Planning a caravan site
I have an unproductive field on my farm. Will I be able to use it as a caravan site?
Amy Henson, planning consultant with Berrys at Shrewsbury, says the likely answer is YES and whether or not you need planning permission will depend on the number of caravans and the facilities you offer.
You will not need planning permission for a site of up to five touring caravans on agricultural land and you can also run a temporary site to accommodate any number of caravans for up to 28 days without planning permission.
To operate a five-touring caravan site, you will need to be certified with the Caravan Club or the Camping and Caravan Club. These five-caravan certified sites are a good place to start and test the water as they are very popular with people looking for a quiet spot to stay without facilities as they enjoy the experience of really camping.
You can provide water and electrics in the field without needing planning permission and if you have an existing building near to the site you could install toilets and washing facilities in there but you will need to apply for Change of Use for the building.
If you decide you want to accommodate more than five caravans you will need to obtain planning permission not just for the caravans, but for the toilets, showers, foul drainage facilities, laundry and hard standing areas/pitches. To avoid problems with connecting to services you are best to choose a site not too far away from electricity, water and foul drainage.
Most councils will look favourably on applications for touring caravan sites as they bring tourism to the area and boost the local economy. In addition to planning permission, a site of five or more touring caravans will need a site licence to operate from the Council which you can get after planning permission has been granted.
If you are in contentious area you might be best to start off with the five-caravan site and use it as a foot in the door to get planning permission for a larger site as you will have evidence that you haven’t caused traffic problems or received any complaints about the caravans. Broadly speaking, the main issues likely to come up as part of the planning application process are visual impact and highways.
For more advice on caravan sites or any planning issue contact Amy Henson at the Shrewsbury office of Berrys on 01743 239025 email firstname.lastname@example.org