Apply for a Freedom Camping Club Caravan or Camping Site Exemption

Please note that site visit schedules are fully booked in the South West of England and Wales until spring 2025 and only a few places left in other areas. New dates have yet to be determined for 2025. Applications made at this time will not begin until summer 2025.


Why apply for an exemption

Caravan and camping site exemptions are an easy and flexible method of operating a caravan and/or camping site without the need to apply for a license and planning approval from your Local Planning Authority.

An exemption allows flexibility to grow and adapt to new markets easily. No rigid planning approval or restrictive conditions, switch units from touring caravans to glamping pods without new applications, mix and match option to suit you and the club.

You get the benefit and support of an established and experienced organisation that can help deal with planning issues, complaints and queries, marketing and promoting your new site and offer discounts on essential services and more...

Extend your existing pop up site to all year use or additional capacity, offer diverse and flexible options for glamping, wild camping and more... The club supports many type of caravan and tent units read our movable dwelling guidelines for more information.

Access to a 34,000+ members customer base to jumpstart your business. Co-operate and contribute in an established business community with companies such as Pitchup, Campsites.co.uk, Sykes cottages, Air BnB and more than 400 other Freedom Camping Club certified sites.

Who should apply for an exemption

Whether your plans are to run a small 5 van site, a 100 pitch camping site, a single shepherds hut or promote a new and emerging recreational market, we have an option to help you.

The club is looking for applicants with a long term view of offering a value and quality service. You may want to start small and invest in facilities over time or get everything in place from the start. We want to see a commitment to proving a quality service to members and encouraging non members to join the club.

We don't want applicant who want to get the most from offering the least. If you can't commit 100% of your energy to the site, there may be more suitable options, such as Class BC of Part 4 permitted development for you.

What you need to know

The Club is a recreational organisation with special legal rights to enable the club to promote and encourage camping and caravanning. This is a different option to other permitted development rights or a Local Authority license/planning approval. Each scheme has benefits and drawback that will suit your needs, please read our UK campsite Law guide to help you decide which option is best for you.

If you apply and are accepted for a Club exemption you will need to abide by the Clubs terms and conditions.

What happens next

Every proposed site is assessed for suitability, desirability, safety and impact. This process takes time and effort to complete and we require your full co-operation to ensure our decision is the correct one. Other organisation may offer a quick turn around or a higher probability of acceptance. We can not support you if we have made mistakes or have not accounted for aspect that are latter challenged by a third party. Our process is thorough and time consuming, current decision times are around 6-12 weeks from the date of your site inspection.

Complete the online application fully, provide all the information requested in as much detail as possible. Be honest and frank, early identification of issues saves time, effort and costs. Some issues may result in an automatic refusal, where other may require some workarounds or special conditions, knowing these early helps to tailor our approach.

Select a schedule for a site inspection. We can only offer a limited number of appointments in each area. You choose from a list of planned visits to your area and once we are close to the dates we will contact you to confirm a date and time for a site inspection.

Once we have inspected your proposed site we will begin the formal assessment process. We will assess impact in many areas and determine if the proposed site is suitable. We will also consult with Local Planning Authorities, any local resident who may be impacted and any other relevant party such as Highways England, Natural England, Historic England, The Environment Agency and others. ( or Welsh equivalent bodies ).

Aspects considered - including but not limited to:

  • Highway safety and amenity - Stopping sight distances, visibility splays, highway capacities
  • Environmental impact - Flood risk, nutrient pollution, drinking water safeguarding
    Historic impact - Scheduled monuments, World heritage sites
  • Conservation impact - AONB visual amenity, SSSI impact, SAC/SAC/Ramsar impact
  • Ecological impact - Protected species, Wildlife habitats
  • Land designations - Green belt, Area of Great Landscape Value
  • Civil obligation - Restrictive covenants, easements
  • Community impact - Local residents impact, local amenities impact
  • Sustainability- public transport, local shops, public houses, local recreational activities
  • Desirability and appeal - Aesthetic value, local attractions, site amenity
  • Supervision and management - emergency access, out of hours supervision, conflict resolution
  • Regulatory compliance - Permitted development, article 4 directions, planning history

  • The site inspection will take around 11/2 hours.
  • The site assessment may take 6-12 weeks
  • Site inspection and assessment cost 180.

Once complete if your site is deemed suitable we will make a formal offer of exemption, this may include conditions and require further evidence of facilities and/or agreements to undertake actions.

We may also offer

  • Informal planning advice
  • Marketing advice

I have read and understand the information above and the Clubs terms and conditions. I have a legal right to make use of the proposed land either by ownership or contractual agreement with the land owner. I consent to Freedom Camping Club contacting third parties, including regulatory bodies.