NEW rules regulating pop-up campsites in the New Forest National Park are set to come into force later this year.

The Lymington-based National Park Authority (NPA) is determined to limit the damage done to the environment by temporary facilities springing up on farms and other sites.

From September, 28-day campsites with 51 pitches or more - and any 28-day campsites created after March 1 2020 - will need planning permission.

The move follows concern about the growing number of temporary facilities appearing in the forest and their impact on the landscape and sensitive habitats.

Daily Echo: New rules regulating pop-up campsites in the New Forest will come into force later this year.New rules regulating pop-up campsites in the New Forest will come into force later this year. (Image: Supplied)

An NPA spokesperson said: "The New Forest National Park has seen an increase in pop-up campsites in recent years.

"It now has more than three times the number of camping and touring caravan bed spaces per square kilometre than the average of all other English national parks. There are 12 known temporary campsites, with pitch numbers ranging from 12 to 90."

Under permitted development rights, temporary campsites can currently operate for 28 days a year without official consent.

The figure was extended to 56 days during 2020 and 2021 as part of a campaign to help the hospitality sector survive the pandemic.

READ MORE: New move to tackle problems being caused by pop-up campsites

But the NPA's Article 4 Direction means new campsites - and larger existing ones - must obtain planning permission. The process will enable conditions to be applied to protect communities and the environment.

A six-week public consultation was held towards the end of last year.

Daily Echo: The new rules are being introduced by the New Forest National Park Authority.The new rules are being introduced by the New Forest National Park Authority.

The NPA considered comments from a wide range of respondents, including campsite operators and key stakeholders. The majority supported the proposed new rules, including the RSPB and the Verderers.

About 20 per cent of respondents objected to the plans while nine per cent did not express strong views.

Gordon Bailey, chairman of the NPA’s planning committee, said: "The New Forest is already one of the most visited national parks in England and it's vital we protect the very thing people come here to enjoy.

"The new guidelines don’t affect smaller temporary campsites which have been operating for a number of years, only new and larger sites."

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