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What can I do to add value to my countryside site?

Owen Pike / 5 Nov, 19

The south west is home to some of the country’s most stunning natural landscapes; from its coastline to its rolling hills, it has something for everyone. We are often approachedby land owners who have underutilised or surplus land with one question, what can I do with it? Whilst each case is different one viable option, especially in the south west, can sometimes be a holiday caravan site, with planning permission not required in all circumstances.

Caravanning in Great Britain has long been a lucrative industry and in the wake of Brexit it is set to see a boost with almost half a million Britons choosing to holiday at home over Europe. The overnight domestic tourism market saw almost 120 million trips within GB in 2017 alone, with the camping and caravan industry amounting to 12.1 % of these.

Caravan parks range in size from large holiday parks with facilities such as pools and leisure clubs right down to a few units with electric hook up and water points and it is useful to know how to go about establishing a legal site. One entry level step into the market that is low risk is setting up a Certificated Location with The Caravan and Motorhome Club which although limits you to no more than 5 caravans at one time importantly requires no planning permission from the local authority.

This small-scale foray into the market can be located on land ranging from agricultural fields to spare land to the rear of an existing building, such as a pub, and will allow you to assess if there is a demand and whether you enjoy the industry itself. To realise the full economic potential of the site, expanding the site in the future is always an option and can see your site turn from a small-scale side project into a viable and thriving business.

Intensifying a site will require obtaining planning permission for the siting of the caravans and possibly upgrading facilities to include hard standing pitches and a toilet shower block. Local Planning Authorities generally resist countryside locations for commercial developments and housing but recognise that holiday caravan sites rely on these locations as part of their appeal and know the benefits that sites can have for the local economy and may therefore look favourably upon these applications as a result.

At Sanderson Weatherall we have a wealth of experiencing in the sector and offer a range of services from assessing development potential and development options at your site through to submitting a planning application on your behalf. If necessary, we can represent landowners at appeal. If you have land that you believe could be utilised for a holiday caravan site or any other planning enquiries get in touch with our planners in the Bristol office on 01173381813 or email at and our team will be happy to talk through your options.

Topics: Blog

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