Developed campgrounds (natural areas included) and residential leisure parks are subject to land law regulations, the operator must obtain an authorization (permit to develop ) from the town hall of the location of his site. establishment to begin operating its campground.

The camping site

A landscaped site is intended for the reception of tents, caravans, mobile homes for leisure and light leisure dwellings . It is made up of pitches that are bare or equipped with one of these facilities, as well as shared equipment. On a landscaped site, there are more than 6 pitches, or more than 20 people ( Article R.491-19 and Article R*443-6  and following) of the town planning code. It is permanently or seasonally operated and welcomes customers who do not take up residence there. It must have internal regulations in accordance with a model adopted by the minister responsible for tourism: art. D.331-1-1 of the tourism code .

Serviced campgrounds are classified into 5 categories from 1 to 5 stars . The awarding of stars is carried out according to more than 200 criteria relating to equipment, services offered to customers, accessibility for people with disabilities and sustainable development.

They are also classified according to the destination of the pitches:

mention “Tourism”: if more than 50% of the pitches are intended for rental by the night, week or month for transient customers;

Mention “Leisure”: if more than 50% of the pitches are intended for occupancy of more than one month by customers who do not take up residence there . art. D.332-1-1 of the tourism code .

If the number of locations operated increases by more than 10%, the operator must submit a new application for classification to the competent administrative authority. Art D.332-4 of the tourism code

The natural camping area

A campsite classified in the “natural area” category is intended exclusively for the reception of tents, caravans and motorhomes. It is prohibited to set up light leisure accommodation (HLL) and to set up mobile leisure residences (RML) there . The operating period does not exceed six months per year, continuous or not. Pitches and accommodation must not be individually supplied with water or connected to the sewage system. Only one natural area can be created per land unit. They must have internal regulations. Article D.332-1-2 of the Tourism Code .

A natural area is also subject to the regulation of soil law, the operator must obtain a development permit from the town hall of the location of his area to begin operations.

The residential leisure park

The Residential Leisure Park (PRL) is land within the meaning of Article L443-1 of the Town Planning Code and Article D333-3 of the Tourism Code. It is specially assigned to the reception of light leisure dwellings (HLL) and mobile leisure residences (RML) and caravans . There are rarely so-called “bare” pitches there, which are reserved more particularly for the reception of tents.

Two categories exist:

  • PRL on sale of plots: the plots are sold, as in the context of a traditional subdivision;
  • PRL for rental of plots: the plots are operated under the hotel regime.
  • A PRL can only be operated under a hotel regime on two conditions ( Article D. 333-4 of the Tourism Code ):
  • a single natural or legal person can ensure the exploitation and must have the property or the enjoyment of the land;

the customers received do not take up residence there.  art.D.333-4 of the tourism code

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