Camping, Glamping & Airbnb – Issues and Opportunities to Consider in Cornwall

Decoration Decoration

Issues and opportunities to consider for camping, glamping & Airbnb schemes in Cornwall

Planner Insight
South West
Author Iestyn John
Decoration Decoration

Ongoing pressures such as the cost of living crisis and disruption to overseas travel arrangements mean that the staycation sector continues to boom. Many holiday businesses in Cornwall will therefore be looking hard at how they can benefit from the opportunities which this brings as visitors return to the area post pandemic. As planning consultants working across Cornwall, we have experience with a range of different types of tourism schemes. If you have, or are planning on creating, a holiday business, you may find the following to be of interest to you.

Do you need planning permission at all?

You may not be required to seek planning permission for your camping, glamping or similar business. Under changes introduced in response to the pandemic, such activities were allowed to operate for up to 56 days per year. This change has now lapsed meaning that such temporary uses are only possible for a total of 28 years across the year. Some restrictions on these more limited provisions do apply and it is worth checking with us first to confirm that you will benefit from the current arrangements.

For businesses such as campsites and holiday parks, existing restrictions relating to their planning permissions often limit the length of their operating seasons. It is possible to vary relevant conditions on existing planning permissions and Councils should consider the benefits of making such changes within the context of wider planning objectives such as the desire to increase the quality of their visitor offer and the year round economic benefits which this generates. We are well versed in presenting such arguments and can assist our clients in seeking the changes they need.

Airbnb type activities are an increasingly important feature of the tourism landscape of Cornwall. Whether such uses need planning permission has been the subject of some debate and will ultimately depend on the details and the way in which individual properties are operated. However, it is clear that Cornwall Council, mindful of the potential implications, for example on the loss of standard housing, are likely to require a formal grant of planning permission for Airbnb type uses in most circumstances. Our current experience confirms that this is one form of holiday operation which the Council is likely to consider enforcement action on in cases where it is considered that there has been significant breaches in planning regulations. More positively and following the more positive approach being adopted in national policy, the Council have allowed holiday uses of this type to come forward and they appear to be taking a more positive approach towards such applications.

Our planning consultants have considerable experience dealing with tourism and leisure schemes of all sizes and types and we would be happy to help you with any queries you may have about how the planning system works for this sector. Read our article ‘South-West Staycations’ for more information and get in touch for further planning advice.

Related Articles