Do you need planning permission for glamping?

The magic question! As we touched on in our guide to starting a glamping business, the much sought-after answer is YES! 

Because a glamp-site – whether a shepherd’s hut, yurt or pod – is a commercial venture* 

*The activity of providing goods and services involving financial, commercial and industrial aspects

BUT it should be a much lighter touch than for a permanent structure. Numerous planning departments have stated aim of assisting the development of tourism, and many are supportive of farm diversification, which can speed up the process. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks etc can be a little more tricky to gain planning permission for but it isn't impossible.

Does the planning permission depend on the type of glamping accommodation?
No - whether or not you need planning permission doesn’t depend on which type of glamping structure that you choose to install (from canvas to on-wheels), it depends on the land that you wish to put it on.

Farm diversification
Farm diversification is exactly what it says on the tin – helping farmers to branch out from traditional farming, which may not be producing enough income, by adding to or replacing it with new money-making activities (such as a glamping site). As stated above, many planning departments are supportive of this and it can be a great way to earn a relatively quick return on investment (if your accommodation is of a high standard and provides excellent facilities). 

Change of use of land
Even if the structure is temporary, if it is going to be in place for more than 28 days a year, you will need consent for the change of use of your land – whether that’s from farmland, woodland or other. And you’ll need it if you are converting an existing structure into holiday accommodation too. 

Permitted development
Permitted development gives the right to carry out certain types of work without needing planning permission. It’s advisable to speak with a planning expert regarding this as there are various different categories and restrictions, but the most useful aspect with regard to glamping accommodation is ‘Class E’, which allows for an outbuilding to be erected within a residential curtilage. Read more about PD in this article by Homebuilding & Renovating.

28 day ‘camping’ rule
Landowners are permitted to use their land, which does not fall within the curtilage of a dwelling, without the need for planning permission for up to 28 days in total in any calendar year (there are, of course, numerous restrictions etc in place within this rule). This can seem very desirable to those looking to set up a glamp-site, but in reality it’s only suitable for the very basic of glamp-sites, as not only do the more luxury types glamping accommodation require services and facilities (electric and water etc), they also let all year-round (thus providing you with a larger income overall), making it much more worthwhile to go for planning permission.

Call in the experts
It can all seem very overwhelming but don’t fret – we work closely with planning experts and can hold your hand every step of the way from ‘Field to Finish’ with our consultancy service.

Glamping planning permission

Sign up for smoke signals