Setting up a new campsite comes with a whole host of considerations. One of the most fundamental items on your checklist should be the provision of a safe and legal access road that campers can drive their vehicles through.
While this may seem like a small and rather obvious matter, obtaining the permission to establish such a road may be trickier than you first imagined. In most cases, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Local Planning Authority for your area will request that you apply for permission for a new access road. You will also, however, need to double check with the Highways Authority regarding the legality of your plans. We always advise our customers to seek the advice of their Architect who should be able to provide guidance that will save time and money in the long run.
I don’t believe I need planning permission. How can I know for sure?
As a general rule, if a prospective access road already directly joins a public highway then you are not required to obtain planning permission unless the road is either a classified or so-called ‘trunk’ road. However, it is always worth contacting the Highways Authority for peace of mind.
Even if a road is not classified and does not need planning permission, the Highways Authority may still want to approve it. This is particularly relevant if the access road involves crossing a pavement. Crossing any grass owned by the Highway Authority, however, only requires consent in cases where access is to a classified or ‘trunk’ road. In short, the details can be complex, so get in touch with your Architect if you are unsure about anything!
I think I need planning approval. What next?
Make sure you know all of the details about your land and the roads you are hoping to join with before seeking approval. For example, while consent is often given to access roads joining up to a classified or trunk road, it may be denied if there are any safety issues. For example, if the new road involves vehicles entering or exiting a carriageway that is on a tight corner or near a blind spot, or if it is close to a junction, then it is unlikely to be approved.
What’s more, it is important to ensure that you actually own the land that you would like your access road to cover. Sometimes, you may require the consent of a third party.
Anyone planning access roads for new campsites should start by contacting their Local Planning Authority, who will advise you on how to further your plans. Failure to reach out to the relevant authorities may result in prosecution, which would not make a great start to your new venture!