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New Forest National Park Authority brings in restriction on pop-up campsites

RESTRICTIONS on pop-up campsites have been reintroduced on the New Forest national park.

The national park authority says the controls are aimed at protecting local communities and follow a “significant increase” in the number of temporary campsites since lockdown.

The Forest has more than three times the number of camping and caravan bed spaces per square kilometre than any other English national park, on average.

Pop up campsites over 50 pitches will have to apply for planning permission
Pop up campsites over 50 pitches will have to apply for planning permission

Under the new permitted developmental rights, introduced by the government last summer, pop-up campsites with 50 pitches or fewer can operate for up to 60 days a year without planning permission.

But planning authorities can make an ‘Article 4 Direction’ which prohibits proposals being carried out under those rights, requiring a planning application instead.

It means that in ecologically sensitive areas such as the Forest, such campsites – in spots first used as a temporary recreational campsite after 1st March 2020, and as a temporary recreational campsite for more than 28 days – will require planning permission.

After concerns from residents, parish councils and other organisations about the number of pop-up campsites, the authority first brought in the new guidelines in 2022.

It announced it intended to re-introduce Article 4 in October last year after the introduction of further nationwide development rights by the government in July.

Now, after public consultations, the NPA has revealed that 92% of respondents supported the direction, and it has now confirmed its reintroduction.

Gordon Bailey, chair of the New Forest NPA planning committee, said: “The New Forest has the highest proportion of land designated as internationally important for nature conservation in the country. It’s therefore vital we look after the very thing that people come to enjoy.”

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