Local councils fear pop-up caravan sites across UK amid rush to jump on staycation demand

3 mins read

Staycations have dramatically increased in popularity in recent months as a result of uncertainty with foreign travel. Most holidaymakers have been driving to popular tourist areas like Cornwall, the Lake District and Scotland.

However, planning authorities across North Yorkshire have warned about overseeing an oversupply over holiday accommodation.

They are cautious about the impact the new caravan sites could have on the regions tourism industry, the environment and agricultural land. 

As a result of the pandemic, millions of Britons have chosen to holiday in the UK and explore areas of the country that they previously had not.

It is estimated that around 16 million staycations are planned during the school holidays alone.

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Because of this, many are concerned about the impact the caravans will have on the environment and the loss of agricultural land for the sites.

But the Council maintains that these caravans are needed to keep the site afloat.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, around 100 planning applications have been sent to councils and national park authorities in the county.

These applications propose the development of static caravan sites and glamping huts, as well as extending existing holiday parks.

The North York Moors National Park Authority approved plans for more timber lodges, but the authority’s chairman, Jim Bailey, said the surge in applications is being market driven.

He said that people used to be happy with a touring caravan or a tent, but now they want a glamping pod or holiday lodge.

One of the largest proposals that have been lodged in North Yorkshire is the extension to the Pickering holiday park.

This would increase the park capacity by 127 spaces for static caravans.

Most of the proposals, and particularly in the national parks, are small in scale and some are part of a wider farm diversification plan.

Another councillor, Jimmy Wilson Petch, voiced his concerns about the long-term impacts of the new developments.

He said: “It does worry me about the plethora of chalet applications that are coming.

“While we are in staycation, they are absolutely full, but what worries me is in a year or two’s time when everybody starts going abroad again there are going to be an awful lot of empty chalets.”

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