THE ORIGINS OF TRENDS IN GLAMPING
by LISA ALLISON
The variety of glamping accommodation types popping up on rural land all over the country is vast and increasingly quirky in order to create a unique and memorable experience but at low operational costs.
Depending on the permanence of the structures different planning considerations apply and can potentially make it easier to get up and running. A primary planning consideration is first and foremost whether or not the change in the use of your land from, for example, agricultural or residential garden, to a ‘camping’ use is acceptable, having regard to the impacts of said camping use (e.g. noise, traffic and landscape impact). Temporary, removeable structures, whereby the land can quickly and easily be restored on removal of the structure are proving increasingly popular not only with landowners but also with Council’s where the overall impact of the structures is deemed to be far less than a traditional building.
The structures can provide a home away from home style with an array of modern amenities included – such as TVs, heaters, fridges and can be priced at a premium accordingly. Alternatively, the offering can be much more basic and therefore less time-consuming for the operator to manage. Either way there is plenty of market demand.
We look at the inspiration taken from around the world that are shaping landowners’ offerings.
Mongolian in origin, the yurt is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by several distinct nomadic groups in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure comprises an angled assembly or latticework of pieces of wood or bamboo for walls. They are built for warmth and by virtue of their nomadic roots are completely moveable. The yurt is becoming a stable of glamping sites, perfect in structure and practicality and great for a family fun weekend or a gathering of friends.
A Tipi (also teepee or tepee is a tent) traditionally made of animal skins upon wooden poles. Modern tipis usually have a canvas covering. Historically, the tipi has been the home of Native Americans amongst others.
Modern tipis are a firm glamping favourite as well as larger structures being used for festivals and weddings.
THE TREE HOUSE
Tree houses are used across the world and in a lot of cases are built to manage seasonal rain damage. Popular with the Korowai people in Papua, Indonesia, Korowai homes are normally five to 10 metres above the ground and are fastened to crowns of tall trees.
The treehouses we see in the UK as holiday accommodation are more secure. They provide a unique visitor experience, reminiscent of childhood dreams, and in most cases, they are required to be permanently fixed to the tree or it’s structure.
THE SAFARI TENT
A Safari tent is a traditional form of moveable accommodation which served those who were travelling, touring or voyaging in Africa. Originating from the Swahili word safari, meaning journey.
Today, a more luxurious safari tent offering is available in the UK and around the world. Allowing large groups of family and or friends to stay under one roof and enjoy their time outdoors.
THE SHEPHERD HUT
A brilliantly cosy and succinct farming themed accommodation offering that is increasing in popularity is the Shepherd Hut. Historically, the hut was as you’d expect a temporary dwelling provided to shepherds as they dutifully tended to, guided and managed flocks across vast farming lands.
The hut provided warmth, somewhere to eat, rest and sleep and somewhere to store tools and medicine.
An ‘all rooms in one’ type design, huts came with a stove, windows and wheels so it was portable. Not so important these days, as they are used as an easy, self-catering accommodation solution.
Introducing a glamping offer and getting the planning consent you require need not be complicated. Our experience has found that Council’s and their local planning policies are increasingly supportive of rural leisure proposals. As with any proposal for development, there are however key questions to think about including, for example, whether or not your proposal would create any adverse effects on the amenity of neighbours.
The Rural Solutions team have lots of experience in enabling landowners to implement glamping sites on their land and reviewing appropriate site options where the adverse effects are kept to a minimum and benefits to a maximum. We can offer landscape and building design, planning and business advice to help you with your plans.