Is Planning Permission Required for Camping Pods and Yurts?

One issue which raises its head from time to time, concerns the ever developing world and diversification of outdoor activities such as ‘yurts’ and other camping and leisure activities on land. 

This can be particularly relevant to some of our farming and other clients in rural areas. 

A recent planning appeal regarding camping pods

A recent planning appeal has considered the planning issues, which may apply to such activities, and a planning inspector’s decision has held that ‘camping pods’ were to be treated as buildings for the purposes of planning law and regulations. 

In this case, a local planning authority took enforcement action against the erection of (four) camping pods which the appellant argued were not permanent but should be treated as caravans. 

Unfortunately for the appellant and in the circumstances of this particular case, the independent planning inspector when considering the matter on appeal concluded that the pods did not fall within the definition of ‘caravan’ which is set out in the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960.

Why was the planning appeal dismissed?

His decision was based upon a number of factors, such as the degree of permanence of the pods and physical attachments to the ground.

He ruled that the pods would constitute ‘operational development’ under section 55 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990. 

Accordingly, the planning appeal was dismissed and the enforcement notice upheld which means that the appellant must now remove the pods within the terms specified in the council’s enforcement notice, or face prosecution.

We have previously published advice and articles about similar issues and would welcome any queries from clients who would like further clarification of the law and the relevant factors, which might apply to such initiatives.

Lanyon Bowdler has a team of specialist and experienced planning lawyers who are able to offer advice on such matters.