Planning for Glamping Sites

Glamping: The Essential Planning Considerations

Setting up a Glamping site can be a fantastic way to utilise land that isn’t performing and to diversify your farm business as a complementary income.

This article outlines some of the key considerations for those thinking of setting up.

1: Registration and Licenses

• Register your site with the council, apply for a license and pay your fee
• If you have set up without planning permission, you can apply for a certificate of lawfulness after four years of operation
• Apply for change of use if you are re-purposing an agricultural building, e.g. to open an information centre or farm shop

2: Permanence and Accommodation Type

It may take some innovative design and planning to attain a sense of luxury on a completely temporary site basis but permanent structures are harder to gain planning permission for.

When considering accommodation bear in mind that some accommodation types:

• Require foundations or permanent service points
• Are harder to take down, move or store when not in use

3: Common Planning Restrictions

Check out Local Planning Policy and particularly look out for the following:

• Proximity to existing settlements
• National Parks or a Sites of Scientific Interest
• Conservation Areas
• Nature reserves
• Historic Monuments or Listed Buildings
• Transport infrastructure and routes
• Green Belt
• Local conditions: eg; protected species, flooding, contaminated land etc
• Rights of way

Planning restrictions can be off-putting but a national park or nature reserve could be a unique selling point, offering stunning views and attracting walkers, cyclists, nature enthusiasts or climbers.

Seek advice from a consultant on how your application can win over the local authority.

4: Funding, Grants and Subsidies

Tourism and farm diversification schemes are being encouraged by the government to boost rural economies.

Funding routes may include:

• Rural Development Programme England – RDPE Growth Programme, LEADER etc..
• Small business rate relief
• Diversification funding for tourism projects
• Local enterprise businesses start-up grants
• Commercial bank loan/overdraft

Changes in legislation and funding are frequent – keep your eye out for opportunities arising or expiring. Particularly E.U. funded schemes!
Grants and subsidies that you currently receive are likely to be affected by your glamping business. Factor this in when calculating the benefits of diversification

5: Benefits to the Wider Area

To gain planning permission and attract funding and support, demonstrate that your project will boost these key areas:

• Tourism
• Local economy
• Local employment

5a; Tourism, Competition, Stakeholders and The Market

Demonstrate the benefits of your project by considering existing competition, identifying gaps in the local market, and making sure that you offer something distinct:

• Who already visits the area? What are their expectations, interests and needs?
• Which demographics are currently unserved?
• What can you provide for the local area that other sites don’t?
• How successful is the competition? If other glamp sites are failing, why are they failing?

Identify a target market that will:

• Gain most from the unique properties of your site
• Be low (negative) impact:
• Bring greatest benefit to the wider area

Engaging with the local community and other stakeholders creates mutual opportunities and protects against objections.

5b; Providing Employment opportunities

Who will need to be employed to make sure that everything is running smoothly?


• Bookings, information, queries and complaints
• First Aid provisions
• Specialisms eg; petting farm employees, Cycle hire management
• Laundrettes
• Bar staff
• Events planners
• Shop staff
• Cleaners
• Bins, toilets and other waste
• Accommodation removal/storage

6: Design Approval

To discover the full potential of the site it is recommended to seek the advice of professional landscapers and architects.
Seek to blend conveniences, luxuries and modern tech in with the natural setting.

Some landscaping considerations:
• Protection and enhancement of local ecology
• Protection and enhancement of local character
• Legibility of design and layout
• Accessibility
• Site zoning and noise screening
• Flood prevention measures
• Changes in light and seasons
• Highways and transport access
• Health and safety

7: Public Liability

Hosting events such as weddings, markets, shows or festivals?
You may need extra permissions or licensing.
Opening up your attractions and facilities to the local community?
You will need RIDDOR, risk assessments and a written health and safety policy.

Seek advice from insurers and brokers.

Go for it!

As you can see there is a lot to think about when setting up your own Glamping Business!
A little research and a carefully thought out business plan will make all the difference.

If you have found this article useful please get in touch with Miller & Miller for further information on Tel: 0114 327 0120

Happy Glamping!