Plan to create campsite on agricultural land near Hebden Bridge

Proposals to develop a camp site on land above a Calder Valley town have been submitted to planners.

A developer named only on documents as Mrs Brownbill has applied to Calderdale Council seeking planning permission to develop the camp site at land to the south east of Willow Cottage, Burnt Edge Lane, Hebden Bridge.

The application seeks permission for the proposed camp site with a caravan for a manager (retrospective), retrospective permission for two tree huts, and a toilet and wash block plus other facilities including a septic tank.

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Supporting statements by architectural designers Stonehouse and Co submitted with the application says the land is open land formerly agricultural.

Hardcastle Crags - including Gibson Mill - is one of the popular tourist attractions of Hebden BridgeHardcastle Crags - including Gibson Mill - is one of the popular tourist attractions of Hebden Bridge
Hardcastle Crags - including Gibson Mill - is one of the popular tourist attractions of Hebden Bridge

The supporting statement says: “The proposal is to turn this field into a camp site, this will include fixed seven semi-permanent tents, an extension of the gravel track into the site, a caravan for the manager (already on site), two tree huts (already on site), a new toilet block and washing facilities, recycling facilities.”

Stonehouse and Co say the planning law around camp sites is complex, with recent changes and updates – at the present their understanding is that from July 2023, camp sites can take up to 50 tents, motor homes or camper vans for 60 days per calendar year under “Class BC” permitted development right.

As part of this there is a requirement to provide toilets and waste-disposal facilities – this can include “any moveable” structure reasonably necessary for the camp site use’ for the 60 days.

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Landowners must give their local authority advance written notice, setting out opening dates and a site plan showing toilet and waste-disposal facilities. But the application is for a permanent site, they go on to say.

“However as the applicant believes that this is a long term business, the costs of setting up a temporary camp-sites, then removing facilities may make this unviable in this area. As such planning is applied for this as a permanent camp site.

“In reality the camp site may not run all year, as summer and holidays are likely to be more popular, but if planning is secured for this it allows for the owner to make a more robust business plan,” the architects argue.

Tourism is a growth area for Calderdale, in particular the area around Hebden Bridge including the town itself, Hardcastle Crags and Stoodley Pike as well as walkers using parts of the Calderdale Way, says the application.

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The supporting statement says: “A camp site is a sustainable way to attract visitors, as it allows visitors to come to the area and fund the local economy but ultimately has a low impact on the land, as the majority of the structures are temporary tents etc which can be removed.”

The application – number 23/00949/FUL – can be viewed online on the council’s planning portal.