Pop up campsites brought Yorkshire a £1 million tourism boost last summer

Pop-up campsites generated almost £1m for Yorkshire’s rural economy last year, according to new research.

Pitchup, which runs an online booking website for campsites, Yorkshire proved to be one of the most popular destinations for campers last summer and around £900,000 was spent at pop-up sites in the county and surrounding business.

Analysis also shows temporary campsites generated £25m in total revenue for rural areas across the country, the company added.

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It comes as Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, is calling on the Government to relax planning rules so landowners can set up more pop-up campsites in places like North Yorkshire this summer without planning permission.

Robert Goodwill, the MP for Scarborough and Whitby, is calling on the Government 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 housing secretary Michael Gove has been asked to extend that to 56.

His predecessor Robert Jenrick agreed to the move 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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“The 56 day ruling was instrumental in that. It enabled landowners and farmers to set up campsites for long enough to make a real impact on their own businesses and those around them.

“It kept a lot of businesses afloat during the pandemic, especially those in the tourism and hospitality sectors, that otherwise might have folded.

“To take it away now could undo all that good work. The pandemic hasn’t gone away, and with the terrible state of unrest in the world, which impacts hugely on farmers in regard to

fuel and fertilisers costs, not allowing them to find alternative forms of income could be devastating.”

Mr Gove did not commit to relaxing the planning rules when he spoke in the House of Commons earlier this month, 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.