Planning permission for camping pods

If you own a camp site that houses camping pods or indeed if you’re looking to invest in camping pods, it is vital that you are fully aware of the legal and planning implications that arise when doing so, which is easier said than done. The rules and regulations regarding how they can be used, for how long and by whom can become a bit of a minefield so we want to make things a little easier for you. To that end this piece has been written as a bit of a heads up on the type of thing you may need to know regarding planning permission.

Camping pods are described as small units of prefabricated holiday accommodation placed on land, with simple support and no foundations. In planning law camping pods fall within the statutory definition of a caravan, which is described as any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being transported from one place to another on a vehicle or trailer. They are also classed as providing accommodation akin to that of a tent.

For planning permission to be granted, you must ensure that camping pods are only occupied for short term, holiday letting purposes and not as a person’s sole place of residence. The owner or operator must keep a detailed register of everyone who stays in the pod and that list must be made available to the relevant local planning authority.

Should anyone want to provide service connections that would require the excavation of trenches and the laying of pipes or cables with above ground posts, connection boxes and the like, planning permission will be required. However, simply hooking up a cable to an already existing connecting point is one way of getting around this. This issue can get a little complicated so to put it simply, the law dictates that no camping pods shall be connected to a mains electrical supply unless it is done with a single campsite electrical hook up cable, which in itself can only be installed after being approved by the local planning authority.

With regards to water and drainage, camping pods are not allowed to be connected to a water supply or provided with drainage, which means that all cleaning and toilet matters must be undertaken in the on-site facilities provided. All these measures are outlined in order to ensure that the purpose of camping pods is to provide simple holiday accommodation akin to that of a tent, which as stated earlier is what they have been classified as providing by law.

We hope this goes some way to helping those of you who are uncertain or confused as to the do’s and don’ts regarding planning permission. If nothing else we hope we have highlighted some problem areas and made things a little clearer for you. Of course should you be in any doubt you should contact your local planning authority for full confirmation.