Following discussions with Welsh Government, land owners can now explore options to extend the statutory 28 days’ permitted development to 56. This could make the difference between a loss-making year and break-even for some businesses – including many Welsh farms – safeguarding jobs and sustaining the rural economy.
We’re supporting rural businesses who have lawfully applied for planning permission to make use of land for 28 days in the summer – often used to create summer-season camp sites, car parks and picnic areas. This year’s Covid-19 restrictions have restrained this process as the tourist season has been severely reduced.
Following our lobbying, the Welsh Government has advised us that their current advice to local authorities is that they should take a flexible approach to applicants looking to make appropriate use of land, or extend an existing 28-day permit to a longer period.
This is a quick-win for landowners and visitors alike. Landowners should engage with their local authority planning department, and officials should take note of the Government’s guidance.
As part of this process we do advise our members to take into account what a potential doubling of the 28 days might mean for their local communities and to be sensitive to how they might be feeling as a result of Covid-19. While you may be successful in securing an extension, any potential negative impacts on the community should be properly considered and addressed where possible, if only through effective communication.
However, overall this is truly positive news for land owners and tourists alike. Moreover, many businesses whose capacity and therefore viability is affected by social distancing guidelines can benefit from extending the use of land used for their business.