visitor numbers and access to land

Advantages of Class BC PDRs

The arrival of Class BC PDRs is a welcomed step towards policy and legislation allowing easier farm diversification, which not only benefits thousands of rural and farming businesses, but the rural economy itself.

In our opinion, the main advantage of the Class BC PDR (and previous Class B PDRs) is that it allows farmers and landowners to test the market and enterprise, on a temporary and somewhat low-risk and capex basis. It also allows for a more seasonal approach to these tourism-based enterprises, allowing greater control of public access around times of the year, perhaps when farms have the capacity and resources to host them or are more financially beneficial (summer demand).

Whilst planning permission and a camping licence are required when operating a site for more than 42 consecutive days, landowners are permitted to spread the 60 days out as per their preference to avoid a consecutive 42-day period, as licencing is not required for non-consecutive site use days. This not only negates the need to acquire a licence, but it also allows landowners to select more preferable operational time frames (for practicality and profitability).

Where a landowners estate is comprised of multiple planning units, there is scope to benefit from another 60 day period. Typically, to be considered as a separate planning unit, blocks of land are clearly separate or have different uses.


The UK government’s decision to extend permitted development rights for camping and caravanning to 60 days holds immense potential for farmers and rural landowners. By allowing longer stays, this policy change facilitates income diversification, promotes rural tourism, and encourages community engagement whilst aiding the closure of the farmer-consumer gap. However, landowners must carefully consider the legislative requirements, including infrastructure needs, core business and environmental impacts, while adhering to any local regulations or designations. 


At Dudley Peverill, we work hard to deliver farm diversification on behalf of our clients, often encountering planning matters arising from the above. Contact us today to discuss diversifying your farm or rural business, or how to utilise permitted development on your farm or estate today.

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