CAMPSITES and caravan parks may be able to remain open through the winter after being forced to cancel holidays during the busy tourist season.
Parks and holiday resorts closed their doors in March for nearly four months due to the pandemic, missing out on busy periods including bank holidays and half terms.
Housing, Communities and Local Government minister Lord Greenhalgh said local planning authorities will be encouraged to take a “sympathetic approach” to applications to change opening times on a temporary basis.
Lord Greenhalgh said this would allow campsites, caravan and other holiday parks to open beyond their usual summer season.
There has been pressure from peers to allow campsites and caravan parks which were closed during the lockdown and only recently reopened, to extend the holiday season subject to local authority permission.
A written ministerial statement will be put before Parliament encouraging planning authorities to use their discretion not to take enforcement action where an extension could lead to a breach of planning conditions.
Lord Greenhalgh hailed campsites, caravan parks and holiday cottages as a “mainstay” of local economies in many parts of the country, providing employment and supporting businesses.
Many campsite, caravan and holiday park owners wanted to extend the season opening times but planning conditions could limit this unless the Government acted, he said.
British Holiday and Home Parks Association spokesperson Jon Boston previously told Sun Online Travel: “Some parks close in late autumn, around October or November, and don’t reopen until spring.
“Some are going to ask if they can open longer this year, which is why the association is asking for the government to support them through the winter.”
Campsites.co.uk founder Martin Smith added: “Having such a short season, if campsites aren’t able to open this summer – or if July and August weather is unkind – then the industry will require a lot of financial support to survive through the winter months.”
However, it also raises questions as to whether Brits will want to be camping during the winter season, with bad weather and cold nights making it unappealing.
Popular holiday destinations during the darker months is often further afield, such as Dubai or Thailand, where the weather is warmer.
Many campsites also use the winter months for renovations and rehauls meaning much less time for the park to get ready for the next season.
Thankfully, with the rise of glamping tents that have heaters and additional amenities, and self-contained caravans, many are hopeful that they can still cater to the British winter guests as well.
We’ve rounded up some of the best luxury outdoor tents and cottages you can rent.
The Caravan Club has listed the resorts already open all year round so you can plan your holidays later this year.
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