Government urged to relax pop up campsite rules to boost North Yorkshire tourism

The Government is being urged to relax planning rules so landowners can set up more pop-up campsites in places like North Yorkshire this summer without planning permission.

Under the current rules, commercial campsites can be set up without permission for 28 days of the year.

But Robert Jenrick increased that to 56 days when he was Housing Secretary in 2020 and 2021 as restrictions imposed on overseas travel during the pandemic led to a surge in demand for camping holidays in the UK.

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Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, is now calling on the new Housing Secretary, Michael Gove, to do the same.

Under the current rules, commercial campsites can be set up without permission for 28 days of the year.

The Tory MP said it will allow North Yorkshire to provide more accommodation for holiday makers throughout the summer and boost businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

He also said the move would provide some farmers and landowners with another source of income and allow existing campsites to expand.

“It worked really well last year and we had no complaints,” he said.

“Twenty-eight days isn't really enough but 56 days would cover the summer holiday and the peak season for camping and caravanning.

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“And of course the more people that come to North Yorkshire, the more people will be spending money in the shops, pubs, restaurants and everywhere else.”

He added: “If we don't do this, people will start camping on other land without permission and we already have a problem with camper vans parking in lay bys and emptying chemical toilets where they shouldn't.”

Mr Goodwill said the Government needs to make a decision “fairly soon” as people need to decide whether to hire out camping facilities or use their land for another purpose ahead of the summer.

Mr Gove did not commit to relaxing the planning rules when he spoke in the House of Commons earlier this week, but said the move would be “entirely welcome”.

"Making sure, through the exercise of permitted development rights, that we can provide people with the opportunity to holiday in places as beautiful as North Yorkshire is an entirely welcome development," he said.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities did not take the oppurtunity to comment.