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Landowners call for time extension on hosting campers and motorhomes visitors


By Gavin Musgrove

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Parts of the strath were plagued by dirty campaign after lockdown ended last summer.
Parts of the strath were plagued by dirty campaign after lockdown ended last summer.

Rural Scotland can benefit from staycations and curb dirty camping by extending permitted development rights, it has been claimed.

Landowners, land managers and farmers are calling on the Scottish Government to up the time limit from 28 days to 56 days as has happened south of the border.

The Scottish Land & Estates and The National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) have called for the move in correspondence to John McNairney, chief planner.

Planning controls have been relaxed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

There is currently a policy of non-enforcement in place towards land managers and farmers using land for non-agriculture purposes for more than the statutory 28 days.

While SLE and NFUS said they welcome this move, they are calling for the Scottish Government to follow the examples set in England and Wales and extend permitted development rights to 56 days until the end of the year.

This, they say, would give greater security to land businesses and farms who are diversifying to get through difficult economic times.

Gavin Mowat, SLE policy adviser said: “Dirty camping is more than just an eyesore. It can have serious social, economic and environmental implications.

“During the pandemic land managers and farmers have been able to ameliorate the impacts of dirty camping by setting aside parts of their holdings to allow for visitors to camp safely and in a way that respects nature.

“In doing so they have provided a service for those looking to take a staycation and brought in much needed capital to the rural economy.

“By extending permitted development rights to 56 days until the end of the year the Government can offer much needed certainty and security.

"Without this extension, there is a concern that the policy of non-enforcement could end abruptly and have serious repercussions for our members ability to plan for a busy summer period.”


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