National park chiefs in the New Forest have implemented new planning controls in a bid to curb the impact of pop-up campsites.

National "permitted development rights" introduced by the government in the summer allow temporary camping facilities to operate for up to 60 days a year without planning permission.

But other changes mean many pop-up sites in the Forest will still need the approval of the Lymington-based National Park Authority (NPA).

Planning bodies in environmentally sensitive areas can make an Article 4 Direction, which empowers them to study proposals to open temporary pitches and impose any necessary conditions if consent is granted.

Now an Article 4 Direction has been issued in the Forest following concern about the number of pop-up sites in the area.

Daily Echo: New planning controls aim to limit the impact of pop-up campsites in the New ForestNew planning controls aim to limit the impact of pop-up campsites in the New Forest (Image: Supplied)

The new rules apply to any land first used as a temporary recreational campsite after March 1 2020 and any land used for more than 28 days in total in any calendar year.

NPA leaders are determined to limit the damage done to the environment by camping facilities springing up on farms and other sites.

READ MORE: New move to tackle problems caused by pop-up campsites in the New Forest National Park

An NPA spokesperson said the Authority believed the use of an Article 4 Direction was justified.

"The New Forest National Park has seen a significant increase in the number of pop-up campsites since lockdown, and also 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."

Gordon Bailey, chairman of the NPA's planning committee, said the Forest was already one of the most visited national parks in England.

"It has the highest proportion of land designated as internationally important for nature conservation in the country. It’s therefore vital we protect the very thing people come to enjoy," he said.

"The Article 4 Direction will help prevent negative impacts and pressures on our communities, protected habitats, wildlife and landscapes."

Daily Echo: David Bence is the new chairman of the New Forest National Park AuthorityDavid Bence is the new chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority (Image: National Park Authority)

The new powers, which apply to the whole of the New Forest National Park, came into force on October 27. But the NPA has launched a public consultation on the move, with people able to submit their views until December 1.

Meanwhile, the 22-member organisation has elected a new chairman.

David Bence, who joined the Authority in 2018, has been visiting the Forest since he was a child and has a family connection to the area going back to the Second World War. He succeeds Prof Gavin Parker.