Setting up a caravan site on the farm

Published August 22nd, 2017

Farmers considering setting up a caravan site on their farm should weigh up all the options to ensure they don’t fall foul of planning regulations.

A caravan site can make goof use of an unproductive field on the farm and Amy Henson, a planning consultant with Berrys at Shrewsbury, says whether or not you need planning permission will depend on the number of caravans and the facilities you offer.

“You will not need planning permission for a site of up to five touring caravans on agricultural land and you can also run a temporary site to accommodate any number of caravans for up to 28 days without planning permission,” Amy said.

“To operate a five-touring caravan site, you will need to be certified with the Caravan Club or the Camping and Caravan Club. These five-caravan certified sites are a good place to start and test the water as they are very popular with people looking for a quiet spot to stay without facilities as they enjoy the experience of really camping.

“You can provide water and electrics in the field without needing planning permission and if you have an existing building near to the site you could install toilets and washing facilities in there but you will need to apply for Change of Use for the building.

“If you decide you want to accommodate more than five caravans you will need to obtain planning permission not just for the caravans, but for the toilets, showers, foul drainage facilities, laundry and hard standing areas/pitches.   To avoid problems with connecting to services you are best to choose a site not too far away from electricity, water and foul drainage.”

Most councils will look favourably on applications for touring caravan sites as they bring tourism to the area and boost the local economy.  In addition to planning permission, a site of five or more touring caravans will need a site licence to operate from the Council which you can get after planning permission has been granted.

“If you are in contentious area you might be best to start off with the five-caravan site and use it as a foot in the door to get planning permission for a larger site as you will have evidence that you haven’t caused traffic problems or received any complaints about the caravans,” She advised.

“Broadly speaking, the main issues likely to come up as part of the planning application process are visual impact and highways.”

For more advice on caravan sites or any planning issue contact Amy Henson at the Shrewsbury office of Berrys on 01743 239025 email

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More about Amy Henson

Planning Consultant
Tel: 01743 239025
Mobile: 07799 902949

Amy became a member of the Berrys planning team in November 2013, joining from a senior planning position at Shropshire Council. She completed her 4 year undergraduate Masters of Planning at the University of Liverpool and she is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Amy has worked for a number of local planning authorities across the midlands as both a senior and principal planning officer including but not limited to Birmingham City Council and Northampton.  She has over 10 years public sector planning experience and 3 years of private sector planning experience.  Amy specialises both urban and rural planning, particularly in managing complex, major residential and commercial planning applications. She has a sound working knowledge of all aspects of planning including enforcement, planning policy and development management and regularly holds planning seminar updates for the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce for property and commercial members.