Class BC – temporary campsites for recreational purposes
Class BC will be introduced on 26th July 2023. This new permitted development right allows for temporary campsites on land for not more than 60 days in any calendar year. You cannot use Class BC for a festival – that now comes under Class B
You can have no more than 50 pitches and can have any moveable structures to facilitate the amp site. This must include toilet and waste disposal facilities.
However, you do need to inform the local authority in advance of a site plan, and which dates the site will be in use. If the land is in Flood Zone 2 or 3 then a 60 day prior approval application is required before you can set up your temporary campsite.
The full legislation can be found below for temporary campsites. Planning Geek can assist with the prior approval application if required. Please complete the form found here.
You cannot create a temporary campsite under Class BC on a Scheduled Monument, Safety hazard zone, military explosives storage area, a SSSI, a listed building, or for siting of a caravan which is not designed or adapted for human habitation.
Any caravan sites under Class BC must be a motorhome or campervan. Regular caravans are not permitted under Class BC. Tents of course are permitted under this permitted development right for temporary campsites.
Note that despite Class BC you might still be subject to licencing under Section 269 of the Public Health Act 1936 which limits camping to no more than 42 consecutive days or 60 days in a year without a licence unless operating under an exempt organisation. Any motorised vehicle allowed under this permitted development right is subject to requiring a licence unless exempt under Schedule 1 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. The first schedule can be found within the Class A of Part 5 (use of land as a caravan site).
Note that any permitted development right might be affected by its effect on a European conservation area. This is defined under regulations 75 to 78 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. This includes SPA, SAC, RAMSAR locations. These will need to be approved by the local planning authority or LPA even if granted normally under the GPDO.
As a result areas in Nutrient Neutrality catchment areas might be prevented from permitted development rights for overnight accomodation. This might affect camping in Class BC and/or camping for festivals under Class B of Part 4. You may find a fee per plot to the local authority.
Class BC – temporary recreational campsites
BC. Development consisting of—
(a) the use of any land as a recreational campsite for not more than 60 days in total in any calendar year; and
(b) the provision on such land of—
(i) not more than 50 pitches; and
(ii) any moveable structure reasonably necessary for the purposes of the permitted use.
Development not permitted
BC.1 Development is not permitted by Class BC—
(a) on a site of a scheduled monument;
(b) in a safety hazard area;
(c) in a military explosives storage area;
(d) on a site of special scientific interest;
(e) on a site of a listed building;
(f) for the siting of any caravan except a caravan which is used as a motor vehicle designed or adapted for human habitation.
BC.2 Development is permitted by Class BC subject to the following conditions—
(a) the developer must make on-site provision for users of the campsite of toilet and waste disposal facilities;
b) the developer must notify the local planning authority in writing before commencement of development in each calendar year, providing a copy of the site plan, which must include particulars of—
(i) toilet and waste disposal facilities; and
(ii) the dates on which the site will be in use;
(c) the local planning authority (if not the same body as the fire and rescue authority in an area) must as soon as practicable provide to the relevant fire and rescue authority the notice described in paragraph BC.2(b); and
(d) where the proposed development is on land within Flood Zone 2 or Flood Zone 3, the permitted development is subject to prior approval by the local planning authority before commencement of development in each calendar year.
Procedure for applications for prior approval under Class BC
BC.3.—(1) The following provisions apply where under Class BC a developer is required to apply to the local planning authority for prior approval.
(2) The application must be accompanied by—
(a) a site-specific flood risk assessment, including provision for warning and evacuation; and
(b) any fee required to be paid.
(3) On receipt of the application, the local planning authority must notify and consult the Environment Agency specifying the date by which they must respond (being not less than 21 days from the date the notice is given).
(4) The local planning authority must, when determining the application—
(a) take into account the response by the Environment Agency; and
(b) have regard to the National Planning Policy Framework issued by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in July 2021 so far as relevant to the subject matter of the prior approval, as if the application were a planning application.
(5) The development must not begin before either—
(a) the receipt by the developer from the local planning authority of a written notice giving their prior approval; or
(b) the expiry of 56 days following the date on which the application was received by the local planning authority without the authority notifying the applicant as to whether prior approval is given or refused.
(6) The local planning authority may grant prior approval unconditionally or subject to conditions reasonably related to the subject matter of the prior approval.
Page Updated: 23rd July 2023