If you go down to the woods today...

If you go down to the woods today...

by aurora planning

In our February blog, we drew on our experience of cabin life in Norway. This month, in the last throes of summer, we’re all about glamping; at the start of the month we were delighted to receive a positive recommendation from officers for three glamping pods in a woodland setting for our client in Aberdeenshire, and whilst Pippa has just had a long weekend glamping in Skye, Maggie is looking forward to staying in a yurt in Yorkshire at the end of the month.
Glamping (glamorous camping), has become increasingly popular, with over 600,000 glamping trips taken in the UK in 2017, and a whole variety of glamping options from yurts to gypsy caravans to wooden pods popping up across the country, whether as individual units, small scale glamping sites, or part of larger camping sites.  Glamping sites also vary in the home comforts they offer, from those which are completely off grid, to those with mains electricity, running water, individual shower units, hot tubs, and wifi connectivity. 
The growth in glamping may be a response to a variety of factors, including for example, farm diversification, the value of the pound, the desire for a more sustainable form of holidaying and the life-style choice of site owners.
And we can certainly see the attraction of having all of the benefits of camping but with the comforts of a real bed! 
But establishing a glamping site isn’t as straight forward as you might think – despite glamping structures generally being temporary and easily removable, they do still need planning permission.  And getting the perfect balance between having a peaceful and relaxing countryside location and providing the level of services and facilities now expected by glampers, as well as the planning authority, can often be challenging.
So, what does a good glamping site look like?  The answer to that will obviously depend to a large extent on what individuals are looking for from their glamping experience, with some wanting relatively cheap and cheerful self-catering accommodation close to local services and other every day essentials, and others looking to get away from it all in a more remote back to nature location. 
But, in planning terms, most glamping sites would be expected to:

- connect to a water supply – whether mains water or a private supply of a sufficient quantity and quality to satisfy environmental health officers;

-  make adequate provision for waste water – whether by connecting to the public sewer or installing a private treatment package such as a septic tank;

- provide facilities for waste disposal – including provision for the separation of recyclable and non-recyclable materials, and for the collection of these, which can be an issue in more remote areas;

- be easily accessible – in terms of the standard of the local road network, public transport provision and access to shops and other services, all of which can again be challenging for glamping sites in more remote rural areas; and

- not have an adverse impact on the residential amenity of neighbours – whether that be in terms of noise or loss of privacy.

When done well, glamping sites can deliver a number of benefits, including supporting economic development, particularly in more remote rural locations, encouraging year round sustainable tourism, and creating a connection between people and places (including the natural environment), all of which align with what good planning is all about.
So, if you’re looking at a potential glamping site, or if you would like to find out about how aurora planning can assist you in any other aspect of the planning process, please visit www.auroraplanning.co.uk or email info@auroraplanning.co.uk.  And, to receive future blogs and updates by email, please click here
Thanks for reading!

Pippa and Maggie

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