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Big opportunity through rise of glamping and camping - but planning is essential

Big opportunity through rise of glamping and camping - but planning is essential

The British camping and caravanning industry is predicted to be worth £3.2 billion by 2020 and the concept of a ‘staycation’ is set to remain for the foreseeable, with families looking for alternative ways to holiday on a budget in the great British countryside.

From glamping pods and shepherd huts, to campsites, the opportunities available for start-up businesses within the tourism industry are endless.

If you’re a farmer looking to diversify, or a landowner searching for a realistic business idea to generate new revenue streams, it couldn’t be a better time to start a rural accommodation business. However, before calling in the builders and ordering the shells of handcrafted shepherd huts, there are various factors you need to consider.

It’s highly likely that you’ll be changing the use of your land, so in most cases planning permission will be needed. Specific licences may also be required depending on the type of accommodation business you’d like to start.

Factors such as siting, access routes, visual impact to the surrounding landscape and water management can affect the success of a planning application and are vital considerations to be aware of at the beginning, but if you can demonstrate that your glamping or camping business will generate benefits (economic, environmental, social) you should be supported by planning approval.

We at Moule & Co regularly put together and submit planning applications on behalf of farm diversification and rural business projects that provide tourism accommodation.

In recent years, Much Wenlock has seen the growth of two accommodation businesses, Lower Hill Farm and Withies Campsite. With our guidance, Lower Hill Farm camping and caravan site obtained planning permission to extend their existing glamping facilities to include two safari tents, enhancing their accommodation offerings to their visitors.

We also worked with Withies Campsite to secure planning permission for the change of use of land to a campsite for five touring caravans, 16 tent pitches and four shepherd huts as well as a new facilities building.

Whether you’re in the early stages of developing your accommodation business or you’re ready to get started, there’s a wide range of expert support available.

To get an initial insight into the glamping industry, sign up for a free ticket to The Glamping Show that’s taking place at Stoneleigh Park from September 20 to 22. You can also take advantage of the wide range of free business guides and case studies written by accommodation enterprises within the tourism industry by visiting The Business Barn. If you’d like to discuss changes of land use and planning applications, call our team on 01299 250184.

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