Like all decisions regarding rural estates and farms, whether or not to provide luxurious accommodation on your property will depend on many factors; all of which need to be considered and weighted before coming to a conclusion.

A comprehensive estate review is the best place to start as there are many opportunities which can be explored, from visitor attractions to commercial lettings, woodland burials to wedding venues and food production to waste disposal.

Once you have discovered your long list of options and agreed that “glamping” should be explored further, there are some specific matters that should be considered. Primary considerations are:

• Suitable sites or structures
• Access
• Availability of services
• Will the enterprise conflict or compliment the existing farm business? If there is conflict can this be mitigated.

You can then start to think about what your offer is. Why would people pay you to stay on your farm? Reasons maybe:

• Peace & Tranquillity
• On-site attractions or activities
• Off-site attractions or activities
• Within a popular tourist area.
• Close to a popular event or venue

While considering what to do research the competition thoroughly. Visit other sites of the type you have in mind and critique your experience.

Once these have been thought through, the type of accommodation will need to be researched. The range is phenomenal, from yurts and bell tents to showman’s waggons and lodges. The accommodation needs to reflect the clientele that your business planning and research has indicated you may attract. Think about the durability of the accommodation as well as the level of luxury offered.

How will you plan to provide the accommodation? Will you use family labour, employ staff or let the
opportunity to a third party? If it is to be run by a third party, will they be a tenant or a partner?

It is important that your Chartered Surveyor is involved in the decision making process. Their knowledge of rural business, planning policy and property values as well as possible impacts on family estate planning will be key to aiding the flow of discussion and act as an independent sounding board for ideas.

The Local Planning Authority will be critical to the success of most Glamping enterprises. In some limited cases an enterprise can fall within permitted development, but this is rare.

Planning authorities will consider many of the issues listed above, as well as:
• planning policy
• conservation,
• heritage,
• flooding
• Local opinion
• Landscape

And many other factors! A planning application must be thoroughly researched and evidenced in order to stand the best chance of success.

Skinner Holden Property Advisors have specialised in the management, valuation and development of rural property, with extensive experience in creating new income streams within a rural setting. From new visitor centres such as Alice Holt Forest Centre and Bedgebury to woodland burial parks and Forest Holiday’s lodges.
If you have any opportunities or issues that you would like to discuss, please feel free to call Iain at Skinner Holden Property Advisors on 07827 394720 or