Tourism Accommodation


Whilst we all know glamping in Britain is booming, the traditional tourist market maintains its importance in the rural sector. B&B’s, barn conversion to holiday accommodation and log cabins are all attractive propositions, along with static caravan and camping sites. It is all about making the best use of your site.

In pursuit of setting up your new business, the planning process can seem like a daunting hurdle to overcome. Whilst in most cases we would anticipate support of tourism proposals, the devil is in the detail and hugely dependent on the site. There are a few what we call ‘dealbreakers’; things which can unfortunately mean planning is unachievable. As well as the dealbreakers, there are several other factors which have to be carefully considered and explained to the Council to make sure it complies, and permission can be secured. Our favourite phrase is ‘get your ducks in a row’, with preparation being key to a successful application.

Is planning permission required?

Unless you can meet the site exemption certificate (see below) then in all other cases planning permission will be required, even if the structures are mobile and are capable of being moved, and even if they are only up for a few months of the year.

Site exemption certificate – not all caravan and camping sites are required to have a licence and planning permission from the local Council. Some sites are exempted because they are 'certified sites' who hold exemption certificates. These are issued by Natural England and DEFRA.

For a caravan site to be exempted, it must be a member of an organisation that has been granted an exemption certificate. More information can be provided by a specialist caravan site solicitor.

View further information resources here

What is the process for this type of application?

Read about the planning process here

What are the main issues that need to be overcome?

Principle of the proposal – tourism accommodation

We have to firstly make sure the Local Planning Authority are happy with the proposal in principle, asking the question - does the development meet local and national planning policy? As well as the principle, there are lots of other factors that come into planning for tourism accommodation:

  • Likelihood of flooding
  • Highways safety and impact
  • Impact on public rights of way
  • Impact on designations such as Green Belt AONBs
  • Noise
  • Neighbour amenity
  • In barn conversions - ecology

Other factors have to be thought very carefully about:

  • Design
  • Materials
  • Scale
  • Use
  • Siting
  • Drainage

How The Rural Planning Co can help

We LOVE getting involved with exciting new equestrian projects like this, and helping you along the journey to bringing your personal aspirations or business plans and dreams to fruition. With many years specialising in this sector, we believe that engaging an experienced and proactive consultant can reduce the stress, time and cost of the process and above all gives you the best chance of success.

Read our pricing here

Read about the planning process here

Read ‘how we work’ here

Read about us here

Find case studies here

Here are some links to more business help on The Business Barn website.

Our other business Moule & Co specialises in rural professional consultancy and can help with grants and business plans.