In the business of setting up and maintaining campsites, there are planning permissions that you would ordinarily be expected to acquire. Of course, depending on what kind of campsite you wish to set up, you may be exempt from having to go after a site licence.
The law takes toilets seriously though and it should too. This is because even though it may be something we avoid in polite conversation, everyone needs a place to ‘go’, even on a campsite. People are quite simply nervous about the idea of being far away from civilisation and its wonderful toilets.
Since this is the 21st century, your regular ‘bucket and chuck it’ simply won’t do. Not at all. And as tourism review sites such as Visit England and Trip Advisor would tell you, toilet facilities are a big deal for people when camping.
So, you need to be aware of the relevant regulations if your campsite toilet experience would be up to scratch. Lucky for you, we’ve gone out and done all the hard work. Here’s what you need to know about toilet regulations.
Campsite toilet regulations are determined by local authorities
In the UK, individuals that want to set up a campsite need to obtain planning permission and then a campsite licence. This is the requirement of the law under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 – Touring Caravan and Campsite Site Conditions.
Planning permission and campsite licences are usually given by your local council if you live in England or Wales. But in some instances, such as if your site is approved by an organisation with a camping exemption certificate, you may not need to obtain the licence. This may have to be determined by your local council though.
Under the law, every local council is empowered to attach certain conditions to campsite licences. These conditions may include how the site should be laid out, how many tents are allowed on the site and, importantly, what toilet and washing facilities must be provided on the site.
This means that campsite toilet regulations are primarily determined by your local council. So, you would generally be made aware of the relevant regulations at the time of applying for a site licence.
Notwithstanding this, there are many local councils that have gone to the trouble of providing their campsite regulations on the internet. These include the Cornwall Council, the Lancaster City Council and the Wyre Forest District Council.
If you’d like to check the specific regulations for your local council, all you have to is scoot on over to their website and check if they’ve put anything up. You can generally download the regulations so you can refer to them from time to time. But if you find it hard going, the next section is for you.
What regulations do you need to keep in mind?
Since campsite toilet regulations are determined by local councils, the various regulations will hardly be exactly the same. Nonetheless, many of these regulations have similar content.
The regulations are meant to ensure that your camp visitors have safe, modern toilet facilities that they can use without discomfort. They cover more than just toilet considerations though as they also regulate showers, washrooms, laundry and baby changing facilities. Some of the regulations include the following:
Toilets and basins
Toilets should be adequately spaced. For sites with up to 120 pitches, there should be 2 toilet facilities for women, 1 toilet facility and 1 urinal for men, per 30 pitches. Depending on your local council regulations, you may be required to provide these facilities per 20 or even 10 pitches.
Adequate provision of wash hand basins must also be made, 2 for women and 2 for men. These should have enough hot and cold water with the supply situated close to the toilets.
There should be showers with hot and cold water. The recommended scale here is 2 showers each for men and women per 60 pitches. You have to pay special attention to water temperature. Due to the likelihood that the facilities will be used by children, it is best that the hot water temperature be controlled with the use of thermal mixing valves. These will help limit the hot water temperature to a comfortable level.
Laundry facilities should be provided with one deep sink per 30 tents. They should also be supplied with running hot and cold water except if adequate laundry machinery is provided.
Foul drainage should be discharged to either a public sewer, private sewer, septic tank or cesspool approved by the Council. If you intend to use chemicals for disposing of foul drainage, you should make sure to choose them carefully so they don’t create a hazard.
Adequate provision should also be made for discharge of grey water. Care must be taken to ensure that it is not discharged close to any fresh water point. If you intend to have an Elsan Point, make sure grey water is disposed of separately from the contents of the toilet.
Surface water drainage is also expected to be provided where appropriate to avoid having standing pools of water about. If work is to be done on drains or sewers, it is expected to be carried out by persons that are qualified and the work must be done in accordance with British standards.
Baby changing facilities
Modern day toilets will also need baby changing facilities. This may be as simple as a fold down baby changer or a dedicated family room. The room can have a shower, toilet and basin as well as a worktop for laying babies down.
Disabled persons’ facilities
There should also be adequate consideration for the needs of the disabled in the provision made for water points, toilets, washing points and showers. They should have level entry showers that are suitable for wheelchairs, with handrails well situated.
You need all the help you can get
It will be clear from the above that a lot of consideration must go into the planning and execution of your campsite toilet facilities. If the provision you have made is not up to code, you risk having the local authority come down hard on you. Even worse, it may lead to unsafe conditions for your campers.
If you’re going to ensure that all your facilities are up to the standards described in the relevant regulations, you need to find yourself a building partner that can properly guide you. You need a partner that has in depth knowledge of industry standards and the innovation to work within your budget to create solutions that work.
At Wintech Modular Projects Limited, we do just that. With decades of experience as Modular Building Specialists, we have advised hundreds of clients building projects such as yours. We specialize in providing out-of-the-box solutions that are adapted specifically to your unique needs.
If you have any questions, comments or information you’d like to share, please get in among the comments section below. We’d be delighted to hear from you.