Let users know when a site is not legal.
There is a site behind where I live in breach of all planning permission where users go and have no idea! The users I have met are quite appalled that they had no idea. They would have liked to know before booking!
Thank you for your message. Campsites do not necessarily need planning permission to operate however we react to any concerns raised. Without knowing which campsite you are referring to, it is difficult for us to implement your suggestion :-)
AdminPitchup.com (Admin, Pitchup.com) commented
Thanks for your reply. Please let us know details at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will investigate.
The 'legal' warning is a good idea but unfortunately would be extremely hard to implement in this sector. Many campsites do not require any sort of approval because they operate under 'permitted development' rights, or have been operating due to long existing use. Long use, in particular, can involve large amounts of evidence from many years ago and we would not be able to undertake such an assessment at Pitchup.com. Typically a local council's legal department or planning appeal would consider such factors if the legality of a site were called into question.
Even where an enforcement notice has been issued, it is still subject to appeal and, for example, it is very rare for a council to shut down a campsite immediately due to the liability for compensation if the notice turned out to be wrong.
We could show a warning where a campsite was illegal beyond doubt, although in practice we would just de-list the campsite. Otherwise, unfortunately the process of establishing the legality of a site is not straightforward and due to the possibility of appeal and different local plans, not to mention the risk of compensation, it would be hard for us to publish a warning.
Thank you for your suggestion and please let us know the issues surrounding your neighbouring campsite and we will take appropriate action.
I am happy to send you details of the site I know about. I am also happy to share evidence of the planning enforcement breach.
However my suggestion is that it would make sense for Pitchup as a company to signal the difference to users of when they know a site is legal and has been approved and when they do not know.
I would rather know myself, after this it is my choice to use it or not. I can ask the owner about it but at least Pitchup will have informed me and helped me make a choice which I would find most helpful.