Disclosure: Your editor is involved in the marketing of the venture featured in this blog post.
The proposed “Glamping” site, run by Pop UP Somerset in a field near South Cheriton, has resulted in a stream of protests and complaints to the Parish Council, and, no doubt, the local District Council and our MP. The Parish Council has issued the following statement in advance of next Thursday’s Parish Council Meeting (the first public meeting since lockdown). The Blog is pleased to publish it here:
“Horsington Parish Council is aware of a proposal to create a ‘pop-up’ campsite at Oak Tree Field, Cheriton Manor Farm, South Cheriton, Templecombe, Somerset BA8 0BJ. The Parish Council is also aware of the concerns of a number of parishioners in relation to the proposed campsite, particularly in relation to the additional traffic that the site may generate.
The Parish Council has elected to issue this statement to help clarify the facts regarding the proposed campsite and related issues that have been raised.
Is the proposed campsite legal and is planning consent required?
The proposed campsite makes use of a provision within the The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 which permits the use of land for any purpose for 28 days in any calendar year. In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, on 25June 2020, the UK Government temporarily amended the Order to extend the permitted usage to 56 days.
The proposed campsite falls within this permitted development and does not require any further form of planning consent.
What authority does the Parish Council have to prevent the proposal going ahead?
The Parish Council has no planning authority under any circumstances; planning decisions are taken by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) – in the case of our parish this is South Somerset District Council. In instances where planning consent is required, the LPA will seek the views of the Parish Council; the feedback we provide will be taken into account but is just one of a range of factors considered when making a planning decision. The final decision may therefore not reflect or include any recommendations made by the Parish Council.
In the case of the proposed campsite, there is no planning decision to be made since the consent is already provided under permitted development. The Parish Council therefore have no ability to influence any decision since there is none to be made.
What happens if the proposed campsite is occupied for more than 56 days?
In the event that the proposed campsite is occupied for longer than the permitted period, or if there is any other infringement of the provisions of permitted development, the LPA enforcement team have the power to investigate and may require an application for further planning consent, a certificate of lawful development or other site licensing to be made.
The UK Government guidance to LPAs however is to prioritise economic recovery and that they should not seek to undertake planning enforcement action which would unnecessarily restrict the ability of caravan and holiday parks to extend their open season. It is unlikely, therefore, that any action would be taken swiftly.
Pop Up Somerset campsites commented:
“We are grateful to the Parish Council for putting this issue into perspective. The proposed glamping site is a good distance from the village, is perfectly legal, and the owners are committed to responsible and professional management. We have been managing similar ventures for many years at venues like Glastonbury, and we assure people that this modest enterprise is on an entirely different and smaller scale. We are aware of the traffic concerns and have no reason to believe this will be a problem. We have advised our guests to approach the site by a route which avoids South Cheriton and Behind Hayes Lane.
We hope the Glamping venture will create local employment and help hospitality and retail businesses in the area, something which we hope will be welcomed by most people who live in this community.”
It is worth pointing out that Pop Up Somerset took the initiative to inform the Parish Council of its plans in detail on March 18th. -Ed