Rules on temporary campsites and solar canopies – have your say

An image of young boy running across a field with a tent in the background

Photograph: iStock

The government is consulting on new PD (Permitted Development) rights in England, including changes on rules for temporary campsites, existing rights for solar power and a new right for solar canopies. Be part of the NFU's response and give your evidence.

Farmers and landowners could benefit from a doubling in the length of time they can host popup campsites without having to apply for planning permission, under a government consultation that aims to boost rural tourism.

The move, capped at 30 tents and requiring some facilities, would echo a temporary dispensation introduced in 2020 and 2021 to help countryside businesses recover from the pandemic. 

The consultation will also look into how limitations could be amended to help support the use of solar power. 

This includes a proposed new PD right for solar canopies which would allow for canopies up to 4 metres high in ground-level off-street vehicle parking in non-domestic settings. 

24 April 2023

Consultation closed

This consultation closed on 25 April 2023.

28 March 2023

NFU call for evidence

The NFU will be submitting a response on behalf of members, focusing on both the changes to temporary campsite rules and the new and existing PD rights for solar canopies and equipment.

NFU Chief Renewable Energy and Climate Change adviser, Jonathan Scurlock highlighted that whilst the proposals for PD rights for rooftop solar are already generous, “the new PD right for non-domestic solar canopies could allow members to make good use of yard space, supporting future needs for electric vehicle charging”. 

The NFU has sounded a note of caution in response to the proposals on temporary campsites.

Chief Land Management Adviser Sam Durham said: “While measures to help the rural economy capitalise on its potential are to be applauded, the proposals need to be considered in the wider context of competition for agricultural land use.

“There is also a potential clash with eligibility for future agri-environment schemes and BPS, and a possible risk of losing agricultural land status through material land use change, which is difficult to reverse once lost.

“All of that would need to be factored into decisions, should these proposals be adopted.”

NFU members can read the NFU's draft response in full: NFU draft response | Permitted Development Rights for campsites and renewable energy

You can also respond directly to the consultation via the government's web page at: GOV.UK | Permitted Development Rights

28 February 2023

Government launches consultation

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities launched a consultation proposing changes to existing PD rights for temporary campsites and solar equipment as well as a new PD right for the development of solar canopies.

Read the consultation in full at: GOV.UK | Permitted Development Rights

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  • 28 February – The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities launches its consultation into PD rights for temporary campsites, renewable energy and film-making.
  • 28 March – The NFU launches a call for evidence from members who could be affected to form part of its response to the consultation