The Welsh government is being urged to follow England’s example by relaxing planning rules around agritourism.
In a landmark decision laid before parliament on 5 July, the government extended Permitted Development Rights (PDR) from 28 days per year to 60 days across England.
Now rural campaigners have urged the Welsh government to follow suit, claiming farmers there are being denied thousands of pounds in extra income.
Pitchup.com, which has campaigned for a change to planning rules which would allow farmers to run pop-up campsites, hailed the Welsh government’s decision to launch a consultation on the issue in 2021.
However, the outcome of the consultation has never been published and the Welsh government has not taken any further action since.
Dan Yates, founder of Pitchup.com, is now challenging Welsh leaders to act: “It is a matter of immense frustration that the Welsh government is still refusing to announce the outcome of this forgotten consultation a year and a half after it ended.
"Hundreds of farms and rural businesses that offer camping have been left in the dark about how long they can open this year, which has severely impacted their planning and the revenue they can expect to earn.”
The decision in England means farmers and landowners can now run pop-up sites for tents, campervans and motorhomes for up to 60 days per year without needing to apply for extra planning permission.
This is providing they operate no more than 50 pitches, they provide toilet and waste disposal facilities, and they notify their local authority before the season starts.
To accept tents for more than 42 consecutive days, a camping licence would still be required. A caravan site licence is likely to be required to accept motorhomes or campervans.
To qualify, sites must also not be in the curtilage of a listed building, on an SSSI or scheduled monument, in a safety hazard area or in an area where military explosives are stored.
PDR was first extended between the Covid lockdowns to help rural communities recover, and since that time, campaigners have been lobbying to have PDR extended permanently.
Mr Yates added: “In Wales, perhaps more than anywhere else in the UK, permanently extending PDR makes absolute sense, since 34% of holidays in Wales involve camping or caravanning, compared to just 20% in England and 21% in Scotland.
"Few other policy changes would have such an immediate and positive impact on the Welsh rural economy. It would make farms, village shops, pubs, restaurants, and other rural businesses more sustainable and communities more prosperous.
“Time is running out. With the holiday season in full swing, ministers must act now if they want it to have any positive impact on rural communities this year."